Disclosure Death of Petr Pavel, the candidate for the presidency of the Czech Republic, was reported via Russian Yandex

Unknown people sent letters to the mailboxes of the Czechs claiming that one of the candidates for the presidency of the Czech Republic died on the night of January 26, the day before the opening of polling stations, from “probable heart failure”. The letter was sent through the Russian mail service “Yandex”. The letter itself allegedly quoted the press secretary of the candidate Petr Pavel.

However, all the information in the letter is fake. In particular, according to Yevropeiska Pravda (European truth), the header of the e-mail contains an error, namely, Pavel's surname is spelled incorrectly, and in the letter itself there is a link to a website with the “com” domain, which has an address similar to the address of the official website of Pavel's election campaign. Visually, the site is really very similar to the original. The journalists found out that the metadata of the letter has a Russian trace, because the letter was sent from a Russian mail service.

The domain and website are operated by Njalla based in the Caribbean island of Nevis. And the domain itself is registered for the Canadian company Tucows, so it is impossible to trace the owner from public sources. This company is involved in pseudo-news sites that are used as a tool to destroy competition in business, Seznam Zpravy notes.

According to journalists, the unknown sent not only a letter announcing Pavel's death. Subsequently, another one came to the mailbox, it was on behalf of his communication manager. The letter stated that at night the candidate for the presidency of the Czech Republic experienced clinical death, but survived thanks to the efforts of doctors. However, all this is not true, and the manager's quote is fake. Pavel himself said that the criminal police of the Czech Republic were investigating the situation.

We remind that a new president is currently being elected in the Czech Republic. Among the candidates who made it to the second round, having received the voters' commitment, is Petr Pavel who received the largest number of votes in the first round of elections - 35.39%. His opponent was 0.39% behind.

Disclosure Ukrainian women and men abroad will be mobilized, it was stated in the document of occupiers

Such a document was shared by propagandists in their telegram channels and the Kremlin media. It says that Ukraine is preparing to deport women and men who are abroad and allegedly asks the Ukrainian Embassy in the EU to provide information about people of military age. After the deportation, all women and men are mobilized. In particular, such an appeal was allegedly received by the Embassy of Ukraine in Latvia.

As experts from the Center for counteracting disinformation explain, the Ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine did not send such appeals to the Ukrainian Embassy in Latvia and other European countries. The document is fake and has nothing to do with the official position of Ukraine.

By sharing such a document, propagandists want to sow panic among Ukrainian refugees in Europe. The propagandists also create the appearance that the situation at the front is extremely bad, because the Ukrainian authorities supposedly have to return people from abroad and mobilize even women.

Disclosure Near Bakhmut, Russians are filming a staged video of the battles

This was reported in the Center for national resistance. On January 22, Russian propagandist Piehov shared a video allegedly filmed in the battles for Bilohorivka. The propagandist claims that he is “directly in Bilohorivka”. Like, the Russians are trying to break through the defense line “Siversk - Soledar - Bakhmut - Chasiv Yar”. In fact, the video was filmed in the temporarily occupied territory, on the outskirts of the village of Shypylivka, which is located almost eight kilometers from Bilohorivka, which is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Moreover, the video shows how the Russians are fleeing from Ukrainian shelling.

On January 24, another Russian propagandist, Dambiyev, shared a video on his telegram channel, which allegedly recorded battles in the village of Krasna Hora near Bakhmut. However, this video is staged, it was filmed in Mariupol. This is evidenced by the results of the OSINT check of this video.

The situation in these sectors of the front is really difficult now, there are fights there. Probably, Russian propaganda, due to the spread of fake videos, is trying to demoralize Ukrainians and take credit for the next “achievements”.

Russian propaganda systematically uses fake videos to promote their interests. Previously, they distributed videos of how the Russian military shot sunflowers and boasted that it was a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; how the Russians allegedly detained “Ukrainian saboteurs” on Russian territory; how they “destroyed” the Ukrainian tank division, etc.

Disclosure Fraudsters offer Ukrainians a one-time payment from the Red Cross

Messages are circulating on social networks that allegedly due to the difficult energy situation in the country Ukrainians are provided with a one-time payment of 2,300 hryvnias from the Red Cross.

Fact-checkers of the “Brekhunets” (Liar) project checked the information and found that it was a scam. The scammers use a fake telegram channel called the Red Cross society, which has only 170 subscribers. At the same time, the official telegram channel of the organization has five thousand readers. Information about “assistance in connection with the energy situation in the country” is not there. Links to the pages of Ukrainian banks in messages are also fake. There is no information on such payments on the official pages of these banks. Fraudsters manipulate the limited registration time (only until 10:00 pm or only until 02:00 am) and ask to “hurry up to leave personal details” in order to receive “assistance”.

Also, to receive fake assistance, you need to enter your personal data, including your bank card number. This is a sign of phishing - the collection of personal data.

Fraudsters systematically use the difficult situation of Ukrainians because of war and offer a variety of “help”. The goal is different: from manipulative advertising of telegram channels to gaining access to bank cards of Ukrainians. In particular, earlier the scammers offered 6,000 hryvnias of “New Year's” assistance, 5,000 hryvnias of assistance from PrivatBank, financial assistance in conjunction with the Uappl project, and winter payments from the European Union.

