Spilnota Detector Media

Message NATO assistance to Ukraine only embitters Russia

Pro-Kremlin resources, citing ex-US Army officer Douglas McGregor, are disseminating information that Western military assistance to Ukraine in no way affects the situation in the war, but only allegedly kills the civilian population.

In fact, Western weapons demonstrate high effectiveness in the hands of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in repelling Russian armed aggression. In particular, after resuming the supply of weapons and obtaining permission to use them on the territory of the Russian Federation in the Kharkiv region, it was possible to stop the offensive potential of the invaders. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. In addition, air defense systems provided by partners successfully repel terrorist missile and drone attacks of the Russian Federation.

Douglas McGregor himself, to whom propagandists refer, in 2014 justified the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of Donbas. And after the start of a full-scale invasion, he predicted the rapid defeat of Ukraine, which eloquently testifies not only to his views, but also to the quality of his “expertise”.

Disclosure Russia floods the West with disinformation

Journalist for the American online publication The Washington Post, Lee Hockstader, claims that Russia began actively spreading disinformation in Europe even on the eve of the European Parliament elections. In his column, Hockstader writes that in 2022, Europe was already experiencing a large-scale Russian disinformation operation: “The Moscow-controlled organization cloned the websites of newspapers, magazines and news services, including the British Guardian and the German Bild, posted copies under similar domain names and filled them with Kremlin”.

The main attacks of Russian disinformation are directed against Ukraine: “A website posing as the French Ministry of Defense announced that 200 thousand French recruits will be sought for service in Ukraine. A prominent German TV journalist known as a “Putin expert” and Moscow sympathizer was found to have received more than $600,000 from a Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire”.

Russia's war against Ukraine has removed obstacles to Moscow's use of various disinformation tools. The United States may face a similar or even greater challenge this fall on the eve of the presidential election. If Europe does not respond to this challenge, Hockstader said, which is looking increasingly likely, then the picture will look even bleaker in some places. Particularly in the United States, where dysfunctional policies and First Amendment protections make tracking Russian mischief even more difficult.

Fake Ukraine allegedly sold more land to foreign companies than it lost

European Parliament member Mick Wallace expressed disappointment that, in his opinion, Europeans in Ukraine bought more land than Russian troops captured in the east of the country. He accused the West of turning Ukraine into a colony, pointing to reform of land laws that allowed foreigners to purchase agricultural land. His statement was quickly picked up by the Russians. However, the facts show that the information is false.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this fake. They note that the Law on the Land Market in Ukraine was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on March 31, 2020, but according to it, foreigners do not have the right to buy agricultural land. This is confirmed by Serhii Datsiv, senior lawyer at Integrites. He noted that the lifting of restrictions could become the subject of an all-Ukrainian referendum. It is now impossible to predict when this will happen due to the martial law in the country.

During the two years of operation of the land market from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2023, Ukraine sold only 1% of agricultural land that was previously under a moratorium on sales. According to the Geodetic Service of Ukraine, as of May 2024, 307,966 land plots with a total area of 677,982 hectares were sold.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine among Western partners and create distrust of the government’s actions among Ukrainians. They say that there is almost no country left because all its land was sold off.

Message The West allegedly organized protests in Georgia to make it a “second front” of the war against Russia

Propagandists began publishing a large number of messages according to which the next target of the “Western curators” plan is Georgia. And the plan, in their words, is to “ignite another conflict in the Russian sphere of influence,” but Georgia “was not affected” even despite the “disorder in the streets”, which was “orchestrated by the West”. And because of this, the EU is allegedly threatening to freeze funding for Georgia or terminate its European integration.

