Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Schools and universities supposedly must submit lists of students to the Territorial Centers of Procurement and Social Support before the first of December so that they can be mobilized

This information is disseminated by pro-Kremlin resources. Referring to an article from the TSN website, propagandists claim that the purpose of these actions is quite obvious: when teenagers turn 18 and finish school, they will allegedly immediately be mobilized into the Armed Forces of Ukraine and sent for a month’s training. After that, adults will be trained for “meat assaults” on forest plantations and positions of Russian troops. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the Center for Countering Disinformation drew attention to this case. They found out that propagandists resort to manipulation of information, since the TSN article is not about mobilization, but about military registration of Ukrainian citizens who have reached the age of 17. In addition, even the military registration procedure that was in force since 2016, but no longer in force, also provided for the submission of lists of conscripts who had reached 17 years of age. They were submitted to the district or city military commissariat by the relevant institution or organization.

In this case, propagandists manipulate information to sow fear, doubt and uncertainty among Ukrainian society. Thus, they also nourish the narrative that “grabbing” continues in Ukraine. Earlier, Detector Media released a large-scale study on how Russian propaganda is speculating on the topic of Ukrainian children.

Manipulation Germany allegedly donated 1,000 laptops to Ukraine instead of long-range Taurus missiles

This information was disseminated by pro-Russian resources. They say that Berlin sent the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a thousand laptops as a gift to remove the issue of transferring Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine. This is manipulation.

Specialists from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security undertook to analyze this case. They investigated that the very fact of a gift of thousands of laptops for the needs of the Verkhovna Rada was confirmed by the German Embassy in Ukraine, but emphasized that they were transferred “as a sign of solidarity and support”. The issue of supplying Taurus missiles has been discussed over the past months, but so far Ukraine and Germany have not reached a consensus on this matter. That is, the gift of a thousand laptops is exclusively humanitarian assistance, and not a payoff for missiles, as some pro-Kremlin resources tried to provide.

Thus, Russian propaganda wants to discredit international support for Ukraine and assure everyone around that Western countries are already tired of the Russian-Ukrainian war and therefore strive to end it as quickly as possible by any means. Previously, we refuted information that the Russians allegedly destroyed a Leopard tank with a German crew.

Manipulation It’s supposedly time for the Western world to admit Ukraine’s defeat in the war against Russia

Pro-Kremlin resources are spreading information that the West has finally realized that Russia is not going to lose the war to Ukraine. Propagandists also claim that Western countries allegedly realize that they cannot compete with Russia in the production of weapons. In its publications, Russian propaganda refers to an article entitled “It’s time to end magical thinking about Russia’s defeat” by the online newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). This is manipulation.

The fact-checkers from the StopFake project processed this information. They managed to find out that propagandists disseminate only those theses that confirm the narrative that is favorable to them about Russia’s military and economic achievements. In addition, the Russians are distorting the true content of the mentioned WSJ article. For example, the conclusion that the West is unable to compete with Russia in either the volume or quality of weapons production is based on a single phrase in the WSJ article that Russia produces more artillery shells than the West. That is, we are talking about only one type of ammunition, and the quality of the product is not mentioned at all.

The most important thing, as the authors of the article emphasize, is that “contrary to all forecasts, Ukraine withstood the Russian attack, and in less than two years, wiped out an entire decade of Russian military modernization”.

The authors of the material on the WSJ also believe that the West responded quite effectively to the immediate challenges caused by a full-scale invasion, and provided Ukraine with modern weapons and intelligence data in real time, as well as the development of sanctions packages against Russia. It should be noted that the article also says that the war is dragging on, and therefore Ukraine’s allies do not have the right to rely on “magical thinking” that Ukraine will soon win and peace will come. Rather, the authors write, we should move to long-term strategies to combat Russia. Detector Media also previously denied information that the West allegedly revealed the map of its plans, where there is almost no Ukraine.