Disclosure A deepfake with Yurii Lutsenko is being circulated online

In the Ukrainian segment of social networks, a video with allegedly featuring Yurii Lutsenko is being shared after a hard battle in Soledar, Donetsk region. In particular, the Volyn politician Volodymyr Bondar published a screenshot from the video on his personal page. However, according to the fact-checkers of the “Brekhunets” (Lier) project, this video is a deepfake.

According to the fact-checkers, with the help of special programs, the authors created a so-called deepfake, because the video footage shows a man in military uniform, who really looks like Ukrainian politician Yurii Lutsenko. In the video, the hero's face moves a lot, it increases or decreases in size, which is not typical of a live, non-supporting video. Analysts are convinced that the authors of the video took a photograph of a military man and, using computer technology, superimposed Lutsenko's face on it.

Moreover, the video was recorded for several seconds and contains only musical accompaniment, although the military himself is silent in the video and does not add a single comment.

Disclosure Ukraine repels from 5 to 40 powerful DDoS attacks daily

This was announced by the head of the State service for special communications and information protection of Ukraine Yurii Shchyhol. In December 2022, the State Service for Special Communications stopped and blocked 395 such attacks. Today, on January 18, specialists from the State Service for Special Communications stopped a cyberattack by Russian hackers on the resources of the Ukrinform news agency.

In total, in 2022, the government's CERT-UA Computer emergency response team registered 2,194 cyber attacks. A quarter of them are against the government and local authorities. The energy sector, the security and defense sector, telecoms and developers, the financial sector, and logistics were most attacked. In addition, in December the system recorded 170,000 attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in government information resources protected by services. Most often, Russian military hackers send out malware that steals credentials or destroys information systems.

The State service for special communications and information protection also investigates attacks in the private sector - about 200-300 cyber incidents per day. They are examined mainly in semi-automatic mode.

Earlier, Detector Media talked about phishing attacks on Ukrainians. In particular, the scammers promised Ukrainians six thousand hryvnias of “New Year's” assistance; collected information about Ukrainian refugees and migrants; urged Ukrainians to apply for supposedly receiving financial assistance. More details.

Disclosure What Russian propagandists wrote right after the tragedy in Brovary

Today, January 18, in Brovary, Kyiv region, a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten. It is a helicopter of the State Emergency Service, on board of which there was the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs: Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his first deputy and secretary of state. All three died in the crash. Civilians who were close to the place where the helicopter fell were also injured. According to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko, as of 1 pm, it is known that 16 people were killed, including 3 children, 30 people were injured, but the search is still ongoing.

The Security Service of Ukraine has already opened proceedings on the disaster. Currently, investigators have three official versions:

- violation of flight rules;

- technical malfunction of the helicopter;

- its intentional destruction.

However, on anonymous telegram channels pro-Russian rhetoric is broadcasting, including those operated by Russian intelligence, a lot of messages appeared immediately after the crash with so-called versions of what happened and who was to blame. “Detector Media” has identified and explains the most common disinformation messages about the tragedy in Brovary.

1. Helicopter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine crashed

Immediately after the tragedy, even before the catastrophe was reported by Ukrainian officials and the media, a message appeared in the telegram channels of Russian propagandists that a helicopter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had crashed in Brovary. In the reports, the authors traditionally cited their own sources without providing any confirmation. In fact, a helicopter of the State Emergency Service crashed in Brovary. In particular, information about this appeared on the pages of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The president's messages also said that Denys Monastyrskyi and his team were in the helicopter at the time of the accident.

2. The plane crash was due to air defense

This is one of the most common messages of Russian propagandists about the likely causes of the helicopter crash. Like, a helicopter with the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was simply shot down by Ukrainian air defense. Further, the versions on the accusation of the air defense operators differ: in some reports they claimed that this was done intentionally, in others, on the contrary, they insisted that it happened by accident, but also because the air defense in Ukraine is faulty. Firstly, at the time of the helicopter crash in Brovary and in general in the Kyiv region there was no air raid alert. According to the Alert Map, the last time an air alert was announced in the Kyiv region was on January 14, during a massive enemy missile attack. So the likelihood that the air defense worked unnecessarily, not seeing a threat from the air, is scanty. Secondly, this version is not included in the list of official ones considered by the Security service of Ukraine (SBU) investigators. However, this is not the first time that Russian propaganda has accused operators of the Ukrainian air defense system of negligence and, accordingly, of crimes. The propagandists used this technique for the last time on Saturday, January 14, when the entrance to a residential building was destroyed as a result of the fall of a Russian rocket. More than four dozen people died as a result of the disaster. Propagandists systematically spread fakes and manipulations about the work of air defense. In particular, Russia needs this to accuse Ukraine of various crimes, mostly committed through the fault of Russia itself. In this case, the propaganda found a reason to once again accuse Ukraine of alleged negligence, because of which people die.

3. Ukraine hides the true cause of the disaster

Another message was shared in anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. Anonymous reports say that the Ukrainian authorities allegedly know and hide the true cause of the disaster in Brovary. Like, Ukrainians may not even wait, because they won’t be told the truth, because they won’t like it. In fact, it is too early to talk about the causes of the plane crash before the investigation is over. In order to accurately state who is to blame for the disaster, whether it was accidental etc., evidence is needed for the sake of collecting which the SBU initiated an investigation and put forward the first official versions. However, such a message is intended to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and once again nourish the narrative about its alleged negligence and indifference to its own people.

