Spilnota Detector Media

Fake The strike on Nova Poshta in Odesa is supposedly essentially the destruction of a warehouse with ammunition produced by NATO countries

Propaganda resources, after Russian rocket attacks on the sorting depot and the Nova Poshta office in Odesa on May 1, 2024, began to promote the version that in fact there was a warehouse with ammunition produced by NATO countries.

However, this information is fake. This is reported in Nova Poshta itself. The company's press service claims that the depot and department together had 904 items worth almost 3 million UAH. “And according to the enemy, weapons were stored here”, Nova Poshta adds. The company also promised to fully compensate customers for the cost of their parcels.

We are dealing with yet another Russian justification for a strike on the city’s civilian infrastructure, as a result of which 14 people were injured. It seems that it was in the parcels of the Ukrainians that the Russian military saw an unprovoked threat. We previously wrote about how the Russians justified the attack on Sloviansk on April 15, 2024.

Fake It seems that the United States will no longer be able to supply Ukraine with air defense systems as everything is “over”

Russian telegram channels and media are disseminating a post by entrepreneur David Sachs, who stated that the United States seems to no longer be able to supply air defense systems to Ukraine. He says the reason is that they simply ran out.

VoxCheck analysts have analyzed this case and explained that an American entrepreneur cannot be fully aware of the number of existing air defense systems in the US reserve. Moreover, the transfer of any weapons depends on Congress. That is, such information is not true; David Sachs himself did not provide any evidence regarding the small number of reserves.

And entrepreneur and investor David Sachs has repeatedly spread pro-Russian narratives. For example, he reposted a video allegedly indicating a connection between Ukraine and ISIS. In it, a Ukrainian military man allegedly wears a chevron of a terrorist organization, although in fact it is a trophy obtained by Ukrainian Armed Forces fighters in the assault on the positions of the Russian Wagner groups.

Manipulation Russian missile allegedly destroyed 32 howitzers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Propagandists in the media and social networks began to spread manipulative information that a Russian missile allegedly destroyed 32 D-20 howitzers in the Sumy region of Ukraine. In such “news” they add a video that shows a missile strike on howitzers arranged in several rows. Some publications indicated the exact coordinates of the hit site. “Well, a very successful hit!”, users write.

After disseminating such information, StopFake decided to check whether Russia really managed to hit 32 howitzers of the Ukrainian army with one blow. They found out that this information is manipulative.

First, StopFake verified the authenticity of the distributed frames. Propagandists claimed that the video was from Okhtyrka, Sumy region. Some users even shared suitable coordinates. Fact-checkers found out that this was indeed the site of the “destruction” of howitzers. By comparing the satellite image on Google Maps and the propaganda video, one can see identical trees along the road, identical buildings and their location. A propaganda video circulated shows the howitzers strategically placed. This raises certain doubts, since the border with Russia that struck was only 40 kilometers along the shortest route. Keeping such a number of howitzer guns open in such close proximity to the enemy is, at first glance, at least illogical from a military point of view.

However, it turned out that there was a logical explanation for such placement of howitzers on the Ukrainian side. Having discovered the location of the impact on Google Maps, StopFake noticed that satellite images showed approximately the same number of guns with a similar arrangement. At first they assumed that this could be a recent image that accidentally captured the D-20 cluster. But with the help of archival photos of the same place, it was possible to establish that the “destroyed” howitzers had been standing there for more than one year. The Google Earth Pro program, which allows one to select the year the image was taken, recorded their placement starting in 2017. Since then, only a few howitzers have been removed.

Russia appears to have struck a storage site for faulty weapons that had been out in the open long before the full-scale invasion and is still there during active hostilities. Russian propaganda decided to hush up this fact, passing off the news as a successful strike on the “central weapons storage base and the destruction of 32 howitzers”. The fact that the howitzers were not used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces was also written by the user Tatarigami, who is engaged in OSINT analytics, on the social network X.com.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to create a belief among the local population that Ukrainian weapons are ineffective or are wasted.