Manipulation Zelenskyi allegedly admitted that Russian aggression is “supported” by most of the world

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric in the media began to disseminate information based on an interview with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the British publication The Sun. Like, he admitted that Russian aggression is “supported” by most of the world, and the interests of Ukraine are defended by “at best 14 countries”. In addition, according to them, Zelenskyi allegedly admitted “Ukraine’s inability to resist the military actions waged by Russia”. This is manipulation.

Analysts from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that in fact, the President of Ukraine, in an interview with The Sun, accused Putin of “fuelling a fire” around the world that risks spiraling out of control, and added that a Hamas attack on Israel was Russia’s “great desire”. According to Zelenskyi, Russia plans to continue destabilizing the situation in the world, and the Balkans may be next to come under attack. According to him, this will continue until the Russian regime is stopped and punished.

Zelenskyi did note that Russia does not yet “feel that the whole world is against it”, but he did not claim that Russian aggression is “supported” by most of the world. The UN General Assembly condemned the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine by an absolute majority: the resolution “Aggression against Ukraine” was supported by 141 countries, and only five delegations - totalitarian Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Eritrea - voted against. In addition, on November 23, 2022, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for its large-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine. A month earlier – on October 13, 2022 – PACE adopted a resolution in which it also declared the Russian regime terrorist. In addition, on October 13, 2023, PACE recommended that member states of the Council of Europe recognize Putin as illegitimate at the end of his current presidential term and cease all contacts with him. All these decisions of international institutions are the consequences of Russian aggression, which clearly demonstrate the unprecedented support for Ukraine by leading democratic countries.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also did not make any statements in this interview about Ukraine’s inability to resist Russia.

Propagandists spread such manipulations in order to personally discredit Zelenskyi and accuse him of betraying the interests of Ukrainian citizens. They say that the war must be stopped on Russia’s terms, and even the President of Ukraine admits this. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted the fabrications of propagandists aimed at personal attacks against Zelenskyi.

Manipulation The language ombudsman allegedly confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces shoot all Russian speakers

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels and other social networks began to spread fake information that the Ukrainian language ombudsman Taras Kremin allegedly “admitted” that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were shooting at Russian-speaking citizens. They use a video with his quote, which is supposed to “confirm” such messages. After the dissemination of such information, StopFake decided to check this information. It is not true.

On November 21, Taras Kremin actually made a comment on the Ukrainian service of Radio Svoboda (Liberty), where he spoke about language problems within Ukraine. On this broadcast, the resource’s journalist spoke about the discussion that arose in Ukrainian society. According to it, one part of the population says that it does not matter what language one speaks if a person is a patriot of Ukraine, and the second part says that communicating in Ukrainian is still very important. It was these two opinions that the journalist asked the language ombudsman to comment on. To which Kremen replied that “with the beginning of a full-scale invasion, the factor of language is not only a factor of freedom, but also the security of our identity and culture, and this is a marker of “friend or foe”. According to him, soldiers from the front line have repeatedly said that where one hears the Russian language, the first reaction is a shot. Propagandists used this to make it look like they were targeting all Russian speakers, especially civilians.

However, if you look more closely at the quote, you can hear that we are talking only about identifying a person as “friend or foe” precisely on the front line. There was no talk about shooting at Russian-speaking civilians in the interview.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to strengthen their own myth about the oppression of the Russian-speaking population. They say that “protecting” this category of people is one of the goals of launching a full-scale invasion. However, it was Russia that turned the language issue into a political instrument. In addition, it attacks civilians in mostly Russian-speaking cities, which undermines the narrative of “protecting” civilians who communicate in Russian.

Manipulation Volyn residents seem to need to collect at least 200 liters of blood due to “colossal losses”

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks claim that Volyn residents supposedly need to collect at least 200 liters of blood for the wounded in the 14th brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fighting near Kupiansk. The regional media Volyn Post allegedly wrote about this. However, it was discovered that the data was fake, and speculation about “colossal losses” was not confirmed.

