Spilnota Detector Media

Disclosure To win the war, almost 29 million Ukrainians must die

Social networks began to spread messages in Ukrainian with the information that “our army liberated 270-300 km², losing 71 thousand soldiers killed”. The publications also say: in order to de-occupy all territories, it will be necessary to “kill” almost 29 million Ukrainians.

Specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security analyzed such messages. They found out that such publications are Russian IPSO. As for the deoccupied territories, this is the case – as of September 10, 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine actually liberated about 270 km². However, the data on the number of Ukrainian military deaths during hostilities is invented, since this information is a state secret and will be made public by Ukraine only after the end of the war. It turns out that the “calculation” of future losses was made on the basis of imaginary data, so it cannot be considered reliable.

Propagandists manipulate information and create facts because they see this as effective and potentially influential on Ukrainian society. Such disinformation is spread with the aim of demoralizing Ukrainians and making them think about giving up. When reading similar cases that can evoke strong emotions, we encourage you to think critically. We also worked on the Russian information campaign, when on behalf of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, recipes for dishes from pigeons and dogs were sent to Ukrainians in connection with the alleged crisis in the agricultural sector in Ukraine.

Disclosure The Ministry of Health of Ukraine allegedly sends emails to Ukrainians about the shortage of medicines in the country

According to such reports, the shortage of medicines allegedly arose against the backdrop of Ukraine’s refusal to use medicines produced in Russia or Belarus, as well as due to complicated logistics. In addition, the letters contain advice on how traditional medicine can help in this case. This is the Russian IPSO.

The case was worked on by the Center for Countering Disinformation and noted that the Ministry of Health of Ukraine itself had already managed to refute this information. They reported that in fact there is no shortage of medicine, and added: Ukrainians have access to original and high-quality medicines both in pharmacies and in medical institutions.

The purpose of this pseudo-mailing is to discredit the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and sow panic among Ukrainians. Previously, we analyzed the message of Russian propaganda that expired medicines are allegedly being imported into Ukraine, which is why people are allegedly  dying.

Disclosure The Ministry of Agrarian Policy allegedly sends Ukrainians recipes for dishes made from pigeons and dogs

The agricultural sector suffered significant losses, therefore, in order for ordinary citizens of Ukraine to at least somehow diversify their diet, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine allegedly sent out a mailing to Ukrainians with recipes for preparing dishes from pigeons, dogs, and Colorado beetles. This is the Russian IPSO.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Security investigated this case. They noted that the Ministry of Agrarian Policy itself had already denied the information. They stated that they did not do such a mailing and called it another attempt by the Russians to convince everyone around that there is famine in Ukraine.

Previously, we analyzed the message of Russian propaganda that Ukrainians are supposedly starving and must stand in line for free lunches.

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

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

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

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

Disclosure Unknown people call entrepreneurs in Volyn on behalf of the tax authorities and demand money from them

This information was recorded by specialists of the Brekhunets (The Liar) project. In the message, they said that private entrepreneurs in Volyn receive phone calls on behalf of tax officials, demanding money. During a telephone conversation, the attackers claim that the head of the state tax inspectorate of the local department of the State Tax Service in the Volyn region, Serhii Samchuk, is talking to private entrepreneurs.

However, this is a lie. Actually, Serhii Samchuk denied information about telephone calls from the tax service. He also warned entrepreneurs against fraud and urged them to contact the police if anyone receives such calls.

Disclosure Ukrainska Pravda did not publish an article about the death of officers of the 128th brigade, who were suspected of selling weapons to Hamas

Anonymous Telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric are distributing a screenshot of an alleged article by the media Ukrainska Pravda with the headline “Officers of the 128th Brigade, suspected of selling weapons to Hamas, have died”. Also, Russian propaganda reports about 50 dead servicemen and hints that it was not an accident. It is not true.

The case was investigated by fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation. In fact, such an article does not exist in the publication Ukrainska Pravda. As a result of the Russian attack, 19 soldiers of the 128 separate mountain assault brigade died, not 50, as the propagandists wrote.

In this way, the Russians are trying to discredit the Ukrainian military and continue to spread fakes that Ukraine is selling Western weapons to Hamas. Earlier, we refuted the fake that Hamas representatives recorded a video in which they thanked Zelenskyi for the weapons provided.

