Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Ukrainian air defense shoots down rare birds, confusing them with drones, Greenpeace

A video allegedly produced by the environmental organization Greenpeace is being circulated on social networks in the Russian segment. It says that Ukrainian air defense poses a danger to a rare species of bird - the white-tailed eagle.

In 2024 alone, air defenses allegedly mistakenly shot down 138 individuals, confusing them with enemy drones. As a result, they say in the video, the population of rodents on which eagles feed is rapidly growing in Ukrainian fields, which harms the harvest. The video also includes a “quote” from British military expert Jonathon Riley, who seems to accuse Ukrainian air defense operators of inexperience.

StopFake fact-checkers analyzed the case and found that Greenpeace did not publish such a story - this can be checked by searching the organization’s website using the keywords “Ukraine”, “eagles”, etc. There are no videos on the project’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

It is most likely that the propagandists edited this video themselves.

Fake Ukrainian military shoots “foreign mercenaries” as part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

A video is being circulated online in which Ukrainian soldiers allegedly shoot mercenaries from Africa. In the video itself, one can see what appears to be Ukrainian soldiers and four men kneeling against the wall.

The Center for Countering Disinformation reports that this video is staged, because the video was first distributed in the Russian segment of social networks. Subsequently, propaganda media circulated the video.

Fact-checkers of the Central Police Department add that those “being shot” are standing in front of a brick wall, from which bullets should ricochet, which would be dangerous for the “shooters” themselves. That is, this may indicate the likely use of footage and special editors to create a characteristic video.

Manipulation Ukrainian soldiers are allegedly taught to “experience the joy of killing”

Russian propagandists are disseminating information in the media according to which Ukrainian soldiers are allegedly “zombified” before battle and taught to “experience the joy of killing”. Propagandists claim this is evidence of “cruel training methods” in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They say that the so-called “zombification” of soldiers takes place during training sessions in Kyiv, which are conducted by an expert in combat psychology, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Grossman explained his methods during training on a Ukrainian television channel, answering the question whether every soldier is capable of killing the enemy on the battlefield. He noted that modern training methods make killing almost a conditioned response, and the reaction of most people to this radiation is joy. However, after a fight, moral doubts may arise, which are then rationalized.

Propaganda is trying to negatively influence the image of the Ukrainian army, spreading this and similar myths, trying to blame the West and, in particular, NATO for everything. Thus, they want to show the conditional “higher morality” of Russia and justify its crimes against Ukrainians.

Fake The Russians allegedly liquidated NATO officers in the Lviv region

Pro-Russian telegram channels are disseminating information that on the night of May 28-29, 2024, the Russian army launched a Kinzhal missile at the Yavoriv test site in the Lviv region. As a result, many servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as foreign instructors, allegedly died.

However, this is a fake, they write at the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. At the time indicated by the propagandists, Russian missiles did not fly into the territory of the Lviv region. In addition, on the night from May 28 to May 29, an air raid alert was not announced in the Lviv region (with the exception of the period from 20:17 to 20:31 on May 28, but no launches were recorded). Also, the Lviv Air Force, which reports a hit during air raids, did not record any strikes on any infrastructure within the region. No hits were recorded in the International Peacekeeping Center or the military departments of partner countries.

As of May 30, 2024, the last time missiles flew into the airspace of the Lviv region was on the night of May 26, but they subsequently disappeared from radar. Subsequently, on the night from May 31 to June 1, six missiles hit three critical infrastructure facilities in the Lviv region. However, from May 27 to May 31, no missiles were recorded in the airspace of the Lviv region. Previously, we refuted information that 180 foreigners were allegedly killed near Lviv by Russian missiles.

Fake The Reserve+ database is allegedly being sold on the darknet

On social networks, in particular Threads, a photo is being circulated that allegedly shows data from the “leaked” Reserve+ database. It contains information about 1 million people, and it seems to be already being sold on the black market.

In fact, this is a fake photo, write experts from the VoxCheck project. If one carefully examines the screenshot, one will notice inaccuracies indicating that the “leaked Reserve+ database” is fake.