Specialists from the EUvsDisinfo project drew attention to this message. They found that propagandists are trying to portray popular protests against Georgia's “foreign agent” law as Western “color revolutions”, making similar events seem like a thing of the past. However, these demonstrations arise from genuine dissatisfaction among Georgian citizens over a controversial law reminiscent of the crackdown imposed in Russia. Critics fear the law could restrict freedom of expression and association, jeopardizing Georgia's democratic aspirations. European and international leaders condemned the law and authorities' crackdown on protesters, noting its potential incompatibility with EU democratic standards, which could stall Georgia's path to European Union integration. The significant number of protesters gathered across the country underscores the depth of public opposition to the law, reminiscent of similar protests that forced the government to withdraw legislation in the past. But even despite them, the government still passed the law.

Propagandists spread such messages to discredit Western states and try to regain Russian influence in Georgia. They say that Georgia is on the path with “traditional values”, and not with Europe.

Fake How a mistake by a Western TV channel formed the basis of a Russian fake

Pro-Kremlin media, citing the British television channel SkyNews, disseminated information that the rate of production of artillery ammunition in Russia is three times higher than that of all Western countries combined. In turn, SkyNews referred to data from the consulting company Bain & Company. According to “forecasts”, the Russian Federation will produce about 4.5 million artillery shells in 2024, while the United States and European countries will produce a total of approximately 1.3 million.

However, this information is not true. The head of the Conflict Intelligence Team, Ruslan Leviev, pointed out the mistake of the consulting company and, as a result, the British television channel that trusted its assessment:

“The problem is that they [the Bain & Company analysts. - ed.] name the number of shells that the USA and Europe will make, they are talking about shells of the same caliber, the main one is 155 mm. And when they say that Russia will produce 4.5 million of its shells, they count all artillery shells, that is, the main 152 mm, and some kind of 122 mm rocket, and all other shells too”.

Russian propagandists did not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the mistake of Western analysts to exaggerate Russia's production capabilities in the manufacture of shells.

Fake Fake story about the funeral business in Ukraine

Russian resources are distributing a story on behalf of the BBC that allegedly Bellingcat journalists found out the following: “The funeral business in Ukraine was monopolized by a company whose main shareholder is the personal eccentric of Hunter Biden, the second son of Joe Biden”.

However, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. In fact, this story is another fake by Russian propagandists. There are no materials on this topic on the official Bellingcat pages. In addition, there is no corresponding story on the official BBC resources.

This is not the first time that Russian propaganda has spread its fake news on behalf of reputable Western publications in an attempt to give them more credibility. All fake videos have similar templates using international media graphics and captions without voiceover of the text. Previously, we analyzed a similar video fake on behalf of the same BBC about the Bellingcat investigation, in which journalists allegedly found out that the head of the Presidential Executive Office Andrii Yermak paid $27 million for a place in Time’s ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Fake The alleged cover of The Economist with the ex-Minister of Defense of Russia

Russian telegram channels are distributing an alleged cover of The Economist magazine with the image of former Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu. The “cover” bears the title “The Last 120 Days” and the message adds that “the final phase of the conflict has already begun”. Propagandists claim that the magazine allegedly published material about decisive events that will lead to Russian victory in the coming months. In fact, this is a fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that on the official website of the magazine in the All Issues section there is no issue with a picture of Shoihu. Additionally, there is no publication date on the cover. Russian and pro-Russian outlets began circulating the cover on May 14, although The Economist did not publish any new issues that day. The covers for May 4, 11, and 18 are significantly different from the fake ones, and the topics in these issues do not concern ending the war “in 120 days” or any other time frame. This image of Shoihu is also missing from The Economist's social networks.

In addition, a link to the telegram channel “The Economist” was added to the fake message. This channel is not the official channel of The Economist, since the publication does not have a telegram channel at all. The fake channel imitates the British publication, copying its description and logo.

This is not the first time Russians have used Western brands to spread misinformation. They take the name of a Western publication, its logo, and through fake photos and videos they promote narratives that are beneficial to Russia. The authority of the publication gives information to fictitious “legitimacy” and creates the impression that supposedly even Western journalists recognize the inevitability of Ukraine’s defeat.