Analysts from the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. They found out that in early November, VolynPost actually published an appeal for Volyn residents to donate blood to support military personnel. In particular, the Volodymyr Territorial Medical Association reported that the Volodymyr department of transfusion assistance really needs donor blood of all groups and the Rh minus factor. However, the original message did not indicate the blood volume or weight of the donor, and the screenshot of the news was edited.

In fact, the donor may weigh at least 50 kg, not 200 kg as stated in the fake message. In addition, the minimum dose size for blood collection from one donor is 450 ml, and this figure does not indicate the real need of the military. Therefore, the conclusions about “400 wounded” and “colossal losses” are unconfirmed.

The VoxCheck experts note that the donation system works more efficiently when donors donate blood regularly, and not just in case of emergency. Currently, Ukraine has a system of planned donation to maintain a sustainable level of blood supplies. The need for donated blood may vary depending on the circumstances, so the Ministry of Health, the Ukrainian Transplant Coordination Center and blood centers may use different communication mechanisms with citizens.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to create the false impression of Ukraine's failure on the battlefield. All this in order to force Ukrainian society to agree to end the war on Russia’s terms.

Manipulation French instructors will “bombard” the Ukrainian military with carcasses of animals

Russian telegram channels are disseminating information that Ukrainian soldiers are being pelted with the carcasses of dead animals during training in France. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. The Politico article “Inside the secret French camp where Ukrainians prepare for war” confirms the use of dead animal carcasses in training to create more realistic conditions. This is carried out to prepare the Ukrainian military for the smell arising from the decomposition of flesh. However, this does not have the scale that the Russians talk about. The training course was adapted according to the comments of the Ukrainian side, including the use of artillery, grenades and simulating various combat situations. Instructors try to limit the shock effect of the Ukrainian military upon arrival at the front.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to discredit the NATO armies and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They say that the situation has become absurd, and therefore Russia needs to be allowed to win. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other inventions of Russians aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Manipulation Svitlana Tykhanovska allegedly promised to transfer Belarusian tactical nuclear weapons to Ukraine

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks claim that Svitlana Tykhanovska allegedly promised to transfer Belarusian tactical nuclear weapons to Ukraine during her speech at PACE. However, this news is fictitious.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. The primary source of the news is the satirical telegram channel “The Empire is very evil”. The description of the channel clearly states that its materials are a creative invention, and all coincidences are random.

Svitlana Tykhanovska has never made such statements. There are no reliable sources confirming this information. Her last speech at PACE in June 2023 did not contain such promises, like all her other public statements. Reputable Ukrainian and international media also did not record any reports regarding such statements from Tykhanovska.

Propagandists use satirical materials to ridicule those who express support for Ukraine and confuse the information space. All this is so that people stop understanding what is truth and what is fiction.

Manipulation In the village of Hroza, only military personnel were allegedly killed

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks claim that Ukraine stated that it was the military personnel who came to the reburial, and not civilians, who died in the village of Hroza during Russian shelling. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that civilians were killed in the attack in the village. Among the 59 victims was even a young child, 8-year-old Ivan Kozyr. Claims that about 100 military personnel attended the commemoration are also untrue.

Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko stressed that the Russians killed 59 civilians with a direct hit from an Iskander missile, including pensioners, doctors, farmers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Entire generations of families were victims of the tragedy. It was established that two traitors were behind the crime, who corrected the attack on the cafe. These are the brothers Volodymyr and Dmytro Mamon, who went over to the enemy side.

Targeting civilians is a war crime under international humanitarian law. The UN believes there is sufficient evidence of Russia's involvement in the strike, although Russia has not admitted direct responsibility for the crime.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to shift responsibility for the crimes of the aggressor onto the victim of aggression and justify the Russian military.

Manipulation The body of a Ukrainian soldier was allegedly found in the sea on the shores of Batumi

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks are distributing a video claiming that the body of a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was found on the shores of the Georgian city of Batumi. However, this is manipulation.

A group of fact-checkers from the Myth Detector project have already confirmed the falsity of this information. It turned out that this video was filmed in the city of Sukhumi, and the body belonged to a local resident who went missing in 2022. It is recorded that the video was recorded on July 1, 2023.

