Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Zaluzhnyi allegedly gave a “mysterious sign” after his resignation

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that a few days after the promulgation of the decree of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi on the resignation of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly sent an encrypted signal “to action”. In a photo distributed online, Zaluzhnyi allegedly depicted the letter “Z” with the index and middle fingers of both hands, which is a symbol of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

In fact, this information is not true. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. To create this fake, Russian propagandists manipulated the original photograph. On the social networks of the President of Ukraine on February 8, 2024, the day of Zaluzhnyi’s resignation, a photograph of a handshake between Zelenskyi and the now former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was published. This photo was what the Russians took as the basis for creating a fake one.

By distributing the edited photo, the Russians tried to mislead the Ukrainians. They say that General Zaluzhnyi either despaired of Ukraine’s victory, or was “offended” by Zelenskyi for being fired, so he decided to openly support Russian aggression. However, Zaluzhnyi’s “mysterious sign” is nothing more than a fiction of Russian propaganda. We previously reported that unknown persons created websites called “Zaluzhnyi 2024”, however, these resources are not actually associated with General Zaluzhnyi, and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have already been informed of their existence.

Disclosure Unknown people created websites called “Zaluzhnyi 2024”

The Internet advertises sites that are allegedly associated with the ex-commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. Resources are located on different domains and created by anonymous users.

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council reports that these sites are not associated with Zaluzhnyi, and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have already been informed of their existence. Probably, behind the creation of these online platforms are Russians who are striving to split Ukrainian society, which is why they use different means to achieve this.

The sites lead to anonymous telegrams that collect information about users, which in the future can be used against citizens of Ukraine. The Center warns against registering on these resources and asks you to trust only verified sources.

Message There is no point in changing the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as Ukraine seems to be losing the war anyway

Pro-Kremlin media write that the Ukrainian army seems to be unable to defeat Russia even after a change in military leadership. In asserting this, they refer to Oleh Soskin, a former adviser to the second President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.

Today, the Defense Forces continue to hold the front and repel attacks by Russian occupiers. To strengthen the Ukrainian army, new approaches and strategies are needed; this is precisely why the top leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been updated. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. It is too early to draw conclusions about the activities of the new military leadership and argue, in particular, that personnel changes in the army do not make sense, because the “reset team” has only just begun to fulfill its tasks.

Such statements by political scientists and other experts or pseudo-experts only nourish  panic among Ukrainians and play along with Russian narratives. Previously, we refuted the information that Germany allegedly created graffiti in which Zelenskyi is holding the bloody head of Zaluzhnyi in his hand.

Fake Investigators managed to record Zaluzhnyi’s secret conversations - a document

In the Russian segment of social networks, a document “transcript” of allegedly secretly listening to conversations between Valerii Zaluzhnyi and Oleksandr Syrskyi and Mykhailo Podoliak is being distributed. The transcripts of the conversations allegedly talk about criticism of the Ukrainian president and dissatisfaction with him. It's a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts took up the case and determined that the “groundwork” of the so-called investigators is not real, because, first of all, the documents published on anonymous telegram channels and from there were replicated by other resources. In the “transcripts” one can notice numerous errors, for example: in the text they wrote “relatively”, but it is correct to write “in relation to”. Also, Syrskyi’s surname was simultaneously written in both Ukrainian and Russian.

Or else the text is filled with classic Russian propaganda techniques: where Zelenskyi was called a “drug addict”, “comedian”, “clown”, etc.

That is, it is most likely that the text was created by the Kremlin’s henchmen and subsequently they distributed it on anonymous resources.

Fake In Germany, graffiti was allegedly created in which Zelenskyi holds the bloody head of Zaluzhnyi in his hand

Russian telegram channels are distributing a screenshot seemingly from the Instagram page of the German publication Deutsche Welle (DW) with an image of Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Chairman Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The screenshot shows provocative graffiti allegedly created by a group of Berlin artists of Sonice Development.

