Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Ukrainian volunteers allegedly handed over a trench candle to the military, and it exploded

A video recording of the moment of the explosion of a trench candle, which was allegedly handed over to the Ukrainian military by volunteers from Mykolaiv, is being distributed online on behalf of the Ukrainian volunteer telegram channel. In the text to the video they write that the soldiers almost died. Therefore, the volunteers are suspected of a “planned action” that was intended to harm Ukrainian fighters.

The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council analyzed the video and found out the source of distribution. As a result, the Center stated that this is an “orchestrated Russian IPSO”, the purpose of which is to discredit Ukrainian volunteers in the eyes of the people of Ukraine, including military personnel, and undermine confidence in them.

The volunteer movement in Ukraine is a powerful component of the fight against the occupiers, so Russia is trying to disgrace it in various ways, in particular through the dissemination of edited videos, fake articles and news. Previously, we refuted the information that the Ukrainian volunteer allegedly received gratitude from the Ministry of Defense, and at the same time a draft notice as an invitation to “serve” in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Fake A fiction about a volunteer who rejoiced at the fires in the Tegel camp in Berlin, where Ukrainian refugees live

Propagandists are distributing on social networks a photo of a young woman wearing a vest worn by social workers and volunteers, laughing against the backdrop of a large fire that occurred in Berlin on March 12 in the Tegel refugee camp, where Ukrainian refugees are also staying. “The strange reaction of a volunteer of a Berlin camp for Ukrainian refugees after a large fire started on the territory”, write Russian anonymous telegram channels. However, this photo is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the fakeness of the photo is primarily indicated by the fact that it began to be disseminated by Russian anonymous telegram channels, which were repeatedly seen publishing disinformation. The picture is being circulated everywhere along with the video as “proof” that it was taken from it, but upon detailed analysis of the video of the fire, StopFake discovered that this particular frame was not in it.

Fact-checkers also examined many videos on social networks that appeared after the fire in the refugee camp set up on the territory of the former Tegel Airport in Berlin, but did not find this footage of a volunteer. In addition, if one carefully analyzes the image, they can see traces of the photo editor’s intervention. Thus, there is a stripe between the girl’s head and the smoke, and the structure of the image against the background of the hands is also blurred, which indicates poor-quality insertion of other elements into the photograph.

Analyzing a photo using tools that detect the use of a photo editor is quite difficult, since it has been stored and watermarked multiple times, but even then, the photo shows different layers indicating tampering.

Such a fake is spreading in the context of a popular Russian disinformation narrative that the West is supposedly tired of Ukrainian refugees and is no longer ready to help them. However, in reality, countries continue to provide asylum to Ukrainian refugees, social protection and education to Ukrainian children. Detector Media refuted a number of Russian fakes about refugees from Ukraine in the West.

Fake The Ukrainian volunteer allegedly received gratitude from the Ministry of Defense, and at the same time a draft notice and an invitation to “serve” in the Armed Forces of Ukraine

A video is being circulated on social networks in the Russian segment in which a so-called Ukrainian volunteer allegedly received gratitude from the Ministry of Defense for his “active civic position and assistance to the army” - and in addition, he was “handed” a draft notice to the nearest Territorial center of recruitment and social support. In the messages, the authors of the fake conclude that in Ukraine you “shouldn’t” trust anyone, because they still want to mobilize a volunteer who decided to help of his own free will. However, just like the gratitude from the Ministry of Defense, the draft notice is fake.

The case was analyzed by VoxCheck specialists, who explained that the gratitude and the agenda do not comply with state design standards and contain various errors. For example, with regard to gratitude from the Ministry of Defense, in the special order “On departmental incentive awards” they give an example of a sketch of a “certificate”. It is different from the one in the fake video.

Moreover, in the text of gratitude itself there are many errors: in words “Vasylenko”, “heating means”, etc.

The situation with the draft notice is the same: instead of the current name of Kropyvnytskyi, the fake document used the old one - Kirovohrad. They also wrote a military commissariat, although there should be a territorial center for recruitment and social support.

That is, Russian propagandists wanted to show that in Ukraine they “use” people for their own purposes, for example, for widespread mobilization. In the message, the Kremlin’s minions convinced that the volunteer was doing something useful, helping the army, but the “evil Ukrainian authorities” decided to mobilize him anyway.

However, according to the law “On mobilization preparation and mobilization” and Article 23 of the legislative initiative, the status of a volunteer does not fall under the category of persons who may be exempt from mobilization. First of all, volunteer activity is a voluntary, socially oriented, non-profit activity that is performed by volunteers by providing volunteer assistance. In theory, a Ukrainian volunteer can be mobilized or served with a draft notice if there are specific grounds for this.