For example, in the “military rank” column one can see such ranks as “sergeant major”, “warrant officer” and “senior warrant officer”, but they were abolished long ago in Ukraine; a different list of ranks has been in effect since October 2020.

Also, the “table” contains an error where it says “lifetime”. Even if this is really a mechanical error, then in Ukrainian the correct word will be “service life”. There are also errors in design. For example, the name of a military unit is indicated in different ways: both together with the instruction “military unit” and only the unit code. Some surnames are written entirely in capital letters, while others are not. There is also a sharp transition between the column with names and phone numbers.

In the end, according to the tax identification number, fact-checkers from VoxCheck found that some of the people on the list are over 60 years old, and accordingly, they do not need to update the data, because they have been removed from the military register. This can be checked using the Public Services Portal and entering the identification code from the table. It is also unclear why the addresses and phone numbers were blurred, because if the data is true and has already been leaked to the darknet, then there is no point in hiding it.

Fake The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) allegedly believes that the reason for the ineffective counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army was gambling addiction

Pro-Russian telegram channels publish a video on behalf of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), in which the center’s analysts allegedly discovered a new reason for the ineffective counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces: addiction to online games. In particular, the video is about online casinos. Allegedly, every third Ukrainian military man who has a phone has one or more profiles on different online casino platforms. Also, the material and messages from Russian propagandists provide “statistics” of Ukrainian losses from Russian drones due to gambling addiction.

However, this information is fake, according to the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. This video is not available on the official pages of the Institute for the Study of War. Accordingly, the statistics and information contained in it also do not correspond to reality, because they were invented by Russian fake news. Moreover, this is not the first time that Russians have spread disinformation on behalf of the American ISW. Thus, earlier we analyzed the fake news that the Institute for the Study of War seems to be predicting a rapid advance of Russians in the Kharkiv region and an assault on the regional center.

Fake Syrskyi allegedly stated that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are not retreating, but advancing behind enemy lines, because “the Earth is round”

Propagandists are distributing on social networks a quote allegedly said by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi, commenting on the situation at the front: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine are not retreating. The earth is round, so we are advancing behind enemy lines”, said Syrskyi. In fact, this is another invention of Russian propaganda.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that Commander-in-Chief Syrskyi did not make such statements. On May 23, he stated about the situation in the Kharkiv region that after the first minor successes during the offensive battles in the region, the enemy “was completely immersed in street battles for Vovchansk and suffered very heavy losses in the personnel of the assault units”. In addition, according to him, the enemy is now deploying reserves in different directions, trying to “support active assault operations, but to no avail”. Offensive actions were also being carried out on other sectors of the front, but nowhere in his statements did Syrskyi say that propaganda was being spread.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the Ukrainian army and its leadership, as well as to distort the real situation at the front.

Fake Ukrainian Armed Forces military recorded threats against Donald Trump

A video allegedly filmed by Ukrainian soldiers burning an effigy of former US President Donald Trump is being circulated on social networks. The military claims in the video that Trump delayed the provision of US military aid to Ukraine and “must pay for it”.

VoxCheck analysts explained that the videos are mainly distributed by Russian propaganda telegram channels and pro-Russian accounts on various social networks. At the same time, there are no such publications in the Ukrainian media.

And the assertion that the Ukrainian military is in the video is unfounded - someone could dress in a similar uniform and attach a chevron with the flag of Ukraine to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Fake A “drunk” Ukrainian serviceman allegedly attacked a priest

The Kremlin media writes that an incident occurred in Ukraine involving a Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier - he allegedly entered a church and began attacking parishioners, and then attacked the priest himself. As evidence to the messages, they add videos from inside the temple.

“Most likely, Bandera is a follower of yet another satanic teaching, which is now flourishing in Ukraine due to the connivance of the authorities. For obvious reasons, there are many such Satanists in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, adds the pro-Kremlin resource.