The Center for Countering Disinformation verified this “news” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and found out that it was a fake. Also, the relevant information is not available on the official pages of the DW newspaper, including on the website. In addition, Sonice Development creates its drawings in a different style, and there have been no mentions of this group of artists in the news since 2014.

By spreading this fake news, propagandists are pursuing the goal of discrediting Zelenskyi, as well as providing even greater publicity to the topic of the conflict that may exist between the current President of Ukraine and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Previously, Detector Media denied information that Ukrainian schools were allegedly campaigning for Zaluzhnyi as President of Ukraine.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly announced a “coup d’etat” after his “resignation”

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting Kremlin rhetoric distributed a video with Valerii Zaluzhnyi, in which he allegedly calls for a coup. The authors of the publication claim that these are natural actions of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because they are probably trying to remove him from office. It's a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts examined the video and found out that Valerii Zaluzhnyi did not make such statements, and the video was compiled using artificial intelligence technologies. According to a reverse Google search, propagandists used Zaluzhnyi’s address on the occasion of Armed Forces Day on December 6, 2023 to create a deepfake.

Also, the Kremlin is now instrumentalizing for its own needs the message about a likely change in the military leadership of Ukraine. After all, official communications from the state or a publication from the Ministry of Defense, several comments from officials and videos assured that this was not the case, in particular, Zaluzhnyi “was not fired”. And they also said that they would not “comment” on the stuffing of anonymous resources that they themselves legitimized. Now the Kremlin’s mouthpieces are circulating reports about the situation and demonstrating it as “undermining the Ukrainian agenda”. For example, Maryna Symonian, editor-in-chief of the propaganda television and radio company Russia Today, said that “chaos... is useful for Russia”. Read about it here. Thus, the Kremlin’s minions are trying to enrage the Ukrainian information space by talking about the failures of state communication around reports of Zaluzhnyi’s removal from the post of Commander-in-Chief.

Deepfakes remain an effective tool for spreading Russian propaganda. We have repeatedly analyzed such cases, for example, including other “statements” of Zaluzhnyi’s deepfakes. For example, on November 8, 2023, propagandists published a video with a deepfake of Zaluzhnyi, who called on Ukrainians to come to the main squares of their cities, and the military - not to obey “criminal orders of the authorities”.  Anonymous people use deepfake technology on many famous personalities; by distorting their faces, voices and facial expressions, they try to instill confidence in the audience in the “expressions” of the hero.

Among other things, we recommend reading in more detail about the use of artificial intelligence technologies, in particular deepfake ones, in spreading the pro-Kremlin agenda.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly created a petition for the “mobilization” of people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada

A video is being distributed on social networks where the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly says that he created a petition to “mobilize” people’s deputies. And also in the video, as he added, if by January 5, 2024 the petition does not gather a sufficient number of votes, Valerii Zaluzhnyi will supposedly “resign from office”. It's a lie.

The VoxCheck analysts looked into this stuff and explained that the video was compiled. The audio recording itself with the words about the creation of the petition was created using artificial intelligence, and then superimposed on an existing video of Zaluzhnyi. Also, on the website of the Office of the President or the Verkhovna Rada there are no petitions created by Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Using a special tool called AI Speech Classifier, experts were able to find out that with a 98% probability the audio recording was created using AI technologies.

Among other things, we recommend reading in more detail about the use of artificial intelligence technologies, in particular deepfake ones in spreading the pro-Kremlin agenda.

Fake The Russians allegedly destroyed the command bunker in Kyiv, in which Zaluzhnyi’s deputy was located

Propaganda telegrams disseminate such information. They say that on January 2, as a result of another massive missile attack by Russia on Ukraine, in particular Kyiv, the in-depth command post of the Defense Forces was destroyed. The Russians also report the death of nine Ukrainian generals, one of whom is allegedly deputy commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. However, this is fake.

This information has nothing to do with reality, but is just another fabrication of Russian propaganda. This was reported in the Office of Strategic Communications of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In addition, on the official telegram channel, the Stratcom Armed Forces of Ukraine are advised to use information from official sources.