Fake Propagandists are distributing a video allegedly filmed by a Ukrainian volunteer about how the Ministry of Defense issued him a draft notice along with a gratitude letter

Propagandists are distributing a video on anonymous telegram channels where a Ukrainian volunteer allegedly received a gratitude letter and a draft notice to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Ministry of Defense. However, this is fake.

Fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that the sample of a gratitude letter is clearly regulated, but the gratitude letter on the video has a completely different design and does not contain the necessary information about the order of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. In addition, the text of the gratitude letter  contains grammatical, spelling, punctuation and lexical errors, and there is no official seal on it.

Also, the draft notice in the video is drawn up with errors: it has an incorrect template and application number, the photo also lacks a draft notice number, the outdated name of the city is used, and also it contains grammatical errors and does not have a seal.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the mobilization process in Ukraine.  Detector Media has previously refuted other Russian fakes regarding mobilization in Ukraine.

Fake It seems that the ICTV channel will release the series “Volunteer of the People” starring Serhii Prytula

A screenshot is being circulated online with an alleged article from Ukrainska Pravda, which contains information that the ICTV channel, owned by Victor Pinchuk, will air the series “Volunteer of the People”. Serhii Prytula should supposedly star in the leading role. However, this is a fake.

Experts from the VoxUkraine project analyzed this case. They managed to find out that the screenshot was fake, and there was no mention of the launch of this series in the Ukrainian media. There is not a single article about the series “Volunteer of the People” on the Ukrainska Pravda website, and the latest material by journalist Mykhailo Tkach, according to a screenshot of the author of the mentioned article, was published on November 17. The publication about the series is dated November 23. That is, here is yet another proof of the falsity of the information.

This case of disinformation is intended to sow discord among the Ukrainian people. Everything would be fine, but the fact that the main character of the series should be Serhii  Prytula - a man who runs his own charitable foundation and helps the army on a large scale - aims to outrage the Ukrainians and disabuse them of Ukraine's victory.

Fake Azov is looking for volunteers in France

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media claim that the Azov battalion allegedly started a campaign to find volunteers in France to participate in the war in Ukraine. Like, even a site with the necessary information indicates this. This is a fake.

Specialists of the Center of Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine drew attention to it. They found out that there is no information about the start of the recruiting campaign in France on the official pages of the battalion. What's more, the postal address and fax of the site, which is distributed by propagandists, is in Germany, which does not match the legend of the fake.

By spreading such fakes, the Russians are trying to discredit the Ukrainian military and individual brigades in the international arena. In addition, in this way they want to cause panic among foreigners. They said that Ukraine is in massive need of military personnel, and that is why it is looking for them abroad. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other Russian messages, manipulations and fakes aimed at discrediting the Azov battalion.

Manipulation More than 500 American volunteers died in the war in Ukraine

Pro-Kremlin resources are spreading disinformation about the losses of American troops in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Propagandists refer to an interview with American volunteer Matthew Van Dyke, published on the YouTube channel Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom. In it, a volunteer allegedly stated that 510 American volunteers who joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces died. This is manipulation.

The Center for Countering Disinformation worked on this case. They found out that during a volunteer’s answer to the presenter’s question about the number of American soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine, Van Dyke voiced the figures of five to ten people. He also added that many American volunteers were wounded.

Russian propagandists exaggerate the achievements of the Russian army in the war against Ukraine to fuel the narrative of the “second army of the world”. On the other hand, by manipulating information, Russian propaganda is trying to convince everyone around that mobilization in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is useless - and so everyone will die, and therefore it is easier for Ukraine to surrender now. Previously, we denied information that American students were allegedly being recruited into the Foreign Legion of Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainians are being mobilized into Israeli “volunteer battalions”

On social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, videos are being distributed with information about the so-called mobilization of Ukrainians to Israel. In the video, the hero shows a “draft notice” issued allegedly by the local territorial center of recruitment and social support. The draft notice notes that, in accordance with Article II of the Law of Ukraine “On Refugees and People in Need of Additional or Temporary Protection”, the man was allegedly drafted into the “volunteer battalion” of Israel. It is not true.

The StopFake analysts investigated the case and analyzed that, in fact, the draft notice depicted in the video is fake. After all, the design of the document does not correspond to the current model. Both the draft notice and the procedure for maintaining military records of conscripts and those liable for military service are regulated by a specific legislative initiative. In particular, we are talking about the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 7, 2016 “On approval of the Procedure for organizing and maintaining military records of conscripts and those liable for military service”. And documents of this type have the same design; they cannot differ from each other.