StopFake fact-checkers write that no authoritative media reported such an incident anywhere. There were no reports of any attack on the official websites of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Kyiv Patriarchate or the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, where such an incident could have occurred. Also, specialized religious media, such as the Religious Information Service of Ukraine, did not write anything about such an incident. There is no information about such an attack on the police website.

So, most likely the video is staged.

Fake Three newly mobilized Ukrainian men allegedly died immediately in the war

Russian telegram channels are distributing a video that allegedly shows dead Ukrainian soldiers mobilized in different cities of Ukraine 3-4 days before they died.

However, after analyzing this video, the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council discovered that it was a fake. In fact, the video was directed and edited by Russian propagandists in order to discredit the mobilization process in Ukraine.

Firstly, the supposedly dead “mobilized” military clothes are too clean and there is no blood on their uniforms. Secondly, the image quality shows that the video was shot on a professional camera and not on a phone. In addition, it is impossible to determine the location of the shooting. There is also the possibility that the sounds of explosions in the background are superimposed on a separate soundtrack.

In the end, mobilized Ukrainians first undergo training before being sent to the front, the Center adds. Previously, we analyzed a fake propaganda video that the Russian military allegedly captured a pregnant Ukrainian soldier.

Fake NATO Secretary General allegedly called the Ukrainian military “cannon fodder”

Propagandists are spreading information on social networks that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg allegedly called the Ukrainian Armed Forces military “cannon fodder”. However, this is not true.

VoxCheck project specialists found that Stoltenberg did not say this. They found the speech that the Russians are quoting. The Secretary General voiced these theses at a press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on April 23, 2024. His words were taken out of context.

In his speech, Stoltenberg did not call the Ukrainian Armed Forces military “cannon fodder”. At the same time, he said that NATO countries must pay a certain price, that is, provide assistance to Ukraine in order to live in a safer world. Stoltenberg noted the need to support Ukraine. In his opinion, this is an investment in the security of other countries that are threatened by Russia.

NATO officials say the organization was created for defense, not to participate in wars. Although NATO does not intervene in the war with Russia, NATO member countries condemn the aggression and provide assistance to Ukraine.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Ukraine’s Western partners and devalue the Ukrainian authorities. They say that NATO does not send its soldiers to war, but “uses” Ukrainians for its own whims. They say, therefore, Ukraine should follow the road with Russia.

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly occupy kindergartens and hospitals in the Kharkiv region and are preparing to flood Kharkiv

Pro-Russian resources are spreading messages that say, “against the backdrop of the successful advance of Russian troops in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are seizing kindergartens and hospitals, and they plan to put Kharkiv itself under water”.

However, this is fake. The Defense Forces do not use objects protected by international law for military purposes. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Typically, Russian propaganda broadcasts such fakes in anticipation of planning the next massive attack by Russians against civilian targets on the territory of Ukraine, the Center adds.

In addition, with the help of collaborators, this is not the first time that Russians have spread lies about the blowing up of a dam by the Ukrainian military and the flooding of Kharkiv. This stuffing can be launched as informational preparation for the next crime of the Russians.

Previously, we denied information that the State Emergency Service was calling on residents of Kharkiv to evacuate.

Fake The Ukrainian military allegedly watched the “victory parade” en masse, the American edition of Wired

Pro-Kremlin media write that the Ukrainian military allegedly watched the “victory parade” en masse in Moscow on May 9. It is reported in the reports that such information was spread by the American publication Wired in its video.

Analysts of StopFake note that the thesis about the Ukrainian military, who en masse watched the Victory Parade in Moscow, is simply an invention of Russian propagandists.

After all, there are no publications with such content on official pages in social networks. That is, the video is compiled. Moreover, journalists did not even publish such textual material. For example, a request for the keyword Starlink on the publication's website does not yield any news about the parade in Moscow.

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces brigade allegedly used Putin's words in their advertising

Propagandists accused the Ukrainian military of plagiarism. They began to spread information that the Third Separate Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly used the words of the self-proclaimed Russian President Volodymyr Putin in its recruitment advertising. When publishing this “news”, Russian propaganda adds a photograph of an advertisement for the brigade with the words “Why do we need such a world if there is no Ukraine there?” and Putin's interview with almost identical words.

