Spilnota Detector Media

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.

Fake A man was detained in Kharkiv for allegedly poisoning military personnel of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade

This information is disseminated by Russian telegram channels. According to propagandists, this was done by a resident of Mala Rohan, Kharkiv region, because of his “love for Russia”.

In fact, the information about the poisoning of the military of the 113th separate territorial defense brigade does not correspond to reality. The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council writes about this. The man, a resident of Balakliia, and not Mala Rohan, as Russian propagandists claim, was indeed detained, but not because of the poisoning of the military, but for his support of the Russians and calls for cooperation with them during the occupation of Balakliia. This was previously reported by the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office.

We urge you to trust only verified sources of information. Previously, Detector Media denied information that in the Kharkiv region, soldiers of the 125th separate territorial defense brigade allegedly shot two men.

Fake Ukrainian military plans to seize the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Pro-Kremlin resources are spreading reports that dissatisfaction with the policies of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi is allegedly growing in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, so that the Ukrainian military “wants to seize the Verkhovna Rada by force”. In asserting this, Russian propaganda refers to supposedly closed chats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces military.

In fact, this information is not true, according to the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Russia has been promoting this narrative since the beginning of the full-scale invasion - on February 25, 2022, Putin called on the Ukrainian military to “take power into their own hands”. This narrative became more active during the period after the resignation of ex-head committee of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi. This is at least the second time that propagandists are using fake screenshots from “secret chats of the Ukrainian military”.

Thus, Russian propaganda “plays” with the moods and feelings of Ukrainians. This fake is aimed at exploding mutual trust in Ukrainian society: civilians towards the military, political leadership towards the military command, and the military, in fact, towards the authorities and command. Previously, we refuted the information that deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, allegedly under martial law, were required by law to resign.

Fake A. Barhylevych, a chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, allegedly wants everyone to fight including people with disabilities

Pro-Russian resources are distributing an image with the logo of the Ukrainian online publication UNIAN, which contains a photograph of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatolii Barhylevych and a quote allegedly belonging to him: “With what disability group can you serve in the army? With anyone. If a person can tie a grenade to themselves and jump into the dugout, then they are fit”.

The Center for Countering Disinformation analyzed this “news”. Specialists from the Center verified the information in UNIAN and reported that there were no materials with similar content on the official pages of the news agency. And the quote itself, allegedly from the Chief of the General Staff, is made up, since Barhylevych did not say anything similar about people with disabilities. In addition, the creators of the fake also made a mistake in the quote. The word “man” is feminine, but at the end of the quote the Russians used the pronoun “he”, which corresponds to a word that is not feminine, but masculine.

The purpose of such fakes is to discredit the top military leadership of the Ukrainian state. Also, by spreading disinformation on behalf of Ukrainian online publications, the Russians are trying to give it more truthfulness. Previously, we have already recorded cases when propagandists spread fake news on behalf of the UNIAN news agency.

Fake Ukraine allegedly tried to attack the Belgorod region simultaneously in three directions

Propaganda resources are disseminating information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces, allegedly with the support of up to 300 “foreign mercenaries”, tried to invade the Belgorod region of Russia from the area of Odnorobivka, Nekhoteievka and Sidoroshyno. In asserting this, propagandists refer to the Russian Ministry of Defense, as well as to the corresponding statement by Putin.

In fact, this information is not true. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Units of the Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR), the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVK) and the Siberia Battalion entered Russian territory in the Hraivoronskyi district of the Belgorod region and Tiotkino in the Kursk region on the morning of March 12. They consist of ethnic Russian emigrants, prisoners and former Russian military personnel who voluntarily stood up to defend Ukraine.

GUR representative Andrii Yusov in a comment to the Suspilne (Public) stated that on the territory of Russia these units operate as “independent structures and organizations”. They consist of Russian citizens and therefore, accordingly, “are at home”.

Fake Women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine are allegedly forced to collect donations using nude photographs

Anonymous telegram channels write that the Armed Forces of Ukraine seem to be engaged in “sexual exploitation” of women. They say the command of the 44th separate mechanized brigade forces women to collect donations for the brigade with candid photos. As proof, the authors of the fake add screenshots from Facebook: one of the photos shows the Facebook account of a girl who seems to be calling for donations to the 44th Brigade for FPV drones. The account itself, as shown in the screenshot, contains explicit photos with elements of pornography. It is not true.