4. The accident happened because of cheap helicopters

In order to create the appearance of a careless Ukrainian government, the message was also spread that the accident allegedly occurred due to bad helicopters that Ukraine purchased. Allegedly, it says about former helicopters that the Ministry of the internal affairs purchased from France in September 2018. Like, the helicopter crash was due to the fact that the helicopter was common and bad, because earlier the Norwegians allegedly refused a batch of the same helicopters. In fact, there is no data on which helicopter is in question, and whether it was purchased in France. There is indeed a version of a technical malfunction among the official versions of the investigators, however, it is impossible to state that the crash occurred because of this and, in particular, because the Ukrainian authorities deliberately purchased faulty helicopters, as there is not a single confirmation of this yet.

In addition, anonymous telegram channels circulate versions of a helicopter shot down from an American Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missile system or a drone. However, the facts confirming these versions are also not provided by anonymous authors, and none of them is included in the list of official ones.

Russian propaganda once again speculates on sensitive topics and tries to promote its own narratives, according to which it is Ukraine that is the aggressor, and the Ukrainian authorities do not care about their people, because people are dying because of their negligence and criminal actions. In this case, propagandists make unfounded and hasty conclusions, ignoring the official versions of the investigation.

Disclosure In his article, Medvedchuk, not only spread Kremlin propaganda, but also cited an invented quote from Clinton

Viktor Medvedchuk, a former deputy of the pro-Russian OPZzh (Opposition platform — for life) party, whom Ukraine accuses of treason and deprived of citizenship, published an article in the Russian media Izvestiia (News) about the “anatomy” of the modern military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, as well as about the role of the West in this war. In order to prove the “guilt of the West” in the destruction of the Soviet Union, he used a fictitious quote from former United States President Bill Clinton. Insider drew attention to this.

“Using the mistakes of Soviet diplomacy, the extreme self-confidence of Horbachov and his entourage, including those who openly took a pro-American position, we achieved what President Truman was going to do with the Soviet Union with the help of an atomic bomb”, Medvedchuk quotes Clinton in the article. But, as the checkers found out, the quote allegedly belonging to Clinton was published both in Russian and in English only on Russian resources, for example, on the pages of users on Vkontakte. And also in one of the Russian history textbooks for history teachers, which contains a lot of fakes, propaganda, errors and unproven facts. Secondly, the quote appears to have been taken from Bill Clinton's speech at the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 24, 1995 - but the fact checkers found no evidence that Clinton spoke or even attended this meeting. There is also no quote or mention of this speech in the English-language media or historical articles about Bill Clinton.

We recall that in his article Medvedchuk promotes a lot of disinformation messages that reproduce the position of Russian propaganda. Detector Media has prepared a selection of them.

Disclosure Researchers of the Molfar analytical community have identified the names of the Russian military involved in the shelling in Dnipro on January 14

On Saturday, January 14, during another massive Russian missile attack on Ukraine, one of the enemy missiles hit a multi-storey building in Dnipro. After the hit, the whole entrance collapsed. According to the latest data, the bodies of 40 dead, including three children, were found at the site of the explosion, as reported by the press service of the State emergency service.

Molfar OSINT community analysts and Our Money.Lviv jointly conducted an investigation to identify all those involved in the terrorist crime.

They published all those involved in the rocket attacks, including those who refueled the planes and rockets before launch. Additionally, persons directly associated with this aviation regiment, but not belonging to its personnel, were identified.

Experts cite a telegram post by Hennadii Korban, the head of the territorial defense in Dnipro, who said that the 52nd Guards heavy bomber aviation regiment based in the city of Shaikivka committed the crime. At the same time, analysts made an effort to identify every person from the regiment.

In addition, fact-checkers add that it was this regiment that was previously involved in the terrorist shelling of the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk on June 27, 2022.

Disclosure What Viktor Medvedchuk wrote in his article about the war in Ukraine and why his rhetoric is pro-Russian

Former deputy of the pro-Russian OPZZh (Opposition platform — for life) party Viktor Medvedchuk, whom Ukraine accuses of high treason and deprived of citizenship, published an article in the Russian media Izvestiia (News), which calls the war in Ukraine a “Ukrainian issue”, about the alleged “anatomy” of the modern military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, as well as the role of the West in this war. In his work, he promotes a lot of disinformation messages that reproduce the position of Russian propaganda. Detector Media has prepared a selection of them.

The European Union has the ambitions of a colonizer

In his article, Viktor Medvedchuk expresses his opinion about the EU's attempts to create colonies. According to the article, after winning the Cold War, Europe is trying to “absorb” its opponent, that is, Russia and the post-Soviet countries. He uses the wars in Georgia and Syria as an argument. Like, the European Union is trying to split the state and absorb them.

In fact, the wars in Georgia and Syria took place with the direct participation and even at the initiative of Russia, so one can talk about the ambitions of the colonialist, but they are shown not by the EU countries, but by Russia. It is Russia that is the aggressor in the case of Ukraine, because it was it who started the war in Ukraine back in 2014 - with the seizure of Crimea and the fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukraine gained independence without a national liberation struggle

The article says that Ukraine gained independence due to an agreement with Moscow, which even pushed our state to this decision, because it was beneficial to Russia in economic terms. In fact, Ukraine fought for its independence.