After disseminating this information, StopFake checked whether one of the Ukrainian Armed Forces brigades actually took Putin’s words for their advertising campaign. They found out that the propagandists themselves added a “quote” to the advertisement, accusing the Ukrainian military of plagiarism.

A reverse image search on TinEye showed that the photo distributed by propagandists appeared online in late April 2024 on the French news site France24. On the website one can see that it was taken by Reuters correspondent Alina Smutko on April 23, 2024 in the Kyiv metro. The original is also available on the Reuters photo bank with a full description. The original photo is different from the one used by Russian propaganda. Putin's quote was added to the image in the photo editor. In the original photograph, completely different words are visible: “Zazhyhai (ignite) in the third assault brigade” (zapaliui - in Ukrainian).

StopFake also ruled out the possibility that the photo used by the propagandists could accidentally show advertisements in different places of the Kyiv metro. If one compares the details of the fake photo and the Reuters photo, one can be sure that this is the same image. Looking closely at the wall in the background, one can see the painted elements positioned the same in both photographs.

Propagandists spread such fakes to show the false closeness of Ukrainians and Russians. Like, we think the same and act the same. However, in reality, Ukraine and Russia are completely different.

Fake Ukrainian soldiers allegedly burned an effigy of Trump on video

Pro-Russian users of the social network X (formerly Twitter) are distributing a video in which Ukrainian soldiers allegedly burn an effigy of US presidential candidate Donald Trump with the words: “You will never be president again”.

However, this video is definitive, according to the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. The individuals on it are not military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. These are Russian actors playing Ukrainian soldiers in captured Ukrainian uniforms, the Center adds. These people in the video do not speak Ukrainian like residents of Ukraine - one can hear a strong Russian accent.

On the one hand, the purpose of this fake is to discredit the Ukrainian Defense Forces, and on the other hand, to spoil Ukrainian-American relations and bipartisan support for Ukraine in the US Congress. Moreover, this is happening against the backdrop of the election campaigns of US presidential candidates.

Manipulation 30% of Ukrainian Armed Forces on the front line allegedly suffer from various mental illnesses

Russian clinical psychologist Svitlana Kolobova stated that according to official data from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, currently 30% of military personnel at the front suffer from various mental illnesses. She also noted that such estimates may be underestimated, and Ukrainian experts allegedly do not disclose how they identified these psychological problems in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian propagandist Volodymyr Soloviov conveyed these statements to himself. However, these statements are unreliable.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to them. There are no data or studies confirming such statistics on the official websites of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and on social networks. The Public Health Center or the National Health Service of Ukraine have also not released any information on this matter.

So far, only statistics are available on the number of military personnel who may face mental disorders in the future, but these data were not made public by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, but by foreign and Ukrainian specialists. For example, in the report “Scars on their souls: PTSD and veterans of Ukraine”, experts from the international analytical center Globsec noted that during the ATO and Joint Forces Operation, about 25% of cases of combat stress turned into PTSD of varying severity, and from 20 to 30% of military personnel. those who received psychological trauma during hostilities were unable to solve them without the help of a specialist. According to these data, the real number of cases of PTSD in Ukraine may be more than 20%.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They say they don’t pay attention to this problem, which is becoming increasingly widespread. Russian propaganda stigmatizes the issue of mental health and tries to intimidate the local population.

Fake In Ukraine, it will allegedly be prohibited to film and photograph the work of Territorial centers of procurement and social support workers

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that in Ukraine it will be prohibited to film and photograph the work of employees of Territorial centers of procurement and social support. According to propagandists, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine asked the Office of the President to adopt such a ban by analogy with the punishment for stopping the work of air defense.

In fact, this information is not true, write experts on the VoxCheck project. The primary source of information is a pro-Russian telegram channel supervised by Russian intelligence services. When spreading the “news” about the alleged initiative to ban the filming of the activities of representatives of the Territorial centers of procurement and social support, they refer to an anonymous “source in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. It is unlikely that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported this information to the telegram channel, which is supervised by Russia.