The Russian full-scale invasion showed in the first weeks that the occupiers do not care what or who they shoot at - all the mythical “NATO bases and compounds” in Ukraine turn out to be ordinary residential high-rise buildings, hospitals, schools or even maternity hospitals. With this information dump, Russian propaganda seeks to legitimize the shelling of the Russian army and prove the “high accuracy of its missiles”, which we wrote about earlier.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly asked Zaluzhnyi to “leave the Armed Forces of Ukraine”

Users of social networks that spread pro-Russian rhetoric are distributing a video claiming that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly called on Commander-in-Chief Valerii  Zaluzhnyi to resign from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Allegedly, Zelenskyi said that Zaluzhnyi is involved in politics and elections. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. In fact, such statements are not true, but they are consistent with Russian propaganda narratives that there is a conflict between the president of Ukraine and the commander-in-chief. It has been spreading since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine and was accompanied, in particular, by the appearance of a deepfake with Valerii Zaluzhnyi, where he allegedly called Zelenskyi a traitor and called on the military to march on Kyiv. However, there were no statements by the president in which he blamed Zaluzhnyi, and especially with instructions for his dismissal. There were also no decrees on the dismissal of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the website of the President of Ukraine. On November 30, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, said on Radio Svoboda (Liberty) that the conflict described by Russian propaganda does not exist.

Propagandists spread such fake news to create distrust in the Ukrainian government and create the impression that the situation is not under control. They say that Ukraine is approaching failure due to internal contradictions among those in power. Detector Media has already repeatedly refuted other fakes about Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Fake Propaganda leaflets calling for people to vote for Zaluzhnyi are allegedly being distributed in Zhytomyr

On social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, photos of campaign leaflets calling for “voting” for the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi and against Volodymyr Zelenskyi are being distributed. The authors add that such leaflets are distributed in Zhytomyr. It's a lie.

Analysts from the VoxCheck project investigated this case and explained that these leaflets are not real, because not a single local or national media has received such news. At the same time, information about the campaigns was disseminated only on social networks in the Russian segment. Moreover, there can be no official campaign under martial law. The fact-checkers add that according to the law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law” it is prohibited to hold elections. And on November 6, Volodymyr Zelenskyi stated that there was “no time” to hold elections.

But the absence of an official propaganda campaign does not indicate that anyone, including the Kremlin’s minions, is ready to create such a leaflet using graphic editors and then create news about the “distribution” of propaganda. Analysts have not determined the authenticity of the photo itself.

We recently analyzed the message of Russian propaganda, where they claimed that the West is allegedly preparing a coup against Zelenskyi: and they want to put Valerii Zaluzhnyi in his place, who is supposedly more favorable to Western leaders. Such stories are generally intended to convince consumers of disinformation that there is a split in the military-political leadership of Ukraine.

Fake In Ukrainian schools, they are allegedly campaigning for Zaluzhnyi as President of Ukraine

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks claim that in Ukrainian schools there is campaigning for the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi for the post of President of Ukraine. They say this is confirmed by photographs where schoolchildren write on sheets of paper “Zaluzhnyi is our president” in classrooms with similar inscriptions on the board. However, this is fake.

The StopFake project specialists conducted an investigation and found that the photographs used for the fake were taken from the pages of Ukrainian users on social networks. However, they have been edited to add the necessary false inscriptions. One of the photographs was published on the volunteer page “Olia Olkyna” a few days before propaganda began distributing fake materials. In her message, she talked about volunteer activities in one of the schools, but nowhere did she mention Zaluzhnyi or campaigning for him. The real signatures on the photo, as it turned out, were in support of Ukraine, and not the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Propagandists spread such fakes to strengthen their false message about the conflict between individual representatives of the Ukrainian government. They say that a fierce struggle for the presidency has begun in Ukraine. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted a number of other fakes and manipulations aimed at personally discrediting Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly gave the order to prepare for defense between Mykolaiv and Odesa

Pro-Kremlin resources disseminated information that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly gave the order to begin preparations to repel enemy attacks between Mykolaiv and Odesa. He is allegedly confident that Russia is preparing a new offensive, which could potentially lead to the loss of Ukrainian territories. It's fake.