Fake Foreign companies allegedly bought 40% of agricultural land

Propagandists are disseminating information from an article, now deleted from the Australian National Review, about the sale of 40% of Ukrainian agricultural land in 2021 to Western companies Cargill, Monsanto and Dupont. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They explained that from January 1, 2024, the land market in Ukraine began its work, and the second stage of land reform continues. Now not only individuals, but also companies can buy land, and the limit on this has been increased to 10 thousand hectares. But at both the first and second stages of land reform, the purchase of land by foreign companies is prohibited. Even Ukrainian agricultural holdings with foreign beneficiaries do not have access to the Ukrainian land market. Foreigners (individuals) can inherit agricultural plots, but cannot use them, and these plots are subject to alienation within a year.

Media Bias/Fact Check categorizes the Australian National Review as a conspiracy theorist and pseudoscientific source that spreads false claims. The publication also refers to an article by the French publication Ritimo, but it does not contain any information about the purchase of Ukrainian lands by Cargill, Monsanto and Dupont. Moreover, Monsanto ceased to exist in 2018 when it was acquired by Bayer.

Propagandists spread such disinformation to intimidate the Ukrainian population and hit a trigger for many people, reinforcing the message about external control. They say there is a war in the country, but allegedly the country itself has already been sold. 

Fake Western partners may accuse Zelenskyi of usurping power

Anonymous people are disseminating information, allegedly an expert on constitutional law at the Center for Political and Legal Reforms (CPLR), Andrii Mahera, told Deutsche Welle that due to the refusal to hold presidential elections in Ukraine, Western partners may accuse Zelenskyi of usurping power. It's a lie.

VoxCheck experts came to the conclusion that in comments to Deutsche Welle, Mr. Andrii Mahera does not mention Western partners and their opinions on the legality of Zelenskyi’s tenure at all.

In the material, the expert also explained that, according to Article 108 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the powers of the president do not terminate upon expiration of the term; he remains in office until the inauguration of the next head of state. It will be possible to choose a new president only after the end of the war.

Former Constitutional Court judge Mykola Melnyk pointed out that although the Constitution does not directly prohibit holding presidential elections during martial law, this norm is specified in the current law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”.

Mahera also confirmed this opinion, noting that under martial law, some constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, may be limited.

Message The West is allegedly helping Ukraine create a worldwide nuclear disaster

Propaganda telegram channels write that the West, together with Kyiv, are allegedly trying to shift the blame for dangerous incidents at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to Russia. And that in this way they only confirm their involvement in these provocations.

In fact, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. The Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, Serhii Kyslytsia, at a meeting of the Security Council rejected accusations from Russia that Ukraine could cause a nuclear disaster: “Someone believes that a country that is still recovering from a major nuclear disaster would like a repeat of Chernobyl in 1986? This is an idea that could only have occurred to Kremlin propagandists, because only Kremlin propagandists openly dream of radioactive dust replacing Ukrainian cities”.

In addition, according to the chairman deputy of the Board of National Atomic Power Generating Company Energoatom Petro Kotin, due to the incompetence of the personnel recruited by the occupiers, the necessary repairs and inspections are not carried out in full at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. In particular, this is why equipment failures are recorded, which significantly worsens the safety situation.

Accusing the Russians of Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and promoting this disinformation at the level of the UN and the Russian Foreign Ministry is part of the Kremlin’s nuclear terrorism. At the same time, in this way propagandists discredit Ukraine and throw another “argument” into the information space to justify aggression, which sounds like “protection from terrorism on the part of Ukraine”. Read more about how Russia blurs reality by resorting to rhetoric about the “Ukrainian trace” in various troubles in Russia or even the world here.

Manipulation Zelenskyi allegedly promised Western countries to bomb Krasnodar

Russian resources are disseminating information that the President of Ukraine promised the West that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will use long-range weapons provided by partner countries only against targets in territories that Ukraine considers its own. However, according to a recent presidential decree, the list of “ours” now allegedly also includes one area (krai) and five regions of Russia, propagandists say.