Actually, the official form of the draft notice can be seen in Appendix No. 24 to this Resolution. The draft notice form was last changed on January 26, 2022, when the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine introduced appropriate changes to some resolutions on the performance of military duty.

As for the law that propagandists refer to, it has nothing to do with military service. Article 2  generally deals with the legislative framework regarding refugees and persons in need of additional or temporary protection.

The fact-checkers also recorded numerous errors in the “draft notice”. For example, in the column where one needed to write the name of the territorial center of recruitment and social support, the authors of the fake message indicated the Security Service of Ukraine in the Odesa region. The SBU’s competence apparently does not include any mobilization actions.

Disclosure Fake pages of Ukrainian volunteers, media workers and military personnel are created on social networks

Fake pages of Ukrainian journalists, activists and volunteers are being created on social networks and dating sites. They are created using photos and information from authentic profiles.

The specialists of the NotaYenota project drew attention to this. They note that, in particular, Lviv volunteer Mariia Kisil and producer of Ukraїner found themselves in such a situation. The volunteer claims that each of her volunteer reports is distributed by a closed page with her name, which she cannot even access due to the privacy settings of the fake account. NotaYenota analysts remind that fake pages of Ukrainian military and volunteers have been actively created by the Russians since last year, however, they do not exclude the possibility that scammers may be behind this.

By resorting to this technique, propagandists can more easily spread falsehoods into the information space, as was the case last year. Using them, they want to obtain certain information, discredit Ukrainians, or lure money under the guise of well-known names with a good reputation.

Fake Together with weapons, Western countries send soldiers to Ukraine

The Russian media are massively spreading the news that American analysts “counted” Western volunteers participating in the war in Ukraine. The news claims that “the West is not only providing weapons, but also sending the military”. It's fake.

All this “news” refers to an article by The Washington Post, from which it is obvious that Western countries not only do not send their soldiers to Ukraine, but will also have a lot of problems in the future with people who voluntarily left to defend Ukraine. Firstly, because of the laws of some European countries that prohibit fighting for money in other armies (it is also prohibited in the USA). Secondly, the journalists of the American edition, after talking with volunteers, came to the conclusion that many of them ended up at the front, because their own states could not provide their veterans with the necessary level of support. That is, it is obvious that all these people went to war for personal reasons and no one “sent” them to Ukraine.

In addition, the article indicates the approximate numbers of warring foreigners - from 1,000 to 3,000, since the beginning of the war, about 1,000 were wounded, one hundred died.

All these data are approximate, the journalists could not get official data. But some Russian publications began to write that “out of 20,000 foreigners in Ukraine, only 3,000 remained”. This is another fiction: the figure of 20,000 volunteers and volunteers at the beginning of the war was voiced by representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, who claimed that approximately the same number of people responded to the call to defend Ukraine. In fact, this figure has never been confirmed by anyone. The Washington Post writes that most people who came to Ukraine have already returned home, but it is not known exactly how many of them.

Russian propaganda constantly speculates on the topic of foreign volunteers: since the beginning of the war, it has written that almost no one has come to Ukraine. Then, especially during the defeats at the front, the Russian media began to write that only foreigners were fighting against the Russians in Ukraine, and they were defeating the Russian army. The last such fake was spread by representatives of the illegal DNR group, claiming that it was foreigners who were fighting against them in Bakhmut. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to convince the audience that Russia is fighting against NATO countries, and not against Ukraine. Although in any article devoted to foreign volunteers in Ukraine, it is immediately emphasized that the number of Ukrainian military is such that a thousand or even three thousand foreign volunteers cannot significantly affect the situation at the front.

Manipulation Serhii Prytula's Fund announced another collection of money, inflating the cost of one armored personnel carrier by 2.5 times

Pro-Russian telegram channels write that volunteers have announced another “muddy collection” for British Spartan armored personnel carriers. It seems that the purpose of raising funds is not the purchase of armored personnel carriers for the Ukrainian army, but the desire for profit. Like, Serhii Prytula announced that it is necessary to collect 200 million hryvnia for 50 cars, but in fact they will cost about 58 million. This is not true.

Detector Media received a comment from the Prytula’s Fund regarding car purchases. As the volunteers explained, Spartan armored personnel carriers will be bought from warehouses in the UK. The need to purchase was agreed with the military command. The choice was influenced by several factors: technical condition, price, sufficient quantity in warehouses and logistics. The Fund also explained that the amount of the fee, in addition to the cost of the armored personnel carriers themselves, includes their pre-sale preparation, transportation, and customs clearance. Also, the amount of the fee includes the training of the Ukrainian military by British instructors.