This case was processed by specialists from the BezBrekhni (No Lies) project. They found out that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not publish such information and could not do so, since such topics are secret. Also, the propagandists did not cite a single source, which indicates that the “news” was made up.

Russian propaganda nourishes the narrative that there is a conflict between Zaluzhnyi  and Zelenskyi, the military and political leadership, but in fact this assumption has never been confirmed. By spreading this type of disinformation, propagandists are trying to sow discord in Ukrainian society and demoralize it. Previously, we refuted the information that Valerii Zaluzhnyi was supposedly being dismissed.

Message A power struggle is allegedly unfolding in Ukraine

Russian Foreign Ministry representative Mariia Zakharova is promoting the narrative that turbulence in Ukraine is growing, and that election campaigns are even starting to gain power in the country. Officials and those in power allegedly do not take into account ordinary Ukrainians, many of whom are on the brink of survival, and think only about their own benefit.

This message was recorded by the Center for Countering Disinformation. Such statements from a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry are nothing more than an attempt to root the opinion in Ukrainian society about internal conflicts among the top leadership of Ukraine. On the other hand, propaganda resources continue to discredit the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and refer to the statement about the inappropriateness of elections in Ukraine under martial law. Finally, the enemy aims to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among the Ukrainian society regarding the possible course of action in the country, using one of the propaganda tactics.

Fake In Kyiv, to support the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi, they are allegedly recruiting extras for a rally

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric are disseminating information that protesters are allegedly being recruited in Kyiv for a rally in order to support the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. As proof, the manipulators share a fake screenshot, which was allegedly taken on a Ukrainian website for searching for various services. It's fake.

Experts from the Center for Countering Disinformation drew attention to this case. They point out that there are no such announcements on Ukrainian websites, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or anyone from the military leadership does not gather extras for events. Such statements are a series of falsehoods aimed at discrediting Valerii Zaluzhnyi, an attempt to create the erroneous impression that there is a split in the Ukrainian military-political leadership, and President Zelenskyi is trying in every possible way to get rid of the commander-in-chief because of the latter’s disloyalty.

A week ago, a deepfake was spreading on social networks, allegedly Valerii Zaluzhnyi called on the population of Ukraine to take to the squares of their cities, and the military not to obey “criminal orders of the authorities”. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine really did not make such an appeal and did not call for a military coup. At the same time, fake news appeared that the current Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umierov, recently proposed the dismissal of Valerii Zaluzhnyi. In response to this, Umierov responded that this was a fake. Shortly before this, swindlers created a fake telegram channel for Valerii Zaluzhnyi and sent out discreditable messages.

Disclosure Ukrainian military personnel recorded a video message to Zelenskyi and Zaluzhnyi with complaints about “senseless assaults” in Avdiivka

Pro-Russian resources began distributing a video in which supposedly Ukrainian military personnel, introducing themselves as fighters of the 3rd battalion of the 110th separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, complain to the President of Ukraine and the Commander-in-Chief about poor command and heavy losses in Avdiivka.

Fact-checkers of the StopFake project processed this case. They found out that the 110th separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces responded to this video and refuted it. On the brigade’s official Facebook page they write that the video is not of their Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers, but of occupiers dressed in Ukrainian uniforms. In addition, suspicion was also aroused by the fact that the “military man” who complained on behalf of the battalion did not name his company, unit, position, surname or call sign in this “appeal”, although the video was recorded with open faces.