In fact, this information is distorted, as reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Zelenskyi’s decree on the territories of Russia historically inhabited by Ukrainians concerns exclusively the protection of the national rights of Russian citizens of Ukrainian ethnic origin, but propagandists pass it off as a demonstration of “territorial claims”.

The weapons transferred by partners are used exclusively to defeat Russian targets in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. The Defense Forces are destroying objects on Russian territory by Ukrainian-made weapons.

By manipulating information, in this case, Russian propaganda seeks to mobilize Russians for war against Ukraine and the “collective West”, resorting to demonization. Propagandists also want to intimidate Ukraine’s Western partners with “escalation” from Russia in order to disrupt further assistance. Previously, we denied information that NATO countries would try to capture “six Russian regions”.

Manipulation The West allegedly wants to give Ukraine German long-range Taurus missiles for terrorist attacks in Russia

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that NATO has decided to move on to terrorist attacks and sabotage in the Russian rear using long-range Taurus cruise missiles. In asserting this, the propaganda media refers to the Russian “expert” Ivannikov.

In fact, this information is distorted. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Germany is not transferring Taurus missiles to Ukraine due to fears that it will use them to attack Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained that in order to prevent missiles from hitting the wrong targets, it was necessary to involve German specialists in programming the missiles. “A Taurus with a range of 500 kilometers, if used incorrectly, can reach a specific target somewhere in Moscow. I initially clearly said: there will be no German or NATO soldiers in Ukraine... And my position remains unchanged”, Scholz said.

With such rhetoric, Russia seeks to create an image of a victim, saying that “the provoking West is to blame for everything”, so it is forced to “defend itself”. Previously, we analyzed information that Germany allegedly transferred 1,000 laptops to Ukraine instead of long-range Taurus missiles.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “Anglo-Saxons”

About 1600 years ago, Germanic tribes migrated to the British Isles. Today these tribes are known as the Anglo-Saxons. In the terminology of Russian propaganda, this word is used in relation to the British, residents of Great Britain, Americans, Australians, Canadians and representatives of other nations who speak English. Moreover, the term “Anglo-Saxons” designates English-speaking Westerners specifically as “evil”, “warlike”, and “morally corrupt”. “Arrogant Saxons” is a word with the same meaning as “Anglo-Saxons”, but with an additional emphasis on the supposed arrogance, rudeness and insolence of citizens of Western countries.

In November 2021, the press secretary of the Russian President Pieskov, commenting on publications in the American press that Russia was preparing an invasion of Ukraine, said that “the Anglo-Saxon media are whipping up hysteria”. In January 2022, Pieskov again resorted to similar rhetoric: “The Anglo-Saxons, of course, are significantly increasing tension on the European continent. Here we Europeans have something to think about”. In these two cases, one can trace the tactics of reflection typical of Russian propaganda, used, in particular, to divert attention from the real state of affairs.

In 2022, while presenting the World Cup match between England and the USA, a “journalist” from a Russian TV channel called British football players “arrogant Saxons”,  thus demonstrating his disrespect for them. And he did it twice in half a minute. It is not surprising in fact, because a few months earlier in the mentioned incident, the same “journalist-TV presenter” called the Polish football players who refused to play with Russia in the selection for the 2022 World Cup “vile creatures”. It is significant that he said this with a “Z” symbol on the T-shirt - a symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The use of the words “Anglo-Saxons” or “arrogant-Saxons” serves to reinforce narratives of supposedly Western imperialism and interventionism, portraying these countries as orchestrators of events or policies that harm Russia and perhaps even its allies. That is, the “Anglo-Saxon world” in the minds of Russian propaganda is trying to conquer and dominate.

Contrasting the Western community and Russians, propaganda also resorts to the term “Westerns”. As a negative universal term, the word “Anglo-Saxons” is also widely used by propagandists in the context of conspiracy theories. The Detector Media has a section with the appropriate name, the materials of which can be viewed here.