Disclosure A “prophetic” poem supposedly by Taras Shevchenko about “treason in Ukraine”, which he did not write, is being distributed on Facebook

In the Ukrainian segment of the Facebook social network, an alleged poem by Taras Shevchenko is being spread, where he seems to predict the events of modern Ukraine: “The poor man cries, the rich man rejoices, and the government robs. Poor people bury sons killed in the war. A rich man who is full and proud makes a wedding”. However, there is no such poem in the works of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.

The case was investigated by fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation. Taras Shevchenko does not have such a poem, and it is not written in his style. This was pointed out by the Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko: “Style, damn, style: no matter how the Chekist rabble disguises itself, no matter how it forges a voice for itself, as in the fairy tale about the wolf and the kid, the style will definitely betray them”. In her opinion, “Shevchenko's fakes” are “concocted in the style of an illiterate graphomaniac and thrown into the network as if they belonged to the pen of Taras Shevchenko, with a postscript, to encourage the spreaders, in the spirit of “oh how relevant, indeed a prophet! [...]”.

The original source of the fake poem is the Solomia Ukrainets Facebook page, which is not the first time that it promotes disinformation, anti-Semitism and pro-Russian narratives. In 2018, the publication Chitomo wrote about this with reference to the research Opora.

In this way, Russian propaganda tries to destabilize Ukrainian society, discredit the Ukrainian government and incite a rebellion against it. This “fake poem” appears in posts accusing the authorities of devaluing the lives of Ukrainians almost at the same time as Russian fakes that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is calling for a military coup.

Disclosure Russia is developing a disinformation campaign in Latin America to discredit Ukraine

On November 7, 2023, the US State Department issued a press release titled “The Kremlin’s Efforts to Covertly Spread Disinformation in Latin America”, which revealed that the Russian government is funding a disinformation campaign using local media throughout Latin America. They are doing this in order to undermine support for Ukraine and at the same time spread sentiments against the USA and NATO among the Latin American audience. The main goal of Russian propagandists, according to the message, is to create an organic space for spreading propaganda in the Latin American space.

Media representatives of the online edition Espresso informed about the publication. In particular, the press release also noted that Moscow uses an extensive system of spreading false information: from websites to state media, in order to increasingly infiltrate Western discourse.

At the same time, the message of the State Department explained how such a disinformation campaign will work in general: first of all, they plan to organize a trained group of specialists of the editorial team, and the editorial board will be formed, for example,  by journalists and leaders of public opinion from the Latin American region. Subsequently, the team in Russia will create and send materials to the Latin American media for review, editing and appropriate final publication in local media. In addition, the Russian team anticipates that their materials will be “personalized” for the Latin American consumer — adding a local context and thus creating a specific plane for unobtrusively spreading pro-Kremlin narratives.

Among other things, translation technology from Russian to Spanish will be involved. Moreover, the translation will be carried out by a Russian specialist who is proficient in the Spanish language. Presumably, in order to prevent the loss of the main context in the messages, the Russian translator will maintain the mood required by the Kremlin.

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

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

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

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

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

Disclosure How the Russians launched a disinformation campaign against Ukraine through fake websites of Ukrainian and Western publications

On the social network X (formerly Twitter), since October 25, materials have been massively distributed on fake websites of well-known Ukrainian and foreign media. The fact-checkers of The Insider project were the first to write about this spam attack. Detector Media publishes the main techniques and narratives used in this spam attack.

Some of the tweets contain a link to several pseudo-novelty/analytical materials. The Insider analysts found that they were posted on sites counterfeiting well-known Ukrainian publications, such as OBOZREVATEL. In these columns one can see the messages of propagandists repeated many times - they say that Ukraine’s defeat is inevitable, Israel will completely take away Ukrainian military and financial assistance, Ukrainians will freeze without heating and will survive without salaries and pensions. It seems that all this is so that the “Kyiv regime” retains power.

Propagandists and foreign media sites falsify them. As noted in The Insider, pseudo-columns are published on “clones” of such publications as Der Spiegel, Welt, Fox News, La Parisien, Walla, etc. Western audiences are served the same narratives, only in English, French, German and Hebrew. The centrality of the attack and the connection of its organizers with Russia is indicated by the fact that within its framework they published links to Russian propaganda media, where a video about “drug addict Volodymyr Zelenskyi” was posted.