Propagandists are trying to demoralize Ukrainian society by spreading fake news like this video. They do this cynically, insidiously and resort to peculiar methods. Previously, we refuted the information that allegedly Hamas representatives recorded a video in which they thanked Zelenskyi for providing the weapons.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi is dismissed

This information was spread in the pro-Kremlin media. Reports say that the current Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umierov, recently allegedly submitted a request to dismiss the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The authors of the publications refer to the Facebook post of Volodymyr Ariev, one of the people's deputies of Ukraine. However, this is not true.

On his pages in social networks, Rustem Umierov denied the fake: indeed, the People's Deputy posted information about the so-called resignation of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, but it does not correspond to reality and is not substantiated. In the end, the deputy referred to anonymous sources and did not provide any evidence. Later, Volodymyr Ariev deleted the publication on Facebook and apologized. But in another publication, he explained that he was deleting the post, because “currently, many sources say that this [submitting a petition to the Bid for dismissal] is not the case”.

In fact, Rustem Umierov confirmed on Facebook that it was a throw-in. But propaganda resources picked up the statement of the People's Deputy even before the publication was deleted and circulated it.

Let us remind you that earlier we documented a case in which we told how unknown people created a fake account of Valerii Zaluzhnyi in Telegram in order to spread messages of discrediting content.

Fake Zaluzhny recognized the failure of Ukraine in the war

Russian media reacted to the article by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, for foreign media, presenting individual quotes from him as evidence of the “failure of the Ukrainian army” on the battlefield and suggesting that he “announced the inevitable surrender” of Ukraine. However, this is a fake.

Specialists of the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Zaluzhnyi actually emphasized: Ukrainians in practice demonstrated their willingness to “put their soul and body down for their freedom”. He noted that Russia, having an advantage in resources, could not implement the plans of its general staff. In the interview, the Commander-in-Chief identified five priority directions for the development of Ukraine to avoid turning the war into a war of position. In his opinion, at this moment Ukraine, limited in resources, has reached parity with Russia in such areas as air warfare and radio-electronic warfare.

In addition, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces emphasizes the importance of increasing the effectiveness of the management of the Ukrainian forces through the widespread use of modern information technologies. Zaluzhnyi also emphasized the need to improve the logistical support of the country's defense. He noted that the situation “requires the search for new and non-trivial approaches to avoid military parity with the enemy”.

By spreading such fakes based on the statements of Ukrainian high-ranking officials, propagandists want to distort reality and cause disputes between representatives of the Ukrainian authorities. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted fakes and messages directed directly against Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Disclosure Fraudsters have created a fake channel of Valerii Zaluzhnyi on Telegram and are sending messages with discrediting content

A fake page of Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi appeared on the Telegram channel. Zaluzhnyi himself reported this on his verified Telegram channel: “I received information that someone, using my name, is sending personal messages to certain famous people with requests and proposals of a discreditable and provocative nature”.

The case was studied by the fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. Valerii Zaluzhnyi also noted: “The Zaluzhniy_ua account on Telegram does not belong to me, like any other accounts under the name Valerii Zaluzhnyi. They are all fake”.

The official pages of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are on Facebook and the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.

By spreading disinformation through the fake account of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit the Commander-in-Chief and sow panic and despondency among the Ukrainian people.

Tactics and tools How Russian propaganda uses euphoria to achieve its goals

Euphoria is a psychological state in which a person experiences elation, happiness and joy that are not justified by objective conditions. It can occur during listening to music, dancing and synchronized activities, including religious rituals, parades, and public celebrations. Russian propaganda uses states of intense emotion, including feelings of intense happiness and well-being, to manipulate public opinion and promote a particular agenda or ideology. The goal of the tactic is to create a positive emotional association with a certain phenomenon or political leader, often to sway public opinion in favor of a particular point of view. Russian propaganda uses this tactic to raise morale and greater unity of certain social groups by holding mass events, spreading fake news about the unprecedented successes of the Russian army at the front, the mass deaths of Ukrainian military personnel or the destruction of equipment.