Manipulation Kuleba allegedly said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would lay down their arms if Western aid ceased

Pro-Russian media disseminated manipulative messages that the Ukrainian military-political leadership allegedly does not have a backup plan in case of the end of aid from the allies. In asserting this, Russian propaganda refers to a statement by the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in which he allegedly “recognized the absence of a plan B” in Ukraine in case the “military support for Ukraine from the countries of the collective West is completely stopped or reduced so the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be forced to stop fighting”.

This information is not true. Answering a question from a CNN journalist about how Ukraine will resist Russian aggression if financial and military assistance from allied countries is delayed, Kuleba noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will, in any case, continue to repel the Russian occupiers. Fact-checkers from the StopFake project write about this.

“We don’t have a plan B, we are confident in plan A - Ukraine will always fight with the resources it has”, Kuleba said in an interview with CNN. The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also added that any officials who think that Putin will never dare to attack a NATO country if the Kremlin “sees the possibility of victory” in Ukraine are deeply mistaken. If Russian aggression expands beyond Ukraine, democratic countries will pay much more than the Russian-Ukrainian war, so Ukraine is confident in the support of its allied countries, Kuleba concluded.

Disinformation is spread by Russian propaganda as part of promoting the narrative about the “West prolonging” the war in Ukraine. They say that Western countries benefit from this war, since it exhausts Russia, which continues to pursue its imperialist dreams. In addition, the West supposedly has the opportunity to test existing weapons at a “testing ground in Ukraine”, and also, if necessary, modernize them and replenish stocks with new weapons and military equipment. In fact, it was Russia that started the bloody war in Ukraine and it is it who continues it, and not the collective West, because it sees a certain benefit in it for itself.

Message Ukrainian air defense seems to be about to end

After each massive shelling of Ukraine, Russian propagandists claim that Ukrainian air defense is almost running out. They say this is due to the destruction of Western air defense systems by Russian “kinzhals” and the shortage of ammunition for them.

The Center for Strategic Communications at the National Security and Defense Council writes that in fact, air defense systems in Ukraine successfully destroy the majority of Russian missiles and UAVs, including hypersonic “daggers”. This is confirmed by the fact that ten out of ten “daggers” launched into Kyiv on the morning of January 2 were shot down. Ukrainian air defense is capable of repelling massive attacks using various types of weapons (ballistic and cruise missiles, kamikaze drones, etc.). Moreover, the protection of Ukrainian skies is constantly strengthened through cooperation with Ukraine’s international partners. In this regard, Russia is nervous and is trying to pass off wishful thinking.

The purpose of promoting such a message is to sow panic among the population of Ukraine in the face of new Russian shelling and despondency among Ukrainian defenders. Previously, we analyzed the message of Russian propaganda that all air defense systems seemed to be installed in Kyiv, so other cities of Ukraine are not protected.

Fake The West allegedly confirmed that expectant mothers are being “mobilized” in Ukraine

Telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric disseminate information that pregnant women are being “mobilized” in Ukraine. At the same time, they refer to “material from a foreign journalist” in support of their theses. It is not true.

The VoxCheck analysts investigated the case and found out that the author of the material was not a “foreign journalist” at all, but was in fact a Russian propagandist. Accordingly, the content of the “journalistic text” is untrue and deceitful. Moreover, the material itself was published in the Bangladeshi edition of Weekly Blitz. As experts explained, the editor-in-chief of this publication worked as the chief correspondent of the Kremlin TASS agency in Bangladesh.

At the same time, the text of the Russian propagandist is filled with Kremlin narratives regarding Ukraine: both about the mobilization of women; or about the hated “Kyiv regime” and the “collective West”.

Russian propaganda is once again speculating on the topic of “mobilization of women”.  But only doctors and pharmacists must register with the military from October 1, 2023; however, military registration does not mean mobilization or the establishment of restrictions on travel abroad. The Ministry of Health notes: registration is necessary only to summarize data on the existing reserve of doctors in the country. The travel of this category of women is unlimited. To register for military service, this category of women will have three years - until December 31, 2026.