In particular, on December 1, 1991, a referendum was held on the need to declare independence. Then the turnout at the polling stations was unprecedented - 31,891,742 people. At that time, this amounted to 84% of the total population. At that time, 90% of the people voted for independence, only 7% were against it, and another 2% of the ballots were declared invalid.

Before the referendum, the Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada addressed the people with the words that “not supporting independence means supporting dependence”, but there is no such country that Ukraine would aspire to become dependent on. The message about the so-called gifted independence is not new to Russian propaganda. Russia has been trying for years to create the appearance that Ukraine became independent only thanks to it, and, in general, Russian propaganda is trying to promote the opinion that Ukraine would not exist at all if it were not for Russia.

Ukraine began to promote anti-Russian propaganda and this led to the creation of “two Ukraines”

According to Medvedchuk, after the first Maidan, that is, after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine began to promote anti-Russian propaganda. That is what he calls taking a course towards joining the European Union and NATO, as well as restoring certain pages in the history of Ukraine. In particular, such anti-Russian propaganda was allegedly Yushchenko's policy towards the Holodomor. In particular, the recognition of his genocide of the Ukrainian people.

In fact, even after the proclamation of the European course, the policy on Russia in Ukraine has not changed. The only exception was the orientation towards European values, which, according to Medvedchuk in his article, Russia also tried to instill in its people. However, in Ukraine, legislative norms were introduced that worked for the spread of the Ukrainian language, etc. Such a policy to protect the state language, according to the Russian narrative, is also anti-Russian. No one banned the Russian language in Ukraine, moreover, they still do not.

The increase in the amount of anti-Russian propaganda in the information flow, Medvedchuk argues, has led to the emergence of “two Ukraines”: one of them is pro-Russian and the other is anti-Russian. This approach suggests the idea of the disunity of Ukraine and the ethnicity of the pro-Russian, that is, the southeastern part to the aggressor country. The existence of “two Ukraines” is a common message promoted by Russian propaganda, including Medvedchuk. It is really intended to divide Ukrainian society, to turn people against each other.

Ukraine is connected with Russia culturally and mentally

The kinship of the cultures of the Ukrainian and Russian people is another message that is very often used by hostile media. They write that by abandoning Russian culture, we are losing a significant part of our own. The Russian media are actively manipulating opinions about a common cultural space and history for the sake of emotional pressure. Medvedchuk also mentioned this message in his article.

Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, and then in the USSR for a total of 300 years, and all this time the pro-Russian authorities of these states pursued a rather cruel policy on the Ukrainian language, culture and economy. The most famous bans on the Ukrainian language are the Valuiev circular and Emsk decree, but Ukrainian was banned 134 times in total. Therefore, cultural products created by Ukrainians were also often written in Russian. In particular, books or operas, and Moscow assigns everything written in Russian.

It is impossible to talk about the kinship of our peoples, because the Ukrainians were held by force and repeatedly suppressed the liberation struggle. For example, this happened after the Ukrainian central council proclaimed the fourth universal (bill) about the independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

To end the war, Europe must take into account the interests of Russia

In his article, Medvedchuk expresses the opinion that the end of the war is possible only if Moscow's interests are taken into account. They also consist in the preservation of the occupied territories as part of Russia.

The aggressor state is trying to persuade Ukraine to negotiate in order to end the war on favorable terms, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has repeatedly noted that peace is possible only if all territories are de-occupied in accordance with the 1991 borders. Promoting an opinion about “Moscow's interests” means nothing more than another ultimatum.

The Ukrainian political elite does not need peace

According to Medvedchuk, the Ukrainian authorities are not interested in peace. It seems that they continue to wage war in order to get more money and weapons. In general, Russia does not stop trying to discredit Ukrainian politicians.

In fact, such a statement is not true, because at the beginning of the war, Zelenskyi turned to Putin and asked for personal negotiations, but he refused. Now Ukraine has withdrawn from the negotiation process due to the unfavorable conditions offered by Russia.

Ukraine needs peace, but not “some”, but with the preservation of statehood, sovereignty and security guarantees. It is Russia that does not want to end the war, because its military is still on the territory of Ukraine and continues to kill Ukrainians, destroy Ukrainian cities, villages and infrastructure.

This is not the first time Russia has been spreading messages and manipulations to resume negotiations with Ukraine. For example, recently Russian propaganda also talked about “their interests” in the negotiation process with Ukraine. The supply of weapons to Ukraine, which the Russian propaganda media called a theatrical performance, was not ignored either.

The messages expressed by Viktor Medvedchuk repeat the theses of Russian propaganda and their dissemination has the same goal: to justify Russia's aggression in Ukraine, to explain it with so-called historical justice, to create the appearance that Ukraine is not complete without Russia and its culture, to devalue the struggle of the Ukrainian people for their statehood.

Disclosure In Russia, they prepared recommendations on covering the war against Ukraine

The Russian military command created a special document for propagandists to cover the events of the war against Ukraine. Now they should praise Serhii Shoihu and not mention the Wagner group.