Every year on May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day on a grand scale - loud parades are held with the participation of military equipment, concerts with military songs, flash mobs and events like the “Immortal Regiment”, where participants walk in columns holding photographs of their relatives who participated in World War II. At the same time, Russia calls this war the “Great Patriotic War”, blurring reality and leveling the role of Ukraine and other countries in the fight against Nazism. All these measures are aimed at inducing euphoria and a sense of greatness among Russians - they say those are they who defeated Nazism, flew into space, had super-powerful nuclear potential, etc.

Russia also pompously celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day on February 23, a legacy of the Soviet past. This day is a day off; there are solemn ceremonies near the Kremlin, parades, mass celebrations, laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, concerts and spectacular fireworks. All this is intended to cause euphoria in people and fuel patriotism, as well as unite them into a strong social group, which thus heroizes the Russian military and encourages them to defend Russia from imaginary enemies. On February 24, 2022, Russia began a full-scale war in Ukraine. This happened the day after Defender of the Fatherland Day. As propagandists systematically spread fakes and manipulations promoting the narrative of the dangerous “Kyiv regime”, this prompted Russians, on a wave of euphoria, to take up arms with great enthusiasm and fight against the far-fetched Nazism on the territory of a foreign state.

In 2023, in the occupied cities of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Russians also celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day. “In the Novoaidar district, after 8 years, schools again held lessons dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day”, wrote in the pro-Kremlin media. Let us remind you that Russian troops occupied Novoaidar in early March 2022. In the temporarily occupied territories, Russian propaganda is trying to bring back the holidays that Ukraine canceled in order to give people a feeling of euphoria and create the illusion of joy and a happy life. They say that Russia will return both the holiday and pleasant emotions to the residents of Luhansk and Donbas.

In this context, it is worth mentioning the concerts in the Russian “Luzhnyky” on the occasion of the annexation of Crimea, which the Russians call “annexation” and “return to their native harbor”. Since 2015, March 18 is a day off in Crimea, and flash mobs and public events are held in a number of Russian cities. In particular, a large concert-meeting is being held in Moscow, at which Volodymyr Putin gives a speech and to which Russian show business stars are attracted. In 2022, the concert was called “For a world without Nazism”; its characteristic feature was the justification of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, patriotism, love for Russia and support for the Russian military. Celebrations are held every year to consolidate the positive impressions of the holiday and to ensure that the public does not cool down and systematically feels the euphoria of capturing new territories.

Euphoria paralyzes the ability to think critically, so when this state begins to pass, Russian propaganda tries to feed it with fake news about an inevitable victory over Ukraine and all Western countries or to hold another concert and mass event. Thus, Russian propagandists used the “euphoria” technique, spreading fake news that the United States welcomed Russian troops with the conquest of Bakhmut, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Kyryl Budanov and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly “died” - they say, the “special services” work so skillfully. This tactic is not only designed to instill joy and a sense of expected victory among the Russians and boost morale, but also to demoralize the Ukrainians.

Fake In Ukraine, they can replace the military leadership headed by Valerii Zaluzhnyi

The American edition of Newsweek disseminated information that in Ukraine there is allegedly a possibility of “replacing the military leadership of Ukraine, headed by Valerii Zaluzhnyi”. The publication refers to sources close to the Ukrainian government. An anonymous person claims that this is allegedly due to “differences in the Ukrainian leadership on offensive strategy”. It's fake.

The case was investigated by fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine stated that this was a hoax, and there was a direct connection between the military and political leadership of Ukraine.

Such fakes are spread in order to undermine the credibility of the authorities and feed the narrative that there are alleged conflicts between the military-political leadership of Ukraine. Earlier, we refuted the fake about Valerii Zaluzhnyi who allegedly believes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive “turned into a clownery”.

Fake Ukraine's counteroffensive is “turned into a clownery”, Zaluzhnyi thinks

Propagandists in the Russian media are spreading disinformation based on an interview with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for The Washington Post. In particular, they claim that Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly accuses Western partners of turning the counteroffensive into a “clownery”. It's fake.