Manipulation Ukrainians don’t seem to want peace

Russian media are interpreting the results of a sociological survey among Ukrainians in their own way, claiming that “Ukrainians do not need peace” and that “Ukrainians are drawn to battle”, even without the help of the West.

Such reports focus on the fact that if these results were true, then “Ukrainians in a single patriotic impulse” would daily storm their territorial recruitment centers to enroll as soldiers and, singing, go to the front to beat the “damned Russians”. Thus, the narrative is again put forward that Ukraine is ready to fight “until the last Ukrainian”.

The StopFake specialists found out that the manipulation was created on the basis of an opinion poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). It showed that the majority of Ukrainians believe that with the necessary help from the West, Ukraine can confront Russia and achieve an acceptable result. 87% of respondents expressed support for this statement.

At the same time, two strategies were proposed for Ukraine in case of a significant decrease in Western support: stopping hostilities while maintaining control over existing territories and receiving serious security guarantees from the West, or continuing military operations to put pressure on the Russian occupiers at the risk of Ukrainian-controlled territories. The results showed that 58% of respondents are now inclined to believe that even with a significant reduction in aid, the West should continue military action to put pressure on the occupiers, albeit at risk to controlled territories.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to shift responsibility for their actions from the aggressor to the victim of aggression, without mentioning that it was Russia that started the war against Ukraine.

Manipulation Ukraine allegedly wants to refuse supplies of Western weapons

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say Ukraine is ready to give up Western weapons “due to supply difficulties”. The messages refer to material from The Wall Street Journal. This is manipulation.

Analysts from the StopFake project investigated this case and found that the WSJ material did not claim that Ukraine abandoned Western weapons precisely because of “supply difficulties”. This is an invention of Russian propaganda, because the leading theme of the material is how Ukraine, with the help of Western partners, intends to establish its own weapons production. Actually, the point is that Ukraine wants to start producing more of its own weapons. “Restoring Ukraine’s arms industry could help ensure the country’s long-term security and stimulate its economy, officials say”, the author adds.

That is, the material discussed the prospects for the development of our own weapons production and what caused this. At the same time, propagandists distorted the theses in their own way.

Using quotes from public figures, journalists, military officers, politicians and allegedly quoting Western publications, Russian propaganda is trying to convince consumers of disinformation of the authenticity of such an expression. Like, if a journalist from a foreign publication said this himself, he can be trusted, because he is an authoritative source although the authors do not explain how reliable the information presented in the manipulative publication is. This is how propagandists use the tactic of appealing to authority.

Fake Volodymyr Zelenskyi seemed to “criticize” Western partners in a telephone conversation with Olena Zelenska

An audio telephone conversation is being distributed on social networks in the Russian segment, in which Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly criticizes Ukraine’s allies in a conversation with Olena Zelenska. He allegedly claims that his allies are forcing him to fight corruption in the country, but without corruption the presidential administration will supposedly collapse, because “everyone in Ukraine is stealing now”. The messages refer to The Intel Drop. However, this is a lie.

The VoxCheck specialists were able to analyze the case, explaining that the “primary source” of the recording is indeed The Intel Drop - this publication publishes anti-Ukrainian materials containing disinformation or manipulative theses. Moreover, the site quotes statements of Russian politicians. That is, the recording of the “telephone conversation” between Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Olena Zelenska was compiled. Despite the fact that the Ukrainian language is supposedly spoken during the conversation, the characters make numerous spelling and grammatical errors and mostly use Russian words.

For example, such Ukrainian words as “finished”, “wink”, “homeland”, “you understand”  in the interpretation of the hero who pretended to be Volodymyr Zelenskyi were pronounced like Russian ones. And here are Olena Zelenska’s alleged phrases: “it’s in their interests that you wink”, “impossible”, “I understand”. Both the first lady and the Ukrainian president speak Ukrainian at a high level.