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 Polish Foreign Minister allegedly called the US dysfunctional due to problems with providing assistance to Ukraine

As the US Congress considers military aid to Ukraine, European leaders are expressing concern about how the withdrawal of US financial support in the fight against Russian aggression could affect Ukraine. An Instagram post on February 25 claimed that Poland's foreign minister called the US a “dysfunctional and unreliable” state due to delays in the process. In particular, propagandists disseminated such messages on social networks like Instagram. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the Politifact project drew attention to it. They found that while Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorsky did express concern about a possible end to U.S. military aid to Ukraine in an interview with Bloomberg News on February 22, he called for a democratic process in resolving the issue and urged the Speaker of the House of Representatives to put forward a bill on the aid package to Ukraine to vote.

In his interview, Sikorsky highlighted the potential consequences if the United States does not provide expected assistance to its allies, warning of negative developments for American alliances around the world.

There is no evidence to support that Poland's foreign minister called the US “dysfunctional and unreliable” in his interview with Bloomberg News or elsewhere. Therefore, we evaluate this statement as erroneous.

Russian propagandists take such statements out of context in order to antagonize Western states and cause skepticism about helping Ukraine. Detector Media has already written about how Russian propaganda is trying to influence the policies of the United States and for what purposes.

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.

Manipulation Zelensky will allegedly stop considering the United States a strategic partner if Washington does not give money

Propagandists broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels are disseminating information that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has stated that if assistance is refused, he will no longer consider the United States a strategic partner. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Zelenskyi really didn’t say that. An excerpt from his speech was disfigured.

During the Munich Security Conference, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and US Vice President Kamala Harris held a joint briefing. When asked about “Plan B” if the US Congress does not support the bill on additional funding for Ukraine, the President of Ukraine noted that no alternatives are being considered.

He expressed hope for a positive decision by Congress, pointing out that Ukraine views the United States as a strategic partner, and therefore hopes for its further support. Zelenskyi stressed that an alternative position would mean instability in relations. These words have been twisted and used to create a manipulative “quote” that is being circulated online without proper context.

Kamala Harris also supported Zelenskyi, expressing confidence that the bill will be passed and called for a focus on “Plan A” - providing Ukraine with the necessary resources. She stressed the importance of avoiding politicization of the issue and the need to remain steadfast in supporting allies. The President of Ukraine also expressed his faith in the positive decision of Congress and said that he does not consider the adoption of the bill a treacherous position, because, in his opinion, the strategic partner will not leave Ukraine without support.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to undermine bilateral relations between the United States and Ukraine and stop US support. They say Zelenskyi is provoking America, which means we won’t see the money. Detector Media also refuted other manipulations regarding Ukraine’s relations with the United States.

Fake The United States allegedly confirmed the “theft” of military aid in Ukraine

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread the allegation that weapons are allegedly being stolen and resold on the black market in Ukraine. As evidence, the authors of the fake referred to a report from the US Department of Defense: it seemed to say how “during the inspection, specialists did not count 40 thousand weapons”.

“I think everyone understands where and for what purposes it was redirected... The likelihood of terrorist attacks in Europe is only growing”, propagandists commented on the situation.

However, the fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project took up the case and found that in a special report, “enhanced monitoring of the end use of defense goods supplied to Ukraine”, they noted that arms supplies to Ukraine were not properly controlled. This is explained by the fact that the presence of US representatives in Ukraine is limited. At the same time, the report does not accuse or express the thesis that weapons “end up on the black market”.

They also gave a positive assessment to Ukraine’s attempts to monitor the supply of weapons and equipment. It is indicated that in some cases, Ukrainian officials conducted inventories more thoroughly than their American counterparts.