Specialists in the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that in fact Zaluzhnyi did not say anything about clowning. At the same time, commenting on the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, he noted that despite the lack of a number of necessary types of weapons in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ukrainian army “is moving forward every day, even if it is only 500 meters”. Therefore, he is “irritated” by statements that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is moving “slower than expected”.

Thus, propagandists want to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and create a false impression of Russia's victory on the battlefield. In addition, they want to show Ukraine and its government as ungrateful for the help of Western partners.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Russians need to be “killed” as a nation

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that Russians should be “killed” as a nation. The authors refer to an interview with Zaluzhnyi edition of The Economist. It is not true.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project took up this case and found out that Valerii  Zaluzhnyi did not say this. It's just a propagandist's invention. In an interview, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine spoke about the destruction of the Russian military stationed on the territory of Ukraine. He has been talking about the Russian-Ukrainian war since 2014. But he stressed that in a war, Russians and any other enemies need to be killed, and the Ukrainian army should not be afraid to do this. That is, Valerii Zaluzhnyi meant Russian occupiers, not civilians.

By spreading this fake, the propagandists are trying to expose the Ukrainians and the leadership as aggressors. Allegedly, the Ukrainian army is capable of killing civilians. This is how the authors whitewash themselves by hiding their true actions.

Disclosure An advertisement about Zaluzhnyi is circulating on Facebook, which claims that the Foreign Ministry allegedly hides his incompetence.

Users of the Ukrainian segment of Facebook massively complain about advertising on Valerii Zaluzhnyi. In advertising posts, they distribute a screenshot allegedly from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine with “a refutation of speculations about the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi”. The report also says that this is an official statement from the ministry and thus the authorities hide that something happened to Zaluzhnyi so that the allies continue to provide weapons. Users also distribute a screenshot of the alleged message of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, where he notes about “losing the war”, “unsuccessful counteroffensive” and “disclaimer of responsibility”. Allegedly, because of it, he disappeared from the information space. It is not true.

There is no “refutation of speculations” on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, moreover, it is not in the web archive either. So, the screenshot, which is distributed on Facebook with an alleged statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about Valerii Zaluzhnyi, has been edited in a photo editor.

The Espresso edition drew attention to the case. They determined that this “advertising” was distributed by two accounts - “Verniom”  (We’ll return it) and “Stout Pugh”, but it is not known to whom they belong.

Regarding posts on behalf of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, there are no such statements on his Facebook page. The “advertisement” published on Facebook about Zaluzhnyi contains a photo fake and is designed to discredit the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as sow discouragement among Ukrainians.

Fake Valerii Zaluzhnyi was absent from the NSDC meeting on June 6

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular, on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi did not appear at the emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on June 6. Like, this once again proves that he disappeared. The authors add to the posts a photo published by the Office of the President and add that it has been edited with a photo editor. That is, according to them, Zaluzhnyi was added to the photograph. It is not true. 

Fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation explain that the photo has not been edited. To be sure, they used a special application to determine if the photos had been edited. Checking the photo gave no indication that the photo was compiled. Consequently, the authors of the messages simply threw in false information. Let us remind you that this fake is part of a series of propaganda stuffing about the “death” of the military leadership of Ukraine. So, the authors seek to demoralize the Ukrainians.

Fake After surgery to treat head injuries, Zaluznyi’s condition worsened

Propagandists are spreading a video on social networks, which allegedly depicts the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi in a national outfit. They claim that this is what it looks like after surgery to treat head injuries. It's fake.

Analysts of the MythDetector project drew attention to it. They found out that the video was created using a deepfake, where Zaluzhnyi's face was superimposed on an already published video of a Ukrainian blogger. In addition, propagandists previously distributed photoshopped images that allegedly show damage to the head of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This information has already been repeatedly refuted by videos and photographs showing Zaluzhnyi without injuries.

Thus, propagandists are trying to personally discredit Valerii Zaluzhnyi and cause panic among Ukrainians. Detector Media has recently repeatedly denied reports of the “death” of Zaluzhnyi.