By resorting to this, propagandists want to cause panic among Ukrainians and despondency in the Ukrainian government, which should lead to destabilization of the political situation. This is also indicated by the fact that the attack occurred simultaneously with protests in several Ukrainian cities under the slogan “For demobilization!”, where the same visual materials were used. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted Russian manipulations and fakes aimed against the Ukrainian government, elected by the people.

Disclosure A phishing attack has begun on Facebook: in order not to have the account blocked allegedly due to a violation of community rules, one needs to follow the link

A phishing attack on group administrators has begun on the social network Facebook. They receive a message saying that, allegedly due to serious violations of community rules, their account will be blocked within 24 hours. To prevent the account from being blocked, they  need to follow the link in the message and appeal the decision.

The specialists from the Center for Countering Disinformation have investigated this scheme and urge people not to click on dubious links. In this way, scammers try to gain access to your Facebook account and information about bank cards and personal data.

Moreover, the Facebook administration does not send such messages. If someone has written something like this, send a complaint and block the author. If you have become a victim of scammers, contact the cyber police.

Disclosure Russian bots are spreading panic online about rising costs of living in Ukraine

In the Ukrainian segment of social networks, Russian robots spread information that prices in Ukraine are constantly being raised and they are profiting from Ukrainians. Allegedly, prices are rising and people will soon begin to starve. It is not true.

As the fact-checkers at the Center for Strategic Communications note, such comments about price increases in Ukraine are written by Russian bots commissioned by the Russian Digital Army group. They pretend to be Ukrainians and spread messages that Ukrainians will soon starve.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, cause panic among Ukrainians and distrust of the authorities. In fact, prices in Ukraine are rising due to the war that Russia started, but Ukrainians work and donate to the army. Earlier, Detector Media reported on the message that people in the country are starving and must stand in line for free lunches.

Disclosure The Russians are spreading fake information that a petition has been created in Ukraine calling for recognition of Israel's crimes against Palestine

Pro-Kremlin telegram channels are distributing a screenshot of an alleged petition from the website of the official Internet representation of the President of Ukraine calling for “recognition of Israel’s war crimes against the people of Palestine”. The author of the petition is Ahmed Tamim, Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine, Supreme Mufti of Ukraine. It is not true.

As the fact-checkers of the Center for Countering Disinformation note, in fact, there is no such petition either on the website of the President of Ukraine or on the official pages of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit Ukraine, create a religious conflict on the territory of our state and worsen relations with Israel. Previously, we refuted the fake news that a Temple bar was opened for Satanists in Kyiv.

Disclosure In the Cherkasy region, unknown persons are collecting aid to the military, allegedly on behalf of the head of the Regional Military Administration

This was recorded by specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Security. They report that unknown people are calling entrepreneurs in the Cherkasy region, allegedly from the head of the Regional Military Administration, Ihor Taburets, who is “raising money” to help the military. Actually, the head of the regional military administration received this information about scammers from a local businessman.

During the telephone conversation, they offer to transfer funds to help the military to the appropriate bank account. But the head of the Regional Military Administration did not make calls and did not ask to transfer funds. Also in his address, he added real contacts of the leadership of the Cherkasy Regional Military Administration, so that residents of the region could check who is actually calling them on the phone.

Disclosure A trailer for the horror film “Voienkom” allegedly shot by Kvartal 95 Studio are being distributed by Russians

In the Russian segment of social networks, on YouTube and in pro-Kremlin media, a trailer for the horror film “Voienkom” (The Military Commissariat), which was allegedly produced by the Ukrainian company Kvartal 95 Studio, is being distributed. It's a lie.

The case was examined by the fact-checkers from the Center for Countering Disinformation. They established that the video was created by the Russians. Experts also managed to identify the person in the video - it turned out to be Russian actor Roman Makarov living in Moscow.

By spreading fake news about mobilization, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate men of military age. The Russians are deliberately demonizing the mobilization process and exaggerating its pace in order to cause panic among Ukrainians. Previously, we talked about the manipulation that in Ukraine they are planning to mobilize men who are over 60 years old.