Manipulation Estonia allegedly recognized the high effectiveness of Russian attacks in Ukraine

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media claim that Western intelligence agencies have allegedly recognized the “effectiveness” of Russia’s massive air attacks on Ukraine. They refer to the “words” of the head of the intelligence center of the Estonian Armed Forces, Ants Kiviselg, who stated that “strikes by Russian long-range aviation and Kalibr missiles cause significant damage to military facilities in Ukraine, despite the fact that Kyiv denies this”. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that on January 12, during a press conference, Ants Kiviselg commented on the massive shelling of Russia, which increased during the New Year holidays. According to Kiviselg, the strikes on holidays are a deliberate act by the Russians, apparently to undermine the will of the Ukrainian people to defend themselves. Also, the head of the intelligence center of the Estonian Armed Forces indicated that Russia still has many different types of missiles and attack drones, which are simultaneously attacking the territory of Ukraine in different directions. According to Estonian intelligence services, the wave of attacks on December 29 and January 2 indicates Russia's fear of the entry of American F-16 fighters into Ukrainian arsenal. That is why, Kiviselg noted, the occupiers intensified shelling of Ukrainian infrastructure facilities.

It is important to note that the head of Estonian intelligence did not make statements about the “effectiveness” of such attacks or the “successful” defeat of Ukrainian targets - this is an invention of Russian propaganda. Propagandists not only took Kiviselg’s statements about Russia’s fear of Ukraine receiving F-16s out of context, but also removed any reference to the fact of the psychological impact on the civilian population of attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure facilities can be considered war crimes under international law that have no statute of limitations.

Fake The ex-husband of singer Kamaliya allegedly bought fighter jets for the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Users of social networks are again spreading information that the ex-husband of singer Kamaliya, Pakistani Mohammad Zahoor, bought fighter jets for Ukraine. However, this is a fake.

Specialists of the NotaYenota project drew attention to it. They found out that Zahur did not actually buy fighter jets for Ukraine. Kamaliya personally denied this information. This story begins with an interview with Kamaliya in 2022, where the singer stated that she received permission from Zahur to talk about the fact of providing two fighter jets to Ukraine, but without specific details. As it turned out, the singer was referring to military assistance from Pakistan. However, the quote is defaced on a number of websites and social networks, attributing to the Kamaliya man the acquisition of aircraft.

Project specialists drew attention to this situation due to the peculiarities of its reappearance in the Ukrainian media space. They found out that the fake was spread again in early January through one of the Facebook pages, which has more than 440 thousand subscribers. The comments to the message provide a link to the main article, and the domain name of the site distributing this fake is located in the .su zone - the national top-level domain for the former Soviet Union. Even after the Union ceases to exist, the SU domain remains Russian. They note that since 1993, the administrator of this domain has been the Russian Institute for the Development of Public Networks (RosNIRSM), located in Moscow. Since 2009, technical maintenance of this domain has been carried out by the Internet Technical Center, also in Moscow.

The most interesting thing is that the page distributing this stuff through .SU is administered by three persons located in Ukraine. Taking this into account, according to NotaYenota, through pages publishing “good news” about “support for Ukraine” from famous people, fakes can be launched, which test the audience for their reaction to various types of influence.

Fake The Russians allegedly destroyed a batch of missiles for the Patriot air defense system and warehouses with Storm Shadow missiles

Russian telegram channels report that as a result of Russian missile attacks on the western regions of Ukraine on January 13, 2024, they managed to destroy a batch of missiles for the Patriot air defense system and warehouses with Storm Shadow missiles at the airfield in Kolomyia.

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council writes that this information is false. According to a message from the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on January 13, 2024, “Russian missiles are getting worse and are flying to God knows where”. On that day, air defense forces managed to shoot down eight missiles, and more than 20 more did not reach their targets as a result of active countermeasures by electronic warfare.

This disinformation campaign seeks to reassure everyone that Russian “high-precision weapons” cause damage and destruction exclusively to “legitimate targets”, such as missile trains. Russian propaganda systematically spread fake news about the destruction of Patriot air defense systems, Leopard tanks, or even F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine in order to exaggerate Russia’s successes in the war.