Manipulation It’s supposedly time for the Western world to admit Ukraine’s defeat in the war against Russia

Pro-Kremlin resources are spreading information that the West has finally realized that Russia is not going to lose the war to Ukraine. Propagandists also claim that Western countries allegedly realize that they cannot compete with Russia in the production of weapons. In its publications, Russian propaganda refers to an article entitled “It’s time to end magical thinking about Russia’s defeat” by the online newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers from the StopFake project processed this information. They managed to find out that propagandists disseminate only those theses that confirm the narrative that is favorable to them about Russia’s military and economic achievements. In addition, the Russians are distorting the true content of the mentioned WSJ article. For example, the conclusion that the West is unable to compete with Russia in either the volume or quality of weapons production is based on a single phrase in the WSJ article that Russia produces more artillery shells than the West. That is, we are talking about only one type of ammunition, and the quality of the product is not mentioned at all.

The most important thing, as the authors of the article emphasize, is that “contrary to all forecasts, Ukraine withstood the Russian attack, and in less than two years, wiped out an entire decade of Russian military modernization”.

The authors of the material on the WSJ also believe that the West responded quite effectively to the immediate challenges caused by a full-scale invasion, and provided Ukraine with modern weapons and intelligence data in real time, as well as the development of sanctions packages against Russia. It should be noted that the article also says that the war is dragging on, and therefore Ukraine’s allies do not have the right to rely on “magical thinking” that Ukraine will soon win and peace will come. Rather, the authors write, we should move to long-term strategies to combat Russia. Detector Media also previously denied information that the West allegedly revealed the map of its plans, where there is almost no Ukraine.

Manipulation A journalist from the British publication The Telegraph allegedly criticizes the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the “misuse” of Western technology

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks are publishing an article by the author of the British publication The Telegraph, Lewis Page, claiming that he allegedly writes about the misuse of Western equipment by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) during the counteroffensive. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that such an article by The Telegraph really exists, and its author actually writes about the difficulties of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but does not claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are using Western equipment incorrectly. The article notes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is a difficult task. The author rather criticizes Western experts who say that “properly used” Western tanks will help quickly end the war.

The article also reveals some facts about the supply of tanks to Ukraine, noting that as of August 2023, only a limited number of tanks had been transferred. The journalist adds that criticism of the use of Western equipment by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is unfair, since the West has limited the use of equipment for attacks on Russian territory and delayed the supply of tanks to Ukraine. The article notes the success of the Ukrainian army in conditions of limited access to Western equipment and reveals the essence of the circumstances that determined the development of the situation at the front.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to create a myth that Western media consider the Armed Forces of Ukraine to be insufficiently competent compared to the Russian army. They say that this is why the peoples of Western countries must resist military aid for Ukraine. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted fakes and manipulations of Russian propaganda directed against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Message The West organizes a coup against Zelenskyi

Russian media are spreading information that the West is planning to carry out a coup in Ukraine and wants to deprive Zelenskyi of power. The authors explain: on November 1, 2023, the British edition of The Economist “not without reason” published an article by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi and an interview with him - supposedly the West is trying to show its commitment to Zaluzhnyi, and not to Zelenskyi. After all, on October 30, 2023, the American magazine Time dedicated the cover of its new issue and an article to the Ukrainian president. “No one believes in our victory as much as I do. The lonely struggle of Volodymyr Zelensky”,  said the cover. In fact, the authors of the propaganda correspondence explain that the West is hinting at the “mediocrity” of the Ukrainian president.

Specialists from the EU vs Disinfo project investigated the case and explained that this is a typical conspiracy theory that has no confirmation. Such theses are aimed only at undermining the authority of Zelenskyi, who is allegedly losing the support of the West. And nothing indicates that Zaluzhnyi’s interview once shows the West’s “favor” for the commander-in-chief.