Disclosure Fake information about payments to all Ukrainians in the amount of 6,600 hryvnia is being spread on social networks

Fake information about one-time payments to Ukrainians in the amount of 6,600 hryvnia is being spread on social networks. Allegedly, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted Law No. 2708-267 “On the payment of monetary assistance to all citizens of Ukraine”.

The fact-checkers at the Center for Countering Disinformation drew attention to this. In fact, such a law on payments does not exist and the Verkhovna Rada has not adopted it. Behind this are scammers citing Law No. 2708 “On Labor”, which has similar figures. By clicking on the link in a distributed message, a person ends up on a dubious Telegram channel or unknown persons trying to ask for bank card details.

The National Police of Ukraine urges people not to click on suspicious links and not to provide any bank cards and account details to unknown persons.

Disclosure How German local politicians spread pro-Russian narratives on Ukrainian refugees

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels claim that German cities are in debt because of “too much” aid for Ukrainian refugees. They say that local politicians emphasize that refugees “don’t want to go to work” because they receive a large amount of funds as part of social assistance. Propagandists cite statements by officials such as the Lord Mayor of Schwäbisch Gmünd Richard Arnold, the Minister for Migration of Baden-Württemberg Marion Gentjes and the President of the Baden-Württemberg District Council Joachim Walter. At various times they actually made similar statements, which were refuted by journalists from the regional public broadcaster SWR.

1. Ukrainian refugees receive 3,000 euros of net income per family from Germany

This is not true. According to SWR calculations, single parents or family members receive €502 per month, partners in the same family €451 each, children aged 14 to 17 €420, children aged 6–13 €348 and children under 6 – € 318. Therefore, a family of four with two children aged 12 and 14 will have a total benefit of 1,691 euros. But a single mother with two children under 6 years old will receive only 1,138 euros per month. The broadcaster's journalists note that this is not very good for German prices, given inflation. Moreover, of the 177,000 Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Baden-Württemberg between March 2022 and September 2023, only 98,347 received assistance from the state. This refutes the fact that the poor economic situation in the region is caused solely by Ukrainian refugees.

Analyzing the statements of President Walter, journalists came to the conclusion that in order to overstate the amount of assistance to Ukrainian refugees in his statements, he is using an initiative that will come into force on January 1, 2024, according to which the amount of assistance will be increased by 50 euros per person, that is, by approximately 200 Euro more for one average family. But even after this, the increase in the benefit will not reach the mentioned 3,000–3,500 euros. In addition, Walter refers to the fact that refugees still have a lot of benefits, for example, for school children - school supplies or payment for housing. However, not everything is so simple with them either.

2. Employment centers pay for the accommodation of Ukrainian refugees in Germany

This is true, but this solution does not have unanimous support in German society due to its economic feasibility. For example, the industrial union Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt criticized the idea due to the fact that job centers spent too much money on renting apartments. According to a calculation made for the trade union by the Pestel Institute, employment centers will spend more than 20 billion euros on accommodation in 2023. Because of this, the overall rental price in Baden-Württemberg increased from 5.43 euros to 7.75 euros per square meter. Trade unions say the state should provide and build social housing, for example in the Austrian capital, so as not to destabilize the property market.

3. Ukrainians in Germany don’t want to work

This is a standard message of Russian propaganda, which is being picked up by German politicians this time. However, SWR journalists refuted these claims. In particular, they note that the majority of Ukrainian refugees in the region are women with children, who must often care for them independently. Accordingly, due to lack of time and the need to care for their families, they are unable to go to work.

In addition, in Germany there are still problems with the recognition of qualifications and professional training received in Ukraine. For example, SWR told the story of Ukrainian doctor Olha Soloviova, who was forced to work as a cleaner in Germany because her qualifications were not recognized. She currently works in an Austrian clinic. These restrictions are another obstacle for those refugees who have high qualifications and years of work experience and want to work in the EU, but cannot due to lack of recognition of all this during employment.

By spreading such messages, Russian propagandists want to once again discredit Ukrainian refugees and demotivate Europeans to support Ukraine. Detector Media has previously published a great investigation on what other harmful narratives about Ukrainian refugees are being spread by Russians.