The document was analyzed by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

General recommendations contain eleven points, the main content of which is:

1) Orientation to information exclusively from sources agreed by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation;

2) Emphasizing in informational materials and comments of “independent” experts on the leading and positive role personally of Serhii Shoihu and Valerii Herasymov;

3) Justifying strikes on Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure, referring to the “forcedness” of such actions;

4) Emphasizing the theme of providing Ukraine with Western weapons. In this sense, it is especially recommended to focus on the fact that “Russia is conducting a military operation not against Ukraine, but against the entire NATO”;

5) Refusal to mention the Wagner military group in a positive context. Emphasizing excessive human losses and Wagner meaningless attacks;

6) Tracking and citing publications in foreign media about the successes of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the failure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

It is proposed to focus particular attention on the statements of Western and Ukrainian politicians, which can be interpreted in a similar vein.

As explained in the Main Intelligence Directorate, the document indicates a fundamental change in emphasis on covering the course of events in the war against Ukraine and the aggravation of the political struggle within Russia.

Disclosure A fake telegram channel of the 46th separate airmobile brigade of the Airborne assault forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine appeared on the network

The telegram channel “46 separate air assault brigade” appeared on telegram, but its name is not correct. Behind it, one can find the same brigade's old Facebook page, but it is no longer used. Instead, another one was created.

The 46th separate airmobile brigade of the Airborne assault forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has only one official page on telegram with the corresponding name. Other channels distribute unofficial information and have no connection with the military of this brigade.

There have been attempts to create fake pages of official institutions, chatbots and even websites of charitable foundations since the very beginning of the war. In particular, a fake of the “Come back alive” website was created. It was also previously reported about the falsification of the chat-bot of DTEK and the chat-bot of the chairman of the Poltava military regional administration.

Disclosure In Russia, they divert attention from the scandal with the children of officials taken out of context by a video with “Ukrainians”

In social networks and telegram channels, they discuss the New Year holidays for the children of Russian officials abroad, in particular, in Dubai, Bali, the Maldives and the Seychelles. Material on this topic was published by the fact-checkers of The Insider. To divert attention, Russian and pro-Russian telegram channels began to distribute video fragments in which people dance with Ukrainian flags, allegedly while relaxing in Courchevel. The reports claim that these are “Ukrainian IT specialists who left the country before the war”. Or they say that these are “children of Ukrainian oligarchs who are celebrating the “mountains of killed soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” in Bakhmut”.

Disclosure Fraudsters offer five thousand hryvnias of assistance from PrivatBank

In social networks, in particular, in the Ukrainian segment of Facebook, they spread messages about the opportunity to receive five thousand hryvnias of assistance from PrivatBank. To do this, you need to fill out a questionnaire and take a short survey. However, this is a scam.

According to the fact-checker of the “Brekhunets” (Lier) project, such a financial assistance program does not exist. Experts found that when you go to a site with a survey, an antivirus program immediately works and warns that the resource can be harmful. Fact-checkers are convinced that the site has nothing to do with an official bank. There is not a word on the official website of PrivatBank that the organization makes payments of certain financial assistance from the state. Moreover, people who allegedly received the winnings write with errors in the comments.

After completing the survey, you are invited to send a link to your friends.

By spreading such messages, scammers are trying to mislead Ukrainians, because the method of such mailings is beneficial in social networks in order to increase activity and sharings.

Disclosure Manipulative photos of “new” Russian tanks are being distributed online

Photos of new Russian tanks, which are placed in a special hangar, are being circulated on social networks. In the comments to the photo, they scoff, saying that “Russia has run out of tanks” and praise the military might of Russia.

However, this photo is old. It was made in October 2012 during Volodymyr Putin's visit to the “Uralvagonzavod”, an enterprise for the repair of military vehicles and the production of military tanks, located in Nizhnyi Tagil. Fact-checkers of the Delfi project found the original source of the image - an article by the Russian portal “Kommersant”, its author is Dmytro Azarov, the photographer of this publication. The photo has nothing to do with current events and does not reflect the real state of affairs with the equipment of the Russian army.

Disclosure American colonel predicting the imminent defeat of Ukraine has been doing this since the first day of the war

Russian propaganda constantly uses foreigners to prove that the whole world is on the side of Russia. Also, propaganda pretends that the opinion of an American is the official position of America, and the opinion of an Italian is the official position of Italy, and so on.

Most often, to create the appearance that everywhere, and even in the United States, more and more people “support Russia” or “understand Putin”, or “believe in the victorious power of the Russian army”, they use American former military men, mainly supporters of ex-President Donald Trump . They often appear on the Fox News channel, and they make provocative statements, which are then used by Russian propaganda, but do not correspond to reality. One of these people is the former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, Colonel Douglas McGregor. In 2020 Trump nominated him for the post of ambassador to Germany, but the Senate did not support the candidacy. After that, he was appointed as an adviser to the acting minister of defense; he remained in this post for three months until the change of administration. In 2014, McGregor supported the annexation of Crimea and spoke on RT, where he claimed that the inhabitants of Crimea were Russians, not Ukrainians.

The last time McGregor's statement that “almost nothing will be left of Ukraine” in the near future was made public in the Russian media at the end of December.