Fake The United States allegedly allowed Ukraine to “hit” with HIMARS on Russian territory

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the United States allowed Ukraine to use HIMARS for “strikes” against Russia. In asserting this, propagandists refer to the US Embassy in Ukraine, Bridget Brink, who allegedly made a corresponding statement.

In fact, this information is fake. Brink did not make such a statement - it was invented by propagandists of one of the Russian media, who subsequently published a refutation. This was reported by checkers from the StopFake project. To create the fake, they used a quote from Brink from June 2022 - then the United States provided Ukraine with a package of military aid, which included, in particular, ammunition for HIMARS: “This will help Ukrainian forces aim more accurately, as well as have a greater range. What range will the Ukrainian forces determine?” However, those ammunition could hit targets at a distance of up to 70 km, and not 300 km, that is, there was no talk of any strikes on Russian territory.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda seeks to create the image that “the United States and Ukraine are aggressors because they are going to attack Russia”, so Russia is supposedly a victim of the confrontation and is forced to defend itself. Thus, Russia “demonizes” Ukraine and its allies. Previously, we refuted information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces could allegedly use any NATO weapons on Russian territory.

Fake Now the Ukrainian Armed Forces can allegedly use any NATO weapon on Russian territory

Pro-Kremlin telegram channels disseminate information that NATO member countries, including the United States, are not against the Armed Forces of Ukraine “hitting”  Russia with all available weapons, that is, foreign ones, and not just Ukrainian ones. Based on the results of an emergency telephone conversation between representatives of the United States, NATO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, which followed another massive Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities on January 2, 2024, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin allegedly promised to satisfactorily respond to Ukraine’s requests regarding medium- and long-range missiles. In arguing this, propagandists cite an article by The New York Times. However, this is a fake.

The truth is that The New York Times never published such a story, and their reporter at the Paris bureau of Constant Méheut, the supposed author of the fictitious article, did not actually write the story. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The Western countries arming Kyiv demanded that Ukraine use only its own weapons to attack Russian territory. In addition, neither on the NATO website nor on the official Pentagon channels there is any mention of the supply of missiles to Ukraine without range restrictions. This information is also not available on the website and communication channels of the US Embassy in Ukraine.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda seeks to demonize NATO, including the United States, saying that they are starting to openly fight against Russia and are even ready to destroy the civilian population of Russia. Thus, the propagandists also want to justify the bloody war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine and, according to them, against the entire West and NATO, which allegedly want to destroy Russia. Previously, Detector Media analyzed the Russian manipulation that NATO would allegedly invade Russia “after the war in Ukraine”.

Message The supply of weapons to Ukraine is allegedly a state betrayal of Poland

Pro-Kremlin resources write that the transfer of Polish weapons to Ukraine falls under the definition of treason, since the supposed consequence of such a policy is that Poland remains disarmed. In asserting this, Russian media refer to a report by Przemysław Piasta in the newspaper Myśl Polska.

Journalists of the No Lies project examined this information. As it turns out, the online publication Myśl Polska often publishes Kremlin propaganda, so Przemysław Piasta’s text fits completely into the pro-Russian policy of this media. In reality, Poland is transferring to Ukraine the equipment it replaced with new ones, and is also fulfilling old contracts. That is, the country is actively strengthening its own army and helping Ukrainians.

Russian propaganda is once again trying to weaken military support for Ukraine by Western countries. In addition, by promoting such a message, propagandists seek to cultivate the negative attitude of Poles towards Ukraine and their leadership. Previously, we analyzed the propaganda message that Kyiv is allegedly “preparing a military provocation against Poland” in the event of a critical decline in support from Western countries.