Disclosure Fake pages of Ukrainian volunteers, media workers and military personnel are created on social networks

Fake pages of Ukrainian journalists, activists and volunteers are being created on social networks and dating sites. They are created using photos and information from authentic profiles.

The specialists of the NotaYenota project drew attention to this. They note that, in particular, Lviv volunteer Mariia Kisil and producer of Ukraїner found themselves in such a situation. The volunteer claims that each of her volunteer reports is distributed by a closed page with her name, which she cannot even access due to the privacy settings of the fake account. NotaYenota analysts remind that fake pages of Ukrainian military and volunteers have been actively created by the Russians since last year, however, they do not exclude the possibility that scammers may be behind this.

By resorting to this technique, propagandists can more easily spread falsehoods into the information space, as was the case last year. Using them, they want to obtain certain information, discredit Ukrainians, or lure money under the guise of well-known names with a good reputation.

Disclosure The Russians launched an advertising campaign on social networks for the “law on payments to military families”

On social networks one can find advertisements according to which the Ukrainian government has allegedly “approved” a law on payments to “families defending” the country at the front. NotaYenota project specialists drew attention to it.

They found out that the Russians were actually behind the ads. In particular, this is indicated, at least, by the fact that in Ukraine the government does not “approve” laws. In addition, neither the Verkhovna Rada nor the Cabinet of Ministers made such decisions.

Project specialists note that Russians launch such advertising campaigns to spread negative sentiments in society and cause distrust in the authorities in general. The advertisements were created with the expectation that Ukrainians would start asking local authorities about payments and, in response to a refusal, would accuse it of lying. Subsequently, Russians will make advertisements about how corrupt Ukraine is. Detector Media has already written about how the topic of corruption in Ukraine is used by Russian propaganda in its own interests.

Disclosure Fraudsters lure money from Volyn residents from the local government

This information was recorded by the fact-checker of the Brekhunets (Liar) project. They explain that Volyn entrepreneurs receive fraudulent letters and phone calls allegedly on behalf of the head of the Volyn Regional Military Administration, Yurii Pohuliaiko, with a request to transfer funds to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

However, the Volyn Regional Military Administration denied this information. They emphasized that neither the head of it, nor other heads of the Volyn Regional State Administration departments make such telephone calls or send such letters.

Disclosure Russians send Ukrainian military messages on Signal calling for them to surrender

Ukrainian users of the Signal application, popular among military personnel, receive messages calling for them to surrender. Allegedly, according to a certain frequency, the Ukrainian military can voluntarily choose life.

The case was studied by fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. Russian propaganda has monkeyed with the Ukrainian project ”I Want to Live”, which appeared in 2022 thanks to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, where Russians can surrender. The Red Cross and the media have access to the prison camp in Ukraine, and it meets the standards of the Geneva Convention.

However, Ukrainians in captivity are tortured and subjected to psychological violence, and international organizations do not have access to their places of detention. The Russians also commit mass murder. As the Main Intelligence Directorate reported, “On July 28, a powerful explosion occurred on the territory of the former correctional colony No. 120 in the city of Olenivka in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk region, which is now used as a detention center for Ukrainian prisoners of war”. As a result, Ukrainian prisoners died. As of July 28, 2023, of the 59 returned bodies of dead people, 52 have been identified.

Rusian propaganda is trying to divert attention and deflect responsibility for the torture, mistreatment and murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war, saying that they created all the conditions for a safe surrender. Previously, we refuted the fake news that Azov commander Denis “Redis” Prokopenko was captured again.

Disclosure The Russians are spreading information that allegedly the Ukrainian military carried out a missile attack on Kostiantynivka

On September 6, 2023, the Russian military launched a missile attack on a market in the city of Kostiantynivka, Donetsk region. As a result of the attack by the Russians, 16 people were killed, 28 more were injured, but the number of victims may vary. This was announced by Volodymyr Zelenskyi on the official page on the Telegram.

Russian propagandists and pro-Kremlin telegram channels accuse Ukraine of shelling the center of Kostiantynivka. Allegedly, during the operation of air defense, the rocket flew in an unplanned trajectory or shot down something in the sky that fell on the market. Russian propaganda uses the tactics of reflection and transfers responsibility to the victim of the crimes of the Russians. After the attack on the house in Dnipro on January 14, 2023, Russian propagandists also tried to whitewash the Russians and blamed the Ukrainian military for the tragedy.