Insider has collected the colonel's comments since the start of the full-scale invasion and found out that the colonel's predictions are not true.

So, on February 27, three days after the start of the war, he said on Fox News: “Now the battle in Eastern Ukraine is almost over, the Ukrainian troops are largely surrounded and cut off, now they have a concentration down in the southeast in 30 to 40 thousand , and if they don't vend, surrender the next 24 hours, the Russians will ultimately annihilate them”.

On March 6 on Fox Business, he found an explanation for why it didn't happen.

“At the first five days, the Russian forces, I think, were too gentle. They have now corrected that. So I would say another 10 days this should be completely over. But the question is, what is it that Zelenskyi is going to do? The Russians have made it very clear what they want is a neutral Ukraine. This could have ended days ago if he accepted that. And then they can adjust the borders, but the eastern part of Ukraine is firmly in Russian hands, but again, the Russians are not seizing the territory. They are destroying Ukrainian forces. That’s their focus”.

After another 10 days, the colonel tried to pretend that his prediction was justified. On Tucker Carlson's Fox News program, he stated: "The war is really over for the Ukrainians”, “They have been grounded to bits. There’s no question about that despite what we report on our mainstream media”.

McGregor delivered another analysis on the ultra-right cable and satellite channel Real America's Voice on July 7:

“The war, with the exception of Kharkiv and Odesa, as far as the Russians are concerned is largely over. There is no intention to do anything else because the Russians don’t have a very large army. They’ve got a very limited armed force and that’s by design, they didn’t want to build a huge army, they certainly are not in a position to threaten NATO nor would they unless they were directly attacked by us.

So the last thing, the last thing that Putin wants is to go west of that Dnieper River and end up incorporating, 20 million, 25 million Ukrainians into Russia. He knows they don’t want to be part of Russia, that’s never been his aim”.

On September 12, on the air of the same Carlson program, McGregor again stated that “this war may soon end,” and added: “The Ukrainian army is bled, tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are killed or wounded, Ukraine is really in the balance.”

This was the day after the liberation of Izium, Balakleia and Kupiansk - and before the Ukrainian army liberated Kherson.

McGregor's statements are so strange that even his party members criticize him. For example, Liz Cheney even publicly asked the Fox News channel: “Why do you continually put Douglas MacGregor on @FoxNews to spread Putin’s propaganda and lies? This is absolutely not in America’s interest". Earlier, she called McGregor the representative of “Putin's wing of the GOP”. And even one of Fox News's most famous journalists, Jennifer Griffin, has spoken of McGregor as an ““apologist” for Putin” with “so many distortions”.

Disclosure The Russian media were obliged to write about the “growth of Putin's rating” and the successful “war against NATO” in the results of the year

The Kremlin sent the Russian media a methodology on how to write about the results of 2022. According to Meduza, the first thing the Russian media should do is emphasize that Volodymyr Putin, by unleashing the war, was saving Russia from an attack by NATO and Ukraine. There is also the thesis that since 2014, Western countries have been going to “divide and conquer the Russian people”. The war, that is, the “special operation”, should be called successful, and an example of achieving goals is “increase in lands”, that is, occupied territories. The methodology does not mention defeats at the front.

The document is divided into four parts: “Main”, “Strengthening of Russia”, “SVO” (Special military operation) and “New World Order”. In the “Strengthening Russia” section, it is recommended to write about how high Putin’s rating is and about the “unconditional support of the special operation” by the Russians. The “New World Order” section says that the media should talk about Russia as “leaders of countries” who “do not recognize the exclusivity of the West” and call it “the leader of a just, democratic and multipolar world”. At the same time, Putin “gives Europe a chance to come to its senses” and stop “being a US vassal”.

These are all the most common theses of Russian disinformation of the last 10 months. Propaganda is constantly trying to convince the Russians and the anti-NATO world to justify the defeats inflicted on them by the Ukrainian army. Propaganda also claims that Putin's rating is growing, and all Russians support the war, but the real picture, even from studies of Russian-controlled sociological services, is different: Putin's rating is falling, the number of supporters of the war is decreasing. In world politics, Russia is now as far from “leading positions” as its closest partners - Syria, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. And thanks to the sanctions imposed against Russia by dozens of countries around the world, it is becoming increasingly dependent on really influential countries, primarily China.

Disclosure On behalf of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security a fake “memo” is being distributed on the web

This was reported in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. It recommends using Ukrainian swearing instead of Russian obscenities on TV channels.

To create a fake, they used the old emblem of the Ministry of Culture, which has not been in Ukraine since 2019 (the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy was created in 2021). The authors of the “memo” used the Russian word “mat” (swear word), which is not in the Ukrainian language (there is “cuss words”, “curse words” or “dirty words”).

The list of “recommended terms” includes both samples of Ukrainian swearing and literally translated Russian swear words. Such a selection appeared in Runet in the early 2010s, it can be found in the archives of Pikabu and other entertainment sites.

Russian propaganda systematically distributes fake documents on social networks and instant messengers on behalf of various authorities: the Cabinet of Ministers, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, and regional administrations. Thus, they are trying to undermine the credibility of the authorities.