The case was analyzed by StopFake fact-checkers, who examined the Facebook account of a user under the nickname “Sveta Andriuk”. Using a reverse search on Google, it was possible to establish that the photos from the account belong to a model of the social network with intimate content Onlyfans. And on the page of the probable user they actually publish various meetings at the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but not only for the needs of the 44th Brigade.

That is, this cannot confirm the thesis about the “sexual exploitation” of women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Firstly, the Facebook account does not indicate any information about the service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine regarding the probable user. Secondly, it is unknown who runs this Facebook page and for what purpose. The fact-checkers have not determined whether this account is run by a real person. For example, the activity of the Facebook page itself is quite small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fake The Ukrainian military allegedly began remotely scattering mines in the form of flashlights

Propagandists claim that such flashlights have already appeared in temporarily occupied Horlivka and may appear in other front-line cities.

The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council denied this information. In fact, such “flashlights” began to be scattered by the pro-Russian population of the Kharkiv region, as reported by the mayor of Pervomaisk Mykola Baksheiev. According to the mayor, instead of batteries, inside the device there are explosives that detonate when turned on. Although the charge is small, damage to the limbs is guaranteed.

Under no circumstances should you pick up such “flashlights”, call the police immediately if you come across one. We urge you to be vigilant and take care of yourself. Previously, we refuted information that in the Kharkiv region, fighters of a 125th  separate territorial defense brigade allegedly shot two men.

Fake Oleksandr Syrskyi is allegedly not only a careerist, but also a Ukrainophobe

Russian resources are disseminating information that allegedly during his last visit to Russia, the current commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, “confessed to his mother, that he is with the Ukrainians in the same headquarters and cannot stand them, because they are cunning and unpleasant”. As proof, Russian propaganda is distributing a video in which a neighbor of Syrskyi’s parents allegedly recalls how the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told his relatives about hatred of Ukrainians.

This information is fake, and the video is staged. This is reported by VoxCheck. Statements from Russian media contradict each other. Syrskyi said that he hated Ukrainians during his last visit to his relatives, but now he continues to communicate with them. At the same time, the “neighbor” in the video does not remember when the new commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that he hates Ukrainians and, accordingly, it was the last time he visited his relatives. One Russian resource reports that this happened between 2008 and 2010. Another propaganda resource, citing the words of his brother, the head of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, claims that Syrskyi does not keep in touch with his relatives. Independent media do not indicate when the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces last saw or communicated with relatives. This information cannot be verified on the basis of open data, so the allegations about Syrskyi’s “Ukrainophobia” are unfounded.

A significant part of his life and military career is connected with Ukraine and the confrontation with Russia. After the start of a full-scale invasion, the current commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine became one of the key persons in the country's defense. In addition, he considers Kharkiv to be his hometown, where he graduated from school.

This fake appeared as part of a large-scale campaign aimed at discrediting the new commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In addition, the purpose of such lies is to sow discord among Ukrainians, undermine confidence in the country’s top leadership and make them despair of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Previously, in the Newspeak section, we wrote about how and why the word “virus” was again remembered in Russia after the appointment of Oleksandr Syrskyi to the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainian soldiers allegedly shot Russians who wanted to surrender

Russian telegram channels are distributing a video in which allegedly soldiers of the Third Separate Assault Brigade (3rd Separate Assault Brigade) shot Russians in a trench who were trying to surrender.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine stated that this video recording was obviously staged. Firstly, in the video one can trace the artificial Ukrainian actors - “fighters”. Secondly, the “killed man” suddenly began to move. In fact, Ukraine adheres to the Geneva Conventions and treats prisoners humanely. The Russian army has repeatedly shot Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered.

Thus, propagandists encourage the Russian military to kill every Ukrainian, even unarmed ones, without hesitation, they say, “look, they do this!” In addition, in this case, Russian propaganda uses tactics of reflection, that is, they bring forward the same accusations against Ukraine as it does against Russia. Only the Ukrainian side has real grounds for this, unlike Russia, because, for example, only on February 18-20, 2024, cases of executions of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russian occupiers near Avdiivka, Vesele and Robotyne were recorded.