On the fact of the shelling by Russian troops, the prosecutor's office opened criminal proceedings under article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the laws and customs of war).

Disclosure How the pro-Kremlin agenda is seeping into the Italian media space

A Guardian journalist published material about how Russian propaganda is seeping into the Italian media space and why local TV channels indulge it. In support of the thesis about the spread of misinformation among Italian television viewers, the mediaman cites the results of a study: almost 50% of Italians choose not to support either side in the Russian-Ukrainian war. It seems that “not everything is so simple”. In the end, this situation arises because the Italians launch typical pro-Russian guests, representatives of the Russian “authorities” into their media space. Which, in turn, spread narratives that benefit them. For example, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, such Russians have become invited guests on Italian television: among them Russian Foreign Minister Serhii Lavrov and his press secretary Mariia Zakharova, who at one time explained the supposed desire of the Ukrainians to have their state led by Putin. Russian ideologist Oleksander Duhin, who has repeatedly called for the destruction of Ukraine and its division. Find the full list of Russian guests here. The analysis also noted that compared to other Western European countries, Italy is more susceptible to Russian disinformation simply because media professionals allow Russians into the most popular TV shows to provide commentary. Consequently, the more freedom Italian journalists give to opponents of freedom of speech (after all, so are Russian propagandists), the more society becomes vulnerable to any Kremlin narratives. With propagandists it is impossible to maintain a balance of opinions.

Such actions lead to the fact that the public does not become interested in helping Ukraine, and especially may deny the existence of the war, the deaths of Ukrainian civilians and the shelling of civilian infrastructure by the Russians. And in people’s minds there may be an opinion that if Russian propagandists are invited as experts, then they are worthy of attention or, at least, they should also be listened to. Which, of course, is wrong. The journalist cited another study, which explains that Italy is among the EU countries where people trust Zelenskyi the least. According to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Italians were the most sympathetic to Russia among the member states surveyed, and 27% of them also blamed Ukraine and the United States for the war. Such results indicate that Italy’s policy is too liberal towards Russians, who take advantage of this for their own selfish purposes.

Disclosure A video with a downed plane, on board of which there allegedly was Yevhenii Pryhozhyn, is being circulated online

In the American segment of Facebook and the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, in the Ukrainian and Russian segments of TikTok, a video is being distributed, which allegedly records the moment of the downing of an Embraer aircraft belonging to the leader of the Wagner group Yevhenii Pryhozhyn. The plane crashed on August 23, 2023 near the village of Kuzhenkino, Bolohivskyi district, Tver region, and group commander Dmytro Utkin was on board with it. It is not true.

Reuters fact-checkers investigated the case. The video recorded the crash of another aircraft, which occurred 2 months before August 23. This video first appeared on June 24, 2023, depicting a plane crash in the Voronezh region of Russia during the end of the Wagner protest. The video shows the fall of the Il-22 near Kantemyrivka.

Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that a Wagner group fighter posted a photo proving that he was at the Polish border.

Disclosure What propagandists wrote about Russia's strike on Chernihiv

Detector Media has prepared a selection of messages about Russia's strike on the center of Chernihiv, which Russian propaganda has been distributing since August 19.

On August 19, the Russian army hit the center of Chernihiv. At the time of the strike on the drama theater, the building was hosting an announced drone exhibition. As a result of the attack by the Russians, 7 people were killed, 144 people, including 15 children, were injured  as a result of a strike on the center of Chernihiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in a video message. On August 21, the chairman of the Chernihiv Regional Military Administration, Viacheslav Chaus, wrote in his telegram channel that the liquidation of the consequences of the Russian missile attack continues, and damage to 10 administrative and 66 residential premises (53 were examined) has been established to date.

Russia reacted to the missile attack on Chernihiv with a number of messages. The authors of the telegram channel of the Digital Army of Russia gave instructions to subscribers from Russia on how they should comment on messages in Ukrainian telegram channels. We have highlighted some of them.