Disclosure Fraudsters promise Ukrainians six thousand hryvnias of “New Year's” assistance

Messages are distributed through social networks and instant messengers. Like, every Ukrainian can receive a one-time cash payment as a New Year's aid. The messages have got a link where you need to register ostensibly to receive money. They note that this is assistance from the state, which “by order was appointed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi”.

Fact-checkers of the Brekhunets (Liar) project checked these reports. The link hides an anonymous telegram channel with the name “Payments from the state to every citizen of Ukraine”. The channel avatar has the logo of the Privat24 application. However, on the channel, the authors say that financial assistance can be obtained from three banks, the names of which are written with errors.

Under the name of each of the banks, there is a published link, allegedly to a “personal account”, in which you can apply for New Year's “help”. However, instead of a “personal account” there is a form in which they offer to enter a bank card number, password and pin code. That is, instead of “help”, scammers get access to bank accounts.

On the website of the President of Ukraine there is no information about financial assistance on the occasion of the New Year holidays. The press service of Privatbank confirmed to the fact-checkers that they do not pay any New Year's aid from the state. There is no information about these “New Year's payments from the state” on the websites of other banks as well.

Disclosure A photo-fake of Zelenskyi's meeting with Biden is spreading across the web

Photos from the visit of Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the United States are massively distributed on social networks and telegrams. In the photo, the President of Ukraine is shot with the US presidential couple from the back. Each spouse hugs Zelenskyi, and Joe Biden's hand is allegedly placed indecently at the same time. This photo is fake.

MythDetector and Reuters fact-checkers checked the photo and found that it was altered using photo editors. In the authentic version of the photo, Biden's hand is placed on Zelenskyi's back, next to his wife's hand. The photo was published by the first lady of the United States on her official Twitter page.

Disclosure Scammers promise to provide stable mobile communications for money

Fraudsters take advantage of the fact that as a result of a power outage, the mobile signal is weakened or disappears altogether. This was reported in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

They pretend to be representatives of mobile operators and promise to “switch” a person to another “tower”. Like, so the connection will remain stable even when the electricity disappears.

After that, a person receives a code - if you say it to a criminal, they will get access to mobile applications of banks, social networks, etc.

Disclosure Fraudsters lure Ukrainians under the pretext of payments from the EU

In the Ukrainian segment of Facebook, reports are circulating that the European Union has allegedly allocated $600 million to help Ukrainians during the winter. Like, every Ukrainian and every Ukrainian woman will receive a payment, which is 13,280 hryvnia. As proof, netizens are attaching a likely screenshot from the “Diia” (Action) app showing the cash aid application process. However, in reality, there are no such payments for Ukrainians.

According to Voxcheck specialists, there is no mention of individual payments to people from the EU in official sources. In addition, applications for assistance from international organizations are accepted through the “YePidtrymka” (“Support”) program or in certain banks.

By spreading such messages, scammers are trying to gain an audience on their channels, because the mailing method is beneficial for community administrators in social networks in order to increase activity and the number of comments in their chats and under messages.

Disclosure What wrote anonymous telegram channels about Zelenskyi's visit to the USA

Against the backdrop of news about the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the United States, a lot of disinformation messages have appeared in the information field, in particular, in anonymous telegram channels broadcasting a pro-Russian position, with the help of which Russia promotes its agenda to the audience. Analysts of Detector Media have identified the most common of them.

1. Zelenskyi did not reach the goal of his visit to the USA The authors of the messages argued that Zelenskyi did not achieve the purpose of the visit to Washington. Like, he went to the United States to get more powerful weapons and intensify offensive operations at the front. However, according to anonymous telegrams, there is no sign that Zelenskyi managed to convince Biden to provide Ukraine with such weapons. The authors of the telegram channels do not provide evidence for their assertion, nor do they explain on what grounds they draw such conclusions.

2. Zelenskyi thinks about diplomacy and prepares for negotiations with Putin The authors of such messages argue that since "there were no signs" that he managed to "beg" from the United States for precision weapons that would help prolong the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian president is ready for diplomatic steps. In particular, for negotiations with Russia. The anonymous authors add that the US authorities seemed to be waiting for Zelenskyi to answer the question of what position Ukraine is in now in order to speed up the process of peace negotiations. Some reports claimed that US President Joe Biden allegedly persuaded Zelenskyi to negotiate with the help of his speech. However, in fact, Biden did not publicly voice the thesis that Ukraine should sit down at the negotiating table and agree to the conditions of the Kremlin. On the contrary, he once again expressed support for Ukraine in its struggle and said that he was convinced that Putin was losing the war.

3. Zelenskyi's goal in the US is to get more money Also, in anonymous telegram channels, the thesis was expanded that Zelenskyi was going to the United States solely to “beat out” even more money, but this, according to anonymous authors, would not be so easy, because American congressmen are hostile to Zelenskyi. They say that congressmen will force Zelenskyi to answer uncomfortable questions about the assistance that Ukraine has already received and there will be no “sweet welcoming” for the Ukrainian president. By spreading such theses, propagandists want to create the appearance that Ukraine will be left without support in the near future. Like, in the United States, Zelenskyi is already not willingly accepted and uncomfortable questions are asked. To further undermine the situation and sow a sense of despondency in society, such reports add that without Washington's money, Ukraine will face complete chaos.