At that moment, the body of local resident Aram Davajyan, who was considered missing since November 27, 2022, was found. This information was confirmed by “law enforcement agencies” of Abkhazia, a region occupied by Russia. After fact-checkers contacted the Emergency Management Service, it was established that there had been no reports of the body of a Ukrainian serviceman on the shore in Sukhumi.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to strengthen their narrative about the “large-scale losses” of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They say that the war needs to be stopped on Russia’s terms. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted other manipulations aimed at directly discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Manipulation Ukraine seems to have gone on the defensive along the entire front line

Pro-Russian resources are spreading information that the Ukrainian army has stopped attacking and gone on the defensive, and the Russian military is stretching the Ukrainian Armed Forces along the entire front line. In asserting this, propagandists refer to an interview with former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliar, which she gave to the online publication Liga.net.

Experts from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security developed this case. It turned out that the Russians manipulated Maliar’s words. In the interview, she made an assumption about the task of the Russians: to prevent the Ukrainian army from concentrating forces in a specific place. Also, the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine noted that it is the Russian army that is stretching its troops along the front line in order to exhaust the Ukrainian defenders and prepare itself for offensive actions. In the end, there were no statements from Maliar that Ukraine was no longer advancing.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the Ukrainian counteroffensive and assure everyone around that the advantage on the front line lies in Russia. Previously, we refuted the information that Valerii Zaluzhnyi allegedly ordered preparations for defense between Mykolaiv and Odesa.

Manipulation Imaginary Russian national minorities in Ukraine supposedly “must be oppressed”

Pro-Russian resources claim that the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, made a statement that there “are not and cannot be any Russian national minorities in Ukraine, and their rights must be infringed”. This is manipulation.

This case was investigated by experts from the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. They found out that during the telethon, Stefanchuk actually said that “there are no Russian national minorities in Ukraine yet and there cannot be”. However, his words were taken out of context. The point was that representatives of the people who are today committing the Ukrainian genocide cannot have any privileges in our country on any issues related to their national minority.

By manipulating information, propagandists feed the narrative that there is “oppression of Russians and Russian-speaking people” in Ukraine, including to justify the so-called “special operation”. Previously, we wrote about how Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak using the term “russophobia”.

Manipulation NATO seems to invade Russia “after the war in Ukraine”

Such information was disseminated on social networks in the Russian segment, commenting on the meeting of the presidents (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic) of the Visegrad Group, who discussed issues of international politics, including the Russian-Ukrainian war. The authors claimed that Czech President Petr Pavel allegedly explained during the summit of heads of state that the Visegrad Group was “ready to engage in aggression against Russia”,  and NATO would allegedly attack Russia “after the war in Ukraine”. This is manipulation.

The StopFake analysts investigated the case and found that there were no statements about NATO’s readiness to launch an invasion of Russia at the Visegrad Four summit - this is an invention of the propaganda media. The meeting of leaders was devoted to European security issues in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The parties stated that Russia must bear responsibility for human lives and damage, and the four countries must “resolutely continue to fully support Ukraine and its citizens”.

Among other things, Peter Pavel said during the meeting that Russia is the main threat to the security of Europe and, accordingly, the defense Alliance. That is, the manipulators distorted the entire context of the officials’ statements and simply came up with profitable Kremlin theses.

Using quotes from public figures, military officers, politicians and other public figures, Russian propaganda is trying to convince consumers of disinformation of the authenticity of such expressions. Like, if the European leader himself said this, then he can be trusted, because he is an authoritative source although the authors do not explain how reliable the information presented in the manipulative publication is. This is how propagandists use the tactic of appealing to authority.

The Visegrad Group was founded on February 15, 1991 in the Hungarian city of Visegrad by the presidents of Central European countries - Poland, Hungary, and then Czechoslovakia with the goal of integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. After the collapse of Czechoslovakia, the official name of the group was the “Visegrad Four”, or V4, consisting of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. It was possible to achieve the European and Euro-Atlantic goal in 2004 - the four countries joined NATO, and on May 1 of the same year V4 joined the European Union. Currently, countries also cooperate in the fields of culture, education, science and data exchange.