Detector Media analysts analyzed materials from The Times and The Economist - one  can read about it here. In short, the article about Zelenskyi contains manipulative signs, because “all betrayal goes through the stamp of anonymity”. And Russian propaganda  really gloated about this, explaining by this the so-called incompetence of the Ukrainian president.

Fake In Vinnytsia, a fire allegedly broke out at “weapon depots from the West” on November 9

Such information was disseminated on social networks, in particular, on anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that on November 9, 2023, a fire broke out in Vinnytsia, allegedly at “NATO weapons” warehouses. The authors add to the messages that Zelenskyi allegedly did not turn on the air raid sirens in the Vinnytsia region, and the air defense did not work. It is not true.

In Vinnytsia on the evening of November 9, a large-scale fire broke out in warehouses where laminate flooring was stored. This was reported by the Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of the Vinnytsia region. At 22:40 the fire was localized.

This is how the authors try to dispel the thesis about their “irresistible technology”, which is ready to destroy everyone, and as confirmation of this they give an example of “shelling” an object with ammunition. Although it was a fire, experts localized it.

In our Newspeak section we described the Russian phenomenon of “irresistible technology”. In short, this is how the Russians try to convince the domestic audience of constant victories.

Fake Dmytro Kuleba, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, is blackmailing the West to increase the supply of new weapons

Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, allegedly manipulates the topic of shelling of critical infrastructure. He declares that Ukraine is preparing for the “worst winter in history”, plays on the feelings of partners and thus seeks to increase aid. And Russia actually carried out “light strikes” on the heating and energy infrastructure in the fall and winter of 2022-2023. It is not true.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. Dmytro Kuleba gave an interview to Die Welt, where he said that Russia may start shelling critical infrastructure again. After all, Russian attacks are not fabrications or blackmail. On October 10, 2022, Russia launched massive missile strikes allegedly “in response to a Ukrainian attack” on an illegally built bridge across the Kerch Strait.

According to the UN, 42 out of 94 (45%) key high-voltage transformers in Ukraine were damaged or destroyed as a result of Russian missile attacks. In the fall and winter of 2022-2023, there will be almost no whole thermal and hydroelectric power plants left in Ukraine.

That is why Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview: “I bought dozens of candles. My father bought a truck full of firewood. We are preparing for the worst winter in history. Therefore, we will turn a blind eye if we do not get Taurus , but we do get air defense systems. We try to protect our power plants as best we can. But the Russians are learning. They will once again test our endurance with their missiles”.

In this way, Russian propagandists are trying to legitimize attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine and devalue the problems of our country. They are also trying to discredit Dmytro Kuleba, hoping that this will reduce Western support. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that there may be blackouts in Ukraine in November even without shelling.

Fake The West is “tired of driving Ukraine into debt”, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko said

This information was disseminated by pro-Kremlin media. In the messages, the authors wrote that the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance recognized “the West’s tiredness of driving Ukraine into debt”. Allegedly, this was stated by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine Serhii  Marchenko. The authors refer to material from the Reuters news agency following the meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Marrakech (Morocco). It's a lie.

The case was examined by analysts from the StopFake project. They found out that the quote about the “pit of debt” was completely made up. The head of the Ministry of Finance did not make such statements. At the same time, the Reuters story states that Serhii Marchenko told the meeting how it is becoming increasingly difficult for Ukraine to receive financial support as the attention of donor countries is now focused on their upcoming elections. And he added that as the war with Russia continues, Ukraine needs to enlist financial support from Western countries to cover the budget deficit of about $42 billion by 2024.

On October 17, 2023, in an interview with Ukrinform, the head of the Ministry of Finance noted that Ukraine really depends on international support because of Russian aggression, which is precisely what hinders the country’s economic development.

According to experts from the International Monetary Fund, despite the Russian-Ukrainian war, the financial system of Ukraine has survived. The IMF also acknowledged that the sharp economic downturn in 2022 has now given way to a gradual economic recovery. For example, Ukrainian GDP growth in 2023 increased to 1-3%, and the Central Bank's reserves strengthened.