In addition, this “news” was published on December 26, 2023. Then again on January 7th - this time they referred to an anonymous source in the Office of the President. However, as of April 2024, the military or political leadership of Ukraine had not indicated their intention to introduce a corresponding ban. The corresponding bill was not submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. There is no real evidence that this initiative is actually being implemented.

During martial law, it is prohibited to film and publish the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in particular, to transmit information about the location of air defense forces. However, there is no separate ban on filming Territorial centers of procurement and social support employees. At the same time, earlier the people's deputies submitted an amendment before the second reading of the draft law on mobilization, which proposed to enshrine at the legislative level a rule according to which the police and representatives of Territorial centers of procurement and social support will carry out photo and video recording of the process of checking citizens' documents. And on April 16, 2024, the president signed the law. These changes, in particular regarding photo and video recording, will come into force on May 18, 2024.

This fake is part of the Russian information campaign to disrupt mobilization in Ukraine. Read more materials on this topic here.

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly preventing the evacuation of civilians from Chasiv Yar

Propagandists claim that the Ukrainian Defense Forces, according to them, are preventing the evacuation of civilians from the city of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region. Russian media, citing Russian Ihor Kimakovskyi, claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly using people as human shields to stop the Russian offensive. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region was no exception to Russian propaganda. The invaders systematically destroy the city, shelling every meter of the populated area. Voluntary evacuation of the civilian population there began in 2022; in August 2022, the evacuation of Donbas residents became mandatory, and by March 2023, the Ukrainian military evacuated all children from the city.

As of April 2024, about 700 people remained in Chasiv Yar; by the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 16 thousand people lived in the city. Therefore, speaking in such conditions about the Ukrainian military’s obstruction of the process of saving people is a cynical fake of Russian propaganda. According to Serhii Chaus, head of the mountain military administration of Chasiv Yar, explanatory work is carried out with these people every day, but the main argument for evacuation is the destruction of housing.

“We've actually seen a slight increase in evacuations in recent weeks. Every day the number did not change: one or two, maximum three people, but in fact every day people left... the moment may come when we simply physically cannot do this. We say this openly, we warn people”, Chaus emphasized in an interview with Radio Svoboda (Liberty) on April 15, 2024.

Any evacuation is carried out in close cooperation between the Ukrainian military, volunteers, human rights activists and international organizations, for example, people from the Donetsk region were evacuated under the auspices of USAID. The entire evacuation process takes place openly and under the supervision of Ukrainian and foreign observers. People are transported in organized columns, evacuated families are provided with free housing in safer regions of Ukraine, social guarantees, humanitarian assistance and psychological support are provided.

It is worth noting that Kimakovskyi, used by propaganda to create anti-Ukrainian fakes, cannot be a reliable source of information - a Russian citizen occupies a fictitious “position” in a non-existent “government body” of the temporarily occupied parts of the Donetsk region of Ukraine. In 2015, the Security Service of Ukraine accused a citizen of the aggressor country of spying for Russia. According to Ukrainian intelligence services, Kimakovskyi is an agent of the Russian FSB who collected information about the redeployment of Ukrainian military personnel in the Donetsk region. The Russian was also accused of interfering in the territorial integrity of Ukraine. In 2019, an FSB agent was exchanged for Ukrainian political prisoners, among whom were Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Roman Sushchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, as well as a number of other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including sailors abducted by Russia in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.

Propagandists are spreading another fake about the Ukrainian military in order to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian propaganda systematically spreads disinformation about the evacuation of civilians from advanced Ukrainian settlements, traditionally keeping silent about the root cause of the complicated situation - Russian aggression against Ukraine, daily shelling, killings of civilians, destruction of critical infrastructure of settlements.

Message Ukraine is allegedly fighting solely in the interests of the United States

Propagandists quote Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu, who at a meeting of the Russian Defense Collegium said that the Ukrainian military is fighting in the interests of the war between the United States and Russia. They say that during the full-scale invasion, almost half a million military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces died. He also noted that during the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military allegedly failed to achieve the goals that “NATO instructors” set for them, and thus were able to dispel the myth about the superiority of Western weapons. However, this is not true.