Russian propaganda is systematically trying to discredit the work of Ukrainian volunteers. Earlier, propagandists wrote that Ukrainian volunteers “cynically collect money” during Russian attacks and tried to convince them that it makes no sense to donate to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and help volunteers.

Message There is no point in donating to the Armed Forces and helping volunteers

Pro-Russian Telegram channels spread this information to discredit Ukrainian volunteers. Voluntary donations won't allegedly save the country, whose economy is bursting at the seams, and foreign partners are in no hurry to support it. In this way, Russian propaganda promotes another message - Ukraine isn't supported in the West.

Propagandists suggest buying gas stoves, firewood, and generators instead of donating to the army because this will allegedly help "as soon as tomorrow." The fact that it is necessary to prepare for winter doesn't exclude the need for help from the army. Artificial confrontation is one of the common tactics of propagandists. Moreover, propaganda writes that donations of 200-300-400 hryvnias "only create an emotional background," but any amount of help is important, saves lives, and helps the Ukrainian army. One of the reasons for the active discrediting of the volunteer movement was the record collection of funds for the purchase of drones for the Ukrainian army. At first, the propagandists accused Serhiy Prytula and Serhiy Sternenko of "cynically collecting money" during the attacks. Then began a wave of discrediting the actual drones that were planned to be purchased. Both their cost and technical characteristics were manipulated in the messages. In this way, the propagandists tried to show the allegedly dishonest work of Ukrainian volunteers and the ineffectiveness of spending the collected funds. Moreover, propagandists often manipulate the topic of reporting in the work of volunteers; allegedly, not all reports on the purchase of equipment or certain devices for the army can be made public through social networks because the enemy can use this information. However, propagandists manipulate emotions by leaving facts out of context. Since 2014, the Ukrainian volunteer movement has supported the Ukrainian army significantly. That is why propagandists try in every possible way to devalue and discredit the work of volunteers. More details.

Message Ukrainian volunteers "cynically collect money" during Russian attacks

The message was widely distributed by pro-Russian Telegram channels as a reaction to the announcement of the joint meeting of Serhii Prytula and Serhii Sternenko, which was joined by other volunteer initiatives.

Propagandists claim that the volunteers are allegedly using the attack on Ukraine to get more money for themselves or for what the West is already giving Ukraine for free.

In fact, as reported by Serhii Prytula, Ukrainian volunteers prematurely announced the fundraising for RAM II kamikaze drones scheduled for October 12. In the post, Prytula also argued for the need to purchase such weapons for the Ukrainian army.

Ukrainians once again demonstrated their resistance to Russian propaganda and disinformation. When Russia was massively shelling almost all of Ukraine with missiles, despite the lack of electricity and interruptions to the Internet, Ukrainians actively sent donations for weapons for the Ukrainian army. As of the morning of October 11, the number of fees exceeded 276 million hryvnias, the final amount hasn`t been announced yet.

Russian propaganda systematically tries to discredit the work of volunteers who significantly help the army. Previously, propaganda massively spread fakes about the purchase by the Serhii Prytula Foundation of "People's Satellite" for 600 million hryvnias.

Manipulation Ukrainians stopped "falling back" on the army

Such messages are distributed in anonymous Telegram channels. They said that the only source of funds for charitable funds remained "earners", but they also transfer meager amounts. It does not.

In the messages, propagandists deliberately manipulate information that cannot be verified and unequivocally refuted without detailed financial reports of charitable foundations, which are not freely available. Since 2014, Ukrainian volunteers have been reporting that funds are not being received in their accounts, and the amount of aid varies every month. It depends on many circumstances. However, Ukrainians constantly help the army through official and personal initiatives.

Banks introduced the possibility of automatic transfer of cashback to the accounts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, transfer through rounding of the balance on a bank card, and other projects. Before a birthday, users of social networks post details of volunteer accounts and ask friends to make a transfer of any available amount instead of a personal gift. Even children are involved in fundraising for the Armed Forces, using their talents or skills. Many Ukrainians did go abroad after the start of the full-scale invasion, but they also volunteer for the Armed Forces. In general, both large volunteer foundations ("Serhiy Prytula Foundation", "Return alive", "Army SOS" and others) and individual volunteers constantly report on meeting the needs of the military. This shows that Ukrainians do not stop helping their defenders.