Message Great Britain and Norway are allegedly artificially straining the situation in the Black Sea

Russian media responded to the launch of the new Black Sea coalition with disinformation messages that “Britain and Norway are escalating the situation in the Black Sea”. They argue that the international community's intention to protect civilian shipping in the Black Sea from attacks by the Russian army is a “new stage of aggression” against Russia.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to the message. They found that the work of the new coalition, which includes Great Britain and Norway, is aimed at long-term cooperation and aims to strengthen Ukraine's naval defense, as well as improve its ability to operate along its own coast. However, the main task of the allied countries is to provide assistance to Ukraine in opening trade routes and ensuring free passage of civilian ships in the Black Sea. From the new coalition, Ukraine will receive long-term support, including training, equipment and infrastructure to improve security in the Black Sea. In particular, on December 11, it became known that the British Royal Navy transferred two minesweepers to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to search for Russian mines, and Norway also announced the transfer of two more ships to Ukraine for demining the water area. StopFake analysts recall that the agreement on the transfer of two Royal Navy minesweepers to the Ukrainian Navy was signed back in 2021, before the full-scale Russian invasion, and in the summer of 2023 a ceremony for their commissioning took place.

Russia began growing the conflict zone in the Black and Azov Seas back in 2014, trying to limit Ukraine’s legal right to use its internal waters. Russian actions violate international law, and due to their systematic disregard for them, Russia was expelled from the Council of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) in December 2023.

Russian media are deliberately misinterpreting these steps as an “escalation of the situation”, trying to separate them from their context and interpret them favorably in their favor. All this is done to present Russia as a victim.

Manipulation Forbes writes that Ukraine allegedly created a tank brigade without tanks

According to information distributed by propagandists, Forbes allegedly published an article that Ukraine has created a tank brigade that has limited combat readiness and practically no tanks. However, this is manipulation.

The analysts from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that we are talking about the article Ukraine Has Formed a New Tank Brigade by David Ax, published on December 3 in Forbes. In it, the author writes about the 5th separate tank brigade (STBr).

He does not indicate the low combat readiness of the brigade or the absence of tanks in it. David Ax discusses the position of the 5th Tank Brigade, which was formed in 2016. He notes that the unit existed largely only on paper, but has recently begun to recruit and train, as evidenced by photographs published on December 2, 2023.

In his article, Ax also points out that Western partners provided Ukraine with different tanks, but in the photographs published on social networks they are not visible in brigades. However, he does not claim that the unit has no tanks at all, but only points out the lack of information about what tanks are used. The journalist also considers possible options for equipment that the brigade could be equipped with, such as the T-72, Leopard 1 or Abrams.

It is important to note that Ax does not use the term “incapacitated” to describe the brigade. On the contrary, in his material he draws attention to changes in the tactics of using tanks in general, pointing to their use as short-range artillery due to the presence of minefields and the use of drones. This modification of the use of tanks is associated with more complex combat conditions and the use of other technologies.

The 5th Brigade is part of the Reserve Corps. In 2018, the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Serhii Popko, announced that the 5th Separate Tank Brigade of the Reserve Corps was fully equipped with T-72 tanks. However, after a certain period, the brigade was demobilized, and only in February 2022 it was resumed. However, due to losses in other armored and mechanized brigades, tanks and personnel of the 5th Tank Brigade were used to replenish other units. Today it is known that in March 2023 the unit was restored again, it is equipped with equipment, and personnel are undergoing training.

By manipulating the texts of foreign media, propagandists want to strengthen the myth about the incapacity of the Ukrainian army, as well as the theft of Western weapons. This is not their first fiction concerning the Ukrainian Armed Forces — Detector Media has repeatedly refuted others.

Message The Daily Mail allegedly writes that Ukraine is working on a “dirty bomb”

Propagandists are disseminating information with reference to a publication in the British tabloid Daily Mail, allegedly Ukraine has the components to create a “dirty bomb”. They say that the UK began to view Ukraine as a potential threat to Europe due to the fact that Kyiv allegedly “sells weapons indiscriminately to whom and where” and as a result of which terrorists can illegally transport nuclear materials through Europe to the UK.

The story in question is a Daily Mail report titled “Radioactive substances could be smuggled out of Ukraine during invasion unrest and end up used in “dirty bombs” on UK streets unless border controls are tightened in NATO countries, warns nuclear energy expert” dated December 12, 2023. However, this is manipulation.