Now we do not have an accurately known number of dead, wounded and missing Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers for the entire time of the full-scale invasion. But on February 25 of this year, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, during a large press conference following the results of the forum “Ukraine. Year 2024” answered this question. According to him, “31 thousand Ukrainian soldiers died in this war”, not counting the fighters of volunteer battalions and the missing. But we see that this figure is significantly less than what the Russian Ministry of Defense states.

Russian propaganda has been promoting the narrative of Ukraine's war in the interests of the United States for long enough to neutralize the fact that Ukraine is defending its own territory, interests and cultural heritage. Claiming failures in the counteroffensive and dispelling the “myth” of the superiority of Western weapons does not reflect the full picture. Ukrainian forces carried out successful defensive actions, repelling attacks and inflicting significant losses on the enemy. For example, in the summer of 2022, an agreement was reached with Russia on a “safe corridor” in the Black Sea through the UN and Turkey. However, this agreement lasted only a year, after which Russia threatened to attack Ukrainian ports. Ukraine responded with naval drone and missile attacks on September 13, 2023, forcing Russia to reduce its ambitions in the Black Sea region.

Also, the “largest tank battle”, according to The New York Times, which the Ukrainian side won, took place on March 2, 2023 and proves the opposite of Shoihu’s claims. The Russian army launched powerful offensive operations after defeats in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions. Despite successful actions at Bakhmut and Soledar, they were defeated at Vuhledar due to the effective resistance of Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian Armed Forces fighters hit several tank columns heading towards Vuhledar and subsequently inflicted significant losses on Russian troops.

Shoihu’s statements regarding the counteroffensive and losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces look like an attempt to distort circumstances and convince the public of his superiority on the battlefield, despite such a powerful “enemy” as NATO.

Fake Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly beat an elderly man because of his reluctance to leave his home

Russian resources are disseminating information that allegedly in the village of Kozacha Lopan, Kharkiv region, officers of the 121st battalion of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade beat an elderly man. This allegedly happened because he refused to leave his house. As a result of the beating, the man's leg was allegedly broken.

In fact, this information is not true, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council. This is another fake by the Russians, based on a photograph from the official Facebook page of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade. In fact, the military of the 121st separate battalion of the Troops Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine evacuated an elderly man from his house destroyed by the Russians.

By spreading disinformation of this kind, propagandists are trying to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and sow distrust of them on the part of the people of Ukraine. In addition, in this way, propagandists also seek to incline to the idea that perhaps the elderly man did not want to leave because he was waiting for “liberation” by the Russians. Previously, we denied information that the Ukrainian military is planning to seize the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Message The Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly pouring reserves into the Sumy region preparing for the intensification of hostilities in the region

Russian propaganda uses Ukrainian stories about the training of border guards to spread disinformation in the Ukrainian information space about the preparation of offensive actions by the Ukrainian Defense Forces from the Sumy region to the Kursk region of Russia, which “will lead to increased military operations in the Sumy region”.

At the same time, the Russians are disseminating information about Russia’s alleged preparation of an offensive in the Sumy region. In fact, Russia does not have sufficient reserves for an offensive in the Sumy region. According to the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council, such rhetoric should force the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw reserves from Kupiansk.

Also in this case, Russia is resorting to one of the Russian propaganda tactics, using fear, uncertainty and doubt to achieve its goals. That is, the target audience of such messages is also residents of the border regions of Ukraine. After all, another goal of propagandists is to force as many civilian Ukrainians as possible to leave the border regions of Ukraine. In addition, in this way, Russia is trying to justify its terrorist attacks on populated areas of the Sumy region.