4. Zelenskyi’s trip to the US was lobbied by the “armed lobby” This thesis also appeared in anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. They say that the so-called armed lobby became the initiator and sponsor of Zelenskyi's trip to the United States. This is how pro-Russian telegram channels call people who allegedly earn billions on the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. In such messages, Ukraine is called only a tool for the “armed lobby”, the purpose of which, according to the authors of the messages, is to promote their weapons in order to advance to the world market. By spreading such messages, Russian propaganda levels out the support, both armed and financial, that Ukraine receives from Western partners. Like, indeed, by the fact that the United States provides weapons to Ukraine, it does not support the Ukrainians, but only continues the war and promotes its weapons to the market, trying to force China out of it.

5. Zelenskyi flew out of the country in order to “hang” the surrender of Bakhmut on Zaluzhnyi Anonymous telegram channels also spread the thesis that during the visit of President Zelenskyi to the United States, Bakhmut will be “surrendered”. They say that everything was specially arranged in the President's Office so that upon his return Zelenskyi could accuse General Zaluzhnyi of negligence and the surrender of an important city. The reports also add that due to the fact that the president left the country, even more hell will begin in Bakhmut. In fact, this is not the first time propagandists have been stirring up the conflict between Zelenskyi and Zaluzhnyi and claiming that the Ukrainian president is not satisfied with the work of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and therefore makes various provocations in order to “have something to cling to” and remove him from office. However, no facts confirming this thesis are provided in messages in telegram channels. Also arguing that hell in Bakhmut will begin due to Zelenskyi's departure from the country, the authors of the messages shift the responsibility for what is happening in the city from the Russian army to the Ukrainian president. After all, it was Russia that attacked Ukraine, and it is precisely because of the actions of the enemy army that the situation in individual Ukrainian cities and villages is becoming hellish.

6. Zelenskyi was specifically invited to the White House to “test” the ground and understand how it can be deceived Another thesis of pro-Russian anonymous telegram channels. Like, the White House decided to call Zelenskyi in order to clarify the drafts and understand where they can “bend” Ukraine. The reports add that Biden and Zelenskyi allegedly have differences in the vision of how the war in Ukraine should unleash. It's as if Biden is worried that things won't go "too far". And, they say, Biden constantly hints at a peaceful settlement to Zelensky and asks him how it should look like. Spreading such messages, propagandists seek to stake out the opinion that the leaders of Western countries no longer want to support Ukraine in its struggle, but see the only way to end the war - with peace negotiations, because they are afraid of escalating problems with Russia. However, there is no reason to believe that the United States or any other country will soon stop supporting Ukraine if Zelenskyi does not sit down at the negotiating table. The heads of states did not make public statements of this kind.

7. Zelenskyi's visit to the US is a distraction Telegram channels broadcasting Russian rhetoric also reported that Zelenskyi's visit was beneficial to American Democrats. And besides the fact that the visit, according to anonymous authors, was organized by an "armed lobby", the Biden administration allegedly tried to shift some internal accents from problems within the country to global problems. That is, in such messages, Ukraine is once again presented only as a tool for the United States to achieve its goals. Also, such reports do not mention that Zelenskyi’s visit to the United States is, first of all, beneficial to Ukraine in order to make agreements according to which Ukraine will continue to receive assistance from the United States to fight the aggressor. Such reports are beneficial to Russia and its supporters, because they form the opinion that the United States is playing its game, only pretending to help Ukraine. We recall that earlier in the telegram channels they spread the message that Zelenskyi's trip to Bakhmut was a staging before his business trip to the United States. Like, he specifically wanted to demonstrate that he was allegedly going to a constantly shelled city, so that he would look like a hero in Congress the next day. 

Disclosure State Russian media disseminated content provided by the FSB

Journalists from The New York Times analyzed the email archive of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VDTRK), broken by hackers, and found that Russian TV channels, in particular Russia 1 and Russia 24, used materials sent to them by the FSB. The entire dump has a volume of 750 gigabytes, the vast majority of which is related to preparations for the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the start of the war - the correspondence took place from January to March 2022. The researchers were able to confirm the addresses of the mailboxes, as well as the faces of the people who received the letters.

As the journalists found out, Russian propagandists created content on topics that were discussed in letters from the FSB and the Russian Ministry of Defense. In the letters, the FSB representatives called the employees of the Russian channels “colleagues”. One of the materials sent by the FSB officers through Russian channels is the story of a woman who claimed that the Mariupol Drama Theater was allegedly blown up by the Ukrainian military.

In addition, in order to give viewers the impression of numerous “victories” of the Russian army and politics in general, they used materials from conservative Western media, in particular Fox News, Chinese media publications with beneficial narratives, and also used little-known accounts on Telegram and YouTube, which also made it possible to create a distorted picture of Russian “greatness”.

Disclosure Fake videos urging Ukrainians to return home are spreading online

The Center for Counteracting Disinformation reports that three propaganda videos have already appeared in the media space of Europe in two weeks. They urge Ukrainians to return home in different languages. Allegedly, the authors of this video are citizens of European countries. Numerous errors indicate that the video is fake, including messed up languages, countries, flags, etc.

As the Center notes, the purpose of the video is to create a false image of Ukraine and its citizens in the European information space to discredit Ukraine's integration into the EU and NATO.