The StopFake specialists drew attention to it. They found that this time propagandists are manipulating Rachel Bunyan's Daily Mail article to once again portray Ukraine as a danger to the world. In fact, nowhere in the Daily Mail publication is it written that the Ukrainian authorities are somehow illegally selling components for “dirty bombs” to terrorists. On the contrary, the author points out that the danger is precisely the unlawful Russian attacks on Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

Dr. Ghiassi, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Fellowship think tank, noted in a commentary for the Daily Mail that Russia's takeover of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world, has resulted in regular shelling and power outages making it impossible to safely use the plant. According to the expert, the situation becomes even more dangerous due to the fact that more than 3,000 nuclear fuel cells containing highly radioactive substances and plutonium stored in metal containers at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are vulnerable to air attacks.

Dr Ghiassi, in a commentary for the Daily Mail, noted that air attacks on the nuclear plant and the damage they caused could “facilitate terrorists or proxy groups acting on behalf of hostile states to illegally obtain radioactive substances to create nuclear dirty bombs”. The expert believes that the insecurity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant poses “serious threats to the security of Ukraine and countries beyond its borders, including the UK”. He calls on countries to strengthen controls at land and sea borders, in particular, to increase the number of radiation detectors at checkpoints.

Moreover, the publication reminds its readers that initially the full-scale invasion, Russia, without providing evidence, accused Ukraine of Kyiv possibly planning to use a “dirty bomb” in the war. Citing experts interviewed, the Daily Mail writes that “dirty bombs” are relatively primitive and inaccurate weapons that terrorists use “more as a psychological weapon” to intimidate people.

Russia's false claims about a “Ukrainian dirty bomb” and a “Ukrainian nuclear provocation” were refuted not only by the Ukrainian government, but also by international organizations, including the UN. In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), following the results of an unscheduled inspection conducted at the request of Ukraine in November 2022, did not identify any signs of illegal activities at nuclear facilities controlled by Ukraine. The Kremlin propaganda has more than once used the topic of “dirty bombs” to discredit Ukraine in front of its Western partners.

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 The US allegedly asked Ukraine to return Abrams tanks to save their image

Information began to spread online that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, during his visit to Kyiv on November 20, offered Ukraine to exchange American Abrams tanks for German Leopards in a ratio of 1 to 4. That is, for seven American tanks, Ukraine was allegedly promised 28 German ones. This statement is explained by the fact that the supposedly low efficiency of the Abrams could cause “serious reputational damage to these tanks around the world”, something the Americans would like to avoid. It's fake.

In fact, Lloyd Austin did not offer Ukraine to exchange American Abrams tanks for Leopards during his visit. This is not mentioned in any leading world media, and the information itself was disseminated mainly in Russian or pro-Russian media. At the same time, Lloyd Austin stated at the time that “the United States, along with its allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s immediate battlefield and long-term defense needs”. During the visit, the Pentagon chief also announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth $100 million, but there were no concerns about the loss of image of Abrams tanks as a result of the unsuccessful performance of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.

By spreading disinformation, as in this case, Russian propaganda aims to discredit international support for Ukraine’s partners in the war against Russia. In addition, propagandists aim to convince everyone around them that the Russian military has an advantage on the battlefield, and the defeat of Ukraine is a matter of time.

Earlier, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that Ukrainian defenders are very effectively using Western weapons, and in response to this, Russia is increasing its aggression against civilians.

Disclosure The Russians are distributing a video allegedly showing the destruction of a Ukrainian operational-tactical missile system

This information was recorded by specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. They explained that pro-Kremlin telegram channels are disseminating information about the defeat of the Grim-2 OTRK launcher. Video evidence is added to the messages.

However, in fact, the primary source of such “news” was a satirical telegram channel, the description of which clearly states that all messages are only humorous in nature. But in fact, the video depicts the defeat of Russian equipment. On December 6, 2023, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko published a video of the defeat of the Russian operational-tactical missile system on his telegram channel. It is most likely that the authors of the satirical channel used this particular video to create the news. And then the Kremlin resources replicated this.