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 Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Syrskyi allegedly confirmed the “pathetic state of the Ukrainian army”

Russian media, citing statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, claim that he allegedly admitted the “pathetic state” of the Ukrainian army and its readiness to retreat from Kharkiv. Propagandists say that Syrskyi, along with Western allies, is losing confidence in Kyiv's successes and is increasingly worried about the possibility of a Russian attack not only on Kharkiv, but also on the Ukrainian capital. Such conclusions of the Russian media are based on an interview with Oleksandr Syrskyi for Ukrinform. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that in fact, in this interview, Syrskyi never mentioned “critical problems” in the structure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and did not talk about the “strategic superiority” of the enemy. Discussing the state of affairs at the front, Syrskyi noted its complexity, but at the same time emphasized that war always requires great effort. He also noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost fewer positions than they were able to regain. He noted that, despite Russia's advantage in the amount of ammunition and personnel, this did not give it strategic advantages, only minor territorial gains.

Syrskyi also noted Ukraine’s effectiveness in destroying enemy personnel and equipment, including the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and successfully using its advantage in the field of drones. He noted that Russian occupiers have serious problems with management and logistics.

According to Syrskyi, the main goal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is to prevent the loss of control over Ukrainian territory, to deplete the enemy as much as possible, inflict significant losses on him and prepare reserves for a counteroffensive. Pro-Kremlin media missed references to Russia's defeats, distorting these comments.

In the same interview with Ukrinform, Syrskyi did not make manipulative statements regarding Kharkiv, emphasizing that Ukraine takes information about possible offensive operations of the enemy seriously and is ready to properly respond to such threats. He noted that any attempt by Russia to attack Kharkiv again would lead to disastrous consequences for it, citing the successful experience of liberating the region in the past.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to discredit the Ukrainian armed forces and cause panic among the local population. Detector Media also refuted other manipulations aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Fake The new speaker of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is allegedly a Russian citizen

Russian propagandists are spreading the claim in the media that the new representative of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ilia Yevlash, allegedly has Russian citizenship, and his father lives in Russia. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that on March 18, 2024, it became known that Illia Yevlash, originally from the city of Mena in the Chernihiv region, was appointed to the position of head of the public relations service of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the country recognizes only one citizenship, which excludes the possibility of having dual citizenship, especially with an aggressor country.

Although Illia Yevlash did not publicly share information about his parents, he recalled visits to his parents in Mena after February 24, 2022, which indicates their residence in Ukraine.

Research on social networks revealed a user page under the name Oleh Yevlash, which propagandists called the page of Illia Yevlash’s father. The discovered common photographs confirm family ties. However, Oleh Yevlash’s residence is indicated as the city of Chernihiv, and not Russia. Entries on his page show that he did visit Russian cities before the full-scale invasion, but after February 24, 2022, there were no posts that could indicate his presence in Russia. He shared photos from Spain, France, Germany and Poland during the period 2022-2024.

Propagandists spread such fakes in order to arouse public distrust in new officials even before they begin full-time work in office.

Manipulation The general of the Polish army allegedly announced millions of losses in Ukraine

In an interview for the Polish news channel Polsat News, former Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army Raimund Andrzejczak, according to propagandists, expressed the opinion that Ukraine’s losses should be estimated in millions, not hundreds of thousands. However, this information is manipulated.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found that in his speech Andrzejczak mentioned the losses associated with the large flow of refugees and limited resources for mobilization. He spoke of a certain threat, pointing to the shortage of people in Ukraine and the problem with mobilization capacity, claiming “10 million refugees”.

However, Andrzejczak's estimates of losses are not precise. According to the Mykhailo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, more than 9 million Ukrainians are abroad, only some of them are refugees, and the others are labor migrants or those who left the country earlier. According to various estimates, the number of Ukrainian refugees ranges from 4.9 to 6.5 million.

The Center for Economic Strategy study also cites different figures, pointing to fewer Ukrainians abroad due to the war. Estimates of the actual losses of the Ukrainian military also vary, but do not reach millions. Approximate numbers of dead and prisoners are contained in the materials of the “Book of Memory of those who fell for Ukraine”, which has been keeping records of losses as a result of the war since 2014.

Propagandists often take phrases of famous politicians and military personnel out of context in order to dramatize the situation and cause despondency among Ukrainians.