Read also: While studying in Germany, Ukrainian soldiers allegedly boast about the atrocities they commit against Russians

Message Soldiers of the 73rd Naval Center of the Special Operations Forces allegedly died during an unsuccessful landing attempt on the Tendra Spit

Russian media are disseminating information that soldiers of the 73rd Naval Special Operations Center allegedly died while trying to gain a foothold on the Tendra Spit in the northern part of the Black Sea, off the coast of the Kherson region.

This information is not true. The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine reports that in fact, the military of the 73rd Special Operations Center took their last battle after successfully completing a special mission, when they ensured the withdrawal of the main forces of the group.

“The heroic and extremely complex combat work of the Special Operations Forces units on land, at sea and deep behind enemy lines is the daily contribution of the Special Operations Forces soldiers to victory over the enemy. Always remember at what cost our freedom is fought”, the Special Operations Forces command notes.

Fake In the Kharkiv region, fighters of the 125th separate territorial defense brigade allegedly shot two men

This information is disseminated by pro-Kremlin resources. According to propagandists, the incident occurred near the border village of Slatyne.

The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council says that this is another fake by Russian propagandists. In fact, the victims were blown up by an explosive device installed by the Russians in the forest belt between Velyki Prohody and Slatyne (Kharkiv region). This was reported by the Kharkiv regional prosecutor's office. The men were aged 32 and 19 years old, both residents of the village of Slatyne. The prosecutor's office established that they went to the forest to cut firewood for household needs.

Russian propagandists spread such fake news in order to demonize the Ukrainian military. However, it is the Russian army that is to blame for the death of these men, because Slatyne is an occupied territory. In all likelihood, during the flight from the Kharkiv region, the Russians left traps, in particular in the form of anti-personnel mines.

Read also: As a result of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ shelling of a “bakery” in Lysychansk, 28 “civilians” were allegedly killed

Message Russian propagandists began a disinformation campaign claiming losses of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Selydove in the Donetsk region

Russian propagandists began a disinformation campaign claiming losses of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Selydove in the Donetsk region. This is a clear example of Russian disinformation.

This was reported by the United Press Center of the Taurian Defense Forces. He noted that on February 13, 2024, Russian troops used the Uragan MLRS to strike the town of Tsukuryne, Pokrovskyi district. Rescuers from the State Emergency Service inspected the area and determined that as a result of the shelling, 2 multi-apartment two-story residential buildings on Svitla street and a car were damaged. There are no casualties or wounded.

Thus, the enemy is trying to divert attention from his significant losses in the Taurian direction. In just one day on February 12, they suffered 645 losses, and in the previous week (from February 5 to February 11) - 2,947 people.

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly laugh at the counteroffensive in the video

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks that they are trying to present as a mocking video on behalf of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It depicts Ukrainian soldiers allegedly laughing at the counteroffensive, repeating the phrase “we carried out a successful counteroffensive in our pants”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that this video is not on the official pages of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the General Staff on social networks, nor on their official websites. In addition, during editing, the propagandists made a mistake with the symbolism, using the cross of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine instead of the emblem of the Armed Forces. All ten frames from which the video is compiled are taken from open sources. For example, one fragment is taken from a video published on the Insider UA telegram channel, where fighters ask for financial support for the Kraken unit. Another excerpt was found in a video filmed on the day of the liberation of Kherson by the Defense Forces in November 2022.

This is not the first time Russian propaganda has used the phrase “successful counteroffensive in your pants” to discredit Ukraine. President Zelenskyi acknowledged that the Defense Forces' summer counteroffensive did not produce the expected results, mainly due to insufficient allied support and the lack of necessary weapons, but he did not call it a failure. Propagandists manipulate this. Detector Media also wrote about other Russian fakes regarding the counteroffensive.

Manipulation As a result of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ shelling of a “bakery” in Lysychansk, 28 “civilians” were allegedly killed

Pro-Russian resources disseminated information that on February 3, 2024, the Ukrainian Armed Forces dealt a “cruel blow” to Lysychansk, Luhansk region, as a result of which a two-story “bakery” building collapsed and allegedly injured “civilians”. In particular, gauleiter of the occupied Luhansk region Leonid Pasichnyk wrote about this on his telegram channel. The next day, February 4, after clearing the rubble, the Russians announced 28 dead “civilians” and blamed the Ukrainian Armed Forces for this.