Manipulation Ukraine may join NATO “in exchange for territory”

Pro-Kremlin resources are disseminating information that Ukraine was offered to join the North Atlantic Alliance “in exchange for abandoning” Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Propagandists refer to the words of former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who allegedly made such a proposal due to the “failure of the Ukrainian Armed Forces counteroffensive”. However, this is manipulation.

This case was analyzed by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. They found out that Rasmussen actually promoted the idea of Ukraine joining NATO without occupied territories. However, he did not call on Ukraine to give up those territories, but had something slightly different in mind. In his opinion, the country’s early entry into NATO will help protect itself from new manifestations of Russian aggression in the territories controlled by Ukraine, since Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on Collective Defense will apply to them. That is, the invasion of Russian troops into these zones will mean an attack on NATO and the response will be immediate. If Ukraine joins NATO as soon as possible, it will also be possible to release additional Ukrainian defense forces, which, for example, are now located on the border with Belarus, and send them to de-occupy the territories captured by the Russians.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also reminded that there is a similar historical precedent. In 1955, West Germany joined NATO and Article 5 was extended to its territory. At the same time, it did not apply to East Germany, which was then under Soviet occupation.

Russian propaganda is trying to demoralize Ukrainian society with such manipulations and declare that Ukraine allegedly cannot de-occupy the territories captured by Russian troops. Previously, we denied information that NATO is preparing for the defeat of Ukraine and the occupation of the western part of Ukrainian territories.

Manipulation A journalist from the British publication The Telegraph allegedly criticizes the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the “misuse” of Western technology

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on social networks are publishing an article by the author of the British publication The Telegraph, Lewis Page, claiming that he allegedly writes about the misuse of Western equipment by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) during the counteroffensive. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that such an article by The Telegraph really exists, and its author actually writes about the difficulties of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but does not claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are using Western equipment incorrectly. The article notes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is a difficult task. The author rather criticizes Western experts who say that “properly used” Western tanks will help quickly end the war.

The article also reveals some facts about the supply of tanks to Ukraine, noting that as of August 2023, only a limited number of tanks had been transferred. The journalist adds that criticism of the use of Western equipment by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is unfair, since the West has limited the use of equipment for attacks on Russian territory and delayed the supply of tanks to Ukraine. The article notes the success of the Ukrainian army in conditions of limited access to Western equipment and reveals the essence of the circumstances that determined the development of the situation at the front.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to create a myth that Western media consider the Armed Forces of Ukraine to be insufficiently competent compared to the Russian army. They say that this is why the peoples of Western countries must resist military aid for Ukraine. Detector Media has repeatedly refuted fakes and manipulations of Russian propaganda directed against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Manipulation Pregnant Ukrainian women will allegedly be forced to work until they give birth

Propagandists spreading pro-Russian rhetoric on anonymous telegram channels claim that employers can now force pregnant Ukrainian women to work until the child is born through a new bill passed by the Verkhovna Rada. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that such information was untrue. According to the new order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, women can independently decide whether to go on leave from the 30th week of pregnancy, or choose another date to start their maternity leave. Previously, women who were 30 weeks pregnant and under the supervision of a doctor received from them a medical certificate of temporary incapacity for work in the category “pregnancy and childbirth”. After receiving it, the woman was obliged to go on maternity leave. Pregnant women could continue working if they wished, but then the number of days on maternity leave was reduced by as many days as they worked. The size of the benefit in this case also decreased, because it depended on the number of days of vacation. In July of this year, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a bill according to which, if desired and in case of medical contraindications, part of the maternity leave, namely the 70 days provided before childbirth, can be postponed and used after it. The total duration of maternity leave should be no more than 126 calendar days and 140 days for the birth of two or more children or complicated births.

Propagandists extend such manipulations to create a negative impression of the healthcare system in Ukraine. In addition, in this way they also want to create distrust in the Ukrainian government regarding changes in the country. They say that this government is not worth fighting for, because it harms the people. Detector Media also refuted other manipulations related to the healthcare system in Ukraine.