All air defense systems were installed in Kyiv, so Chernihiv and other cities of Ukraine are unprotected.

“Who is going to defend our cities or is it not a pity for the periphery?”, “When will air defense begin to protect not only Kyiv? (...) Our people are dying while you bitches are robbing us”, such messages were supposed to be sent out by the Russian Digital Army troops.

This is not the first time propagandists have been spreading this message. The message that all air defense systems exclusively protect the capital of Ukraine is promoted from time to time in the telegram channels of the Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kharkiv regions. Allegedly for the authorities there are “more strategically important” cities that are better protected. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to intimidate Ukrainians, cause distrust in the authorities and split society. However, this statement is incorrect.

Earlier, the speaker of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, denied the message that the entire air defense was installed in Kyiv: “The capital is attacked most often, so this city obviously needs more protection”. He also added about “the eastern and northern regions – there is also a very serious vector of work and air defense is also working there. Therefore, we distribute our forces where it is most needed”.

Authorities talk about successful counteroffensive while civilians die.

“The authorities have no time to protect us from shelling, they need to draw counteroffensive maps”, is another message that Russians should promote in the Ukrainian segment of social networks after the shelling of Chernihiv.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to convince Ukrainians that the counteroffensive is unsuccessful - that is why the authorities come up with victories on the battlefield, and besides that, to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and create a false impression of Russia's advantage.

Only a stupid person could hold a drone exhibition 30 km from Russia.

According to the co-organizer of the drone exhibition, volunteer Mariia Berlinska, “the announcement that there would be an event was in the public domain. But the specific location was reported only to registered verified participants (!) a few hours before the event”.

The responsibility for the missile attack on the center of Chernihiv lies solely with the Russian army. As reported in the Office of the Prosecutor General, they are identifying the people who made the decision on the missile strike and delivered it. Also, all the circumstances related to the organization of the exhibition in the drama theater are being studied, and the version of the strike by Russian agents on the territory of Ukraine is being worked out separately.

The shelling in Chernihiv occurred due to the fact that competitors wanted to let down the curator of the exhibition Mykhailo Fedorov.

“The exhibition was supervised by Mykhailo Fedorov (not the last person in the Information and Psychological Operations Center, by the way), who is now a candidate to replace Prime Minister Shmyhal. Competitors could try to let him down. Now Fedorov has questions from people from the SBU, and the post of prime minister will not be there for him in the near future. This is a move quite in the spirit of the Ukrainian “snakes”, it is another message promoted by Russian propaganda.

So far, the curator of the exhibition, Mykhailo Fedorov, was being framed by competitors - a conspiracy theory by Russian propagandists. Ukrainian law enforcement officers did not voice such a version and are not considering it.

Rocket attack on Chernihiv is a staging.

“The Chernihiv theater is still completely intact, and the man is walking, smiling, supposedly covered in blood. What was it?”, “The place of arrival suddenly became possible to shoot, although usually the Ukrainian state punishes it very severely for this. A large number of photos and videos suggests that this was done on purpose so that the frames were taken away by all the media, the woman herself holds the bag at ease)”, such messages are  promoted by Russian propaganda.

The speaker of the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, stated that it was impossible to photograph the wreckage of missiles falling after being sold by air defense forces, because the enemy understands what type of weapon they worked out in one place or another. However, the recording of Russia's war crimes is necessary for the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Office of the Prosecutor General, together with Ukrainian and international partners, created a special resource War Crimes to properly document war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian army in Ukraine. Damaging or destroying civilian infrastructure, destroying cultural and educational institutions, injuring or killing civilians are war crimes that need to be recorded.

Also, Russian propaganda calls the crimes against peaceful Ukrainians a staging. By using this term, propagandists want to cover up their terrorist activities and absolve themselves of responsibility.

The strike was not done by Iskander.

“In this case, the roof of the drama theater was damaged. Usually, Iskander demolishes the building to the foundation”, this is the message the Russians are promoting as well.

Yurii Belousov, head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed in the Conditions of Armed Conflict of the Office of the Prosecutor General, said on the air of United News that Russian troops hit the drama theater in the center of Chernihiv with an Iskander-M ballistic missile configured to detonate in the air, and not inside.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to remove the responsibility for the crime committed from itself to the victim.