However, already on February 5, Pasichnyk himself admitted on his telegram channel that the Minister of Emergency Situations of the LPR, Colonel Oleksii Poteleshchenko, was killed during the shelling. He received Russian citizenship in 2019, worked in the ranks of the so-called “LPR People’s Militia”, and in 2023 headed the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the self-proclaimed LPR.

According to the British media Reuters, based on the design and color of the shelled building, as well as the location matching the file images, an acquaintance was able to confirm the location of the video shared by the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. On Google maps it coincides with the location of the Adriatica restaurant on Moskovska Street in Lysychansk. That is, the blow was struck not at the bakery, which is located next to the restaurant, but precisely at the Adriatica. Ukrainian blogger and journalist Denys Kazanskyi also writes about this, citing propagandist Anastasiia Kashevarova, who also claims that there were many security officials in the restaurant with the Minister of Emergency Situations of the LPR. According to her, they were celebrating the birthday of a “high-ranking man”. However, they were allegedly surrendered by local residents who did not support the activities of the occupation authorities.

By spreading disinformation about the shelling of a “bakery” and the death of 28 “civilians”, the Russians seek to demonize the Ukrainian army and nourish their narrative of “atrocities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces” against civilians on the temporary occupied territories. Earlier, Detector Media denied information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly fired at the market in Donetsk.

Fake Ukraine is about to allegedly collapse along the entire front line

Pro-Kremlin media write that there will soon be a breakthrough by Russian troops on the contact line, as the number of Ukrainian defenders is getting smaller. Russian troops are allegedly successfully moving forward along the entire front line. In asserting this, propagandists refer to former intelligence officer of the US Armed Forces Scott Ritter, who made a corresponding statement.

This information is fake, as reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Ritter's statements duplicate Russian narratives. He has more than once predicted the “imminent collapse of Ukraine” and the “victory of Russia”, and frightened the Ukrainians with a “large-scale offensive by the Russians”. In November 2023, Ritter also said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would soon be destroyed, but Ukrainian soldiers continued to hold the line. As for the supposedly successful advance of the Russians, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, said that the offensive operation of the Russian troops has been going on for two and a half months: “They have a certain advance in the fields, what happened near Avdiivka. But this is not what they expected. The occupiers wanted to reach the barrier line along the Black Stallion River in the Kharkiv region and the administrative border of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as quickly as possible. There’s nothing even close to that”.

Russians fill the information space with news demotivated by the Ukrainian people. This is all happening against the backdrop of the fact that the United States and the EU have been unable to unblock financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $61.4 billion and €50 billion, respectively. Therefore, the Ukrainian army suffers, which may not receive enough weapons and equipment necessary for waging war. Previously, we refuted Ritter’s assertion that “Ukrainian aviation has been completely destroyed”.

Manipulation The United States seems to have admitted that the war in Ukraine will end on Russia’s terms

Propagandists claim that the war in Ukraine will supposedly end on the terms determined by Russia after the complete collapse of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Like, the USA announced this. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security drew attention to it. They found out that this information was being disseminated by Russian media with reference to a military expert, former US Marine Brian Berletik. Berletik is, in fact, a pseudo-expert spreading Russian propaganda. He gives examples of how the Ukrainian military allegedly “kills its own population in order to frame Russia”.  Previously, he also argued that Ukraine will continue to lose its regions. It is simply pointless to trust the “forecasts” of such a person, since he only expresses theses that are beneficial for Russia. This is his personal opinion, and not the position of the entire United States.