Still, it is impossible to say that the Russians did not destroy Ukrainian equipment on the battlefield, because this is more than possible during the war. But propagandists deliberately exaggerate the significance of “destroyed” equipment on the battlefield, hinting at the supposedly low combat capability of the Ukrainian army. And they use supposedly reliable information to support such a thesis.

The head of the Main Directorate of Missile Forces and Artillery and Unmanned Systems of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhii Baranov, in an interview with the military radio station Army FM, when asked whether the Grim-2 installation was at the development stage, replied that the installation was “being improved so let the Russians experience its effects on themselves”.

Read here on how Russian propaganda devalues the weapons that serve Ukraine.

Message Ukraine allegedly “massively” uses prohibited weapons against civilians

This thesis was spread by pro-Kremlin media. Reports say that Ukraine seems to be using prohibited methods of warfare, in particular using prohibited weapons. They say this is stated in the Landmine Monitor 2023 report, compiled by independent experts from different countries, which was presented to the UN on November 14, 2023.

The case was studied by StopFake project specialists and explained: the analysts who worked on the report reported that Ukraine began an investigation into the case of how the Ukrainian Armed Forces “used anti-personnel mines in the city of Izium and its environs in 2022, when the city was under Russian control”. The report emphasized that Ukraine then used mines against Russian military targets, but as a result, “civilians suffered”. This case in relation to Ukraine is isolated, and international experts have recorded hundreds of facts of widespread use of prohibited weapons in Ukraine by Russian occupiers.

Among other things, the document wrote that Russia, probably with the help of neighboring Belarus, is actively using anti-personnel mines in Ukraine. According to the data presented in the report, in Ukraine in 2022 there was a tenfold increase in the number of victims of anti-personnel mines compared to the year before the full-scale Russian invasion.

Russia tries to ignore cases of the use of prohibited weapons and pays attention only to Ukrainian actions - although the case of the use of an anti-personnel mine is isolated, and it was primarily used to replace a Russian military facility.

The online media of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, ArmyInform, explains that the Ottawa Convention of 1997 provides for a complete cessation of the use of non-directional anti-personnel mines, a cessation of their production and accumulation. Ukraine signed the mine ban agreement on February 24, 1999 in New York and ratified it on December 27, 2005, becoming a state party on June 1, 2006. Russia is not a party to the Convention, so it has been using them since the beginning of the war back in 2014.

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 Washington Post about Ukraine that increased the supply of weapons to Hamas

Anonymous Telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread information that “the supply of Ukrainian weapons to the Hamas group has tripled over the past month”.  Russian propaganda refers to an article published by The Washington Post, in which they allegedly wrote that Hamas currently has no problems with providing weapons thanks to Ukraine. This is a fake.

According to fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation, The Washington Post did not actually publish such an article. And the screenshot used by Russian propaganda was first published by the Ministry of Defense of Russia in 2022.

In this way, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Ukraine and reduce aid from the West, including the supply of weapons. Previously, we refuted the fake that the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Paris thanked Ukraine for weapons for Hamas.

Fake Hamas recorded a video expressing gratitude to Zelenskyi for providing weapons

Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric are disseminating information that representatives of the Hamas group allegedly recorded a video thanking Volodymyr Zelenskyi for the transferred weapons, which help resist Israel. It's fake.

Fact-checkers at the Center for Countering Disinformation analyzed the video and determined that it was fake. It is this video that is being distributed by Russian propaganda resources and fake foreign accounts, the time and place of filming are unknown. Moreover, the video cannot be verified because Hamas representatives have their faces covered.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and reduce the assistance of Western partners. This is a continuation of the disinformation campaign about Ukrainian weapons in the hands of Hamas. Previously, Detector Media refuted the fake that Ukraine sells weapons to Hamas and debunked the fake that Hamas militants use weapons from Mukachevo.