At the moment, according to the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, there is no reason to believe that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will face a “complete collapse”, since the Ukrainian army successfully holds the defense and inflicts significant losses on the occupiers. That is why propagandists spread such manipulations - to create a false impression of Russia’s victory on the battlefield, which supposedly even is recognized by Ukraine’s allies. Detector Media has repeatedly denied other Russian manipulations related to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Manipulation The Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly retreating due to a lack of personnel

Russian propagandists, citing statements by journalist Christoph Wanner, are spreading information in the media that the defenders of Ukraine have to give up positions from small sections of the front due to a lack of people. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security drew attention to it. Probably, the propaganda had in mind the retreat of the defenders of Ukraine from Krokhmalne in the Kharkiv region and the capture of this village by Russian occupiers. The representative of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Fitio, clarified during the telethon that the defense forces retreated to reserve positions due to the fact that the village was completely destroyed by the occupiers, and it was no longer possible to remain there, since this endangered the lives of the Ukrainian military. In addition, they found that Wanner's journalistic work was characterized by one-sidedness, violations of journalistic standards and an open pro-Russian position.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to give a false impression of victories at the front. Detector Media has repeatedly denied other Russian manipulations related to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly shelled a market in Donetsk

Russian propagandists and politicians write that on the morning of January 21, 2024, the Donetsk Mercury market came under fire from the Ukrainian army. Like, it’s customary in the Ukrainian Armed Forces to shoot at the market, even on a day off.

In fact, the Ukrainian military is not involved in these attacks, as reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The forces that are subordinate to the Tavria Operational-strategic troop grouping and sometimes destroying Russians in the Donetsk region, in this case did not carry out combat work with means of destruction. This was noted in the joint press center of the Taurian Defense Forces and added: “Donetsk is Ukraine! Russia will have to answer for the taken lives of Ukrainians”.

With this fake, Russian propaganda seeks to nourish the narrative that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been bombing Donbas since 2014” and allegedly continue to do so. That is, in this case, propagandists resort to reflexive tactics, trying to justify the atrocities of the Russian army. Previously, we refuted information that the Ukrainian authorities allegedly admitted that they would have to give up the occupied territories to the Russians.

Message Russian paratroopers may allegedly land near Kharkiv, in the rear of Ukrainian troops

In its report for January 13, 2024, ISW reported that Russia could form an assault force for landing in the rear of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Hostomel is mentioned as an example at the beginning of a full-scale invasion. Russian and even Ukrainian resources picked up the news and began to disseminate information about possible similar operations, in particular near Kharkiv.

In fact, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council. In the ISW report, it referred to one Russian source, which may already indicate the falsity of what was stated. In addition, it states that Russian paratroopers do not even seem to need parachutes. Everything had to happen by landing helicopters in the near rear for the rapid deployment of personnel. However, since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has significantly strengthened its air defense, and the landing in Hostomel in February 2022 was not successful. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have weapons that are capable of quickly destroying any helicopters and aircraft. For example, the operation to destroy the A-50 aircraft over the Sea of Azov is a clear confirmation. Before this, there were other downings of Russian planes and helicopters.

Such rhetoric is intended to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among the Ukrainian people. This is one of the propaganda tactics. There will probably be more information leaks on this topic, so trust verified resources. Earlier,  Detector Media analyzed the message of Russian propaganda saying that Ukrainian air defense is about to end.

Manipulation More than 50 thousand mobilized people have allegedly died from the Chernihiv region

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that the head of the Chernihiv state military administration, Viacheslav Chaus, at a press conference following the results of 2023, said that more than 50 thousand mobilized from the Chernihiv region have already died in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In fact, this information is not true, reports the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. At the press conference, Chaus reported on the demographic situation in the region and noted that the decrease in indicators by 50 thousand residents is due to displaced persons since the beginning of active hostilities in other regions of Ukraine or abroad. That is, the information about the alleged disclosure by the head of the Chernihiv state military administration of the number of people mobilized in the region is a fiction of Russian propaganda, since Chaus did not make any statements on this topic.

In addition, exact data on the distribution of those mobilized by region is not published in open sources, as well as information on the number of killed and wounded defenders of Ukraine. The last is a state secret that will be disclosed only after the end of the great war.

Russian propaganda continues to speculate on the topic of mobilization in Ukraine, which has become sensitive for Ukrainians, since this topic concerns almost every family. The purpose of spreading this disinformation is to intimidate the Ukrainian people, saying that compared to the Chernivtsi region, the numbers throughout Ukraine should be tens of times higher. More exposures of fakes and manipulations by Russians on the topic of mobilization in Ukraine can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

Message Ukrainian air defense seems to be about to end

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

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

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