Manipulation In Ukraine, electricity tariffs for the population are supposed to be increased from January 1, 2024

Propagandists are disseminating information that from January 1, 2024, electricity tariffs for the population will increase in Ukraine. Anonymous telegram channels write about this and refer to a recent interview with Kostiantyn Ushchapovskyi, head of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Field of Energy and Utilities. However, this is manipulation.

Colleagues from the Center for Strategic Communications and Security decided to check the information. They found out that Ushchapovskyi did not make such a statement. The Ministry of Energy also reported that at present there are no plans to increase tariffs for the population. The words of the head of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Field of Energy and Utilities were taken out of context: in fact, he said that “until the successful completion of the autumn-winter season there can be no talk of raising tariffs”. The Russians manipulated information to nourish their narrative about the “Kyiv regime”, whose representatives do not take into account the Ukrainian people, but think only about themselves and are ready to torment the population with cold and darkness.

This case of disinformation, like other similar ones - about a power outage or the unpreparedness of the Ukrainian energy system for winter, is intended to demoralize Ukrainian society and “scold it with the authorities”. By the way, we previously refuted information that supposedly in November there could be a blackout in Ukraine even without shelling.

Manipulation Pro-Russian forces seem to have won the elections in Moldova

In response to statements by Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who expressed that Chisinau has no common topics for discussion with Moscow, Russian officials point to the allegedly disastrous results of the municipal elections in Moldova for the ruling party. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from The Insider project drew attention to it. They emphasize that the “victory of the opposition” does not look very convincing. Moldova's pro-European Action and Solidarity party won 19 of 32 districts in regional elections, eight times better than in the previous elections in 2019. Also, the pro-Russian Party of Socialists lost five districts after these elections. They also note that the victory of the pro-Russian party is also not significant, since it was unable to gain success in the elections of mayors of the largest cities.

Ion Ceban, a former adviser to Moldovan President Ihor Dodon, left the Party of Socialists and created the National Alternative Movement, a center-left, also pro-European opposition political force. Ceban advocates European integration of Moldova and condemns Russian aggression against Ukraine. Despite the fact that there is an allegation about Cheban’s ties with Russia, his victory in the elections took place under slogans for European integration and condemnation of Russian aggression.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists make their desire reality. They say that Moldova will never be able to become a full-fledged European state. However, Detector Media  using the example of material about the “Moldavian language”, explained how else Russians can use the internal political context of Moldova for their propaganda.

Manipulation The EU allegedly admitted Ukraine's loss in the war

Russian media are disseminating information that supposedly the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that the European Union recognized Ukraine’s loss in the war. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found that propagandists used Borrell's statement, taking it out of context. In fact, the diplomat had no doubt about the prospect of ending the war in Ukraine’s favor. The quote was taken from the speech of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security during the Congress of the Party of European Socialists in Malaga, Spain on November 11. Borrell said that EU countries must be prepared to continue to support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression.

Although Borrell did say that Ukraine's victory over Russia “does not happen overnight”,  Russian media deliberately skipped a significant part of the European diplomat's speech that followed this phrase. Borrell emphasized that the greatest security guarantee that the EU can provide to Ukraine is its membership in the “European family”. However, for this to happen, the Union must remain united and prepare for a longer conflict than Russia had planned, which hoped to take over the country in two weeks and establish its own puppet regime, similar to the Belarusian one. Borrell emphasized that, despite the expectations of dictator Putin, Ukraine not only did not fall, but is also recapturing its territories. This became possible thanks to Ukraine's fierce resistance against the Kremlin regime and the support of its allies. Thus, according to the EU representative, Ukraine is the EU's top priority, and work to support the country must continue until it wins the war.

Propagandists spread such fake news because they want to convince Ukrainians that even their closest allies have allegedly turned their backs on them. Like, if the EU has already recognized Ukraine’s loss, the situation is definitely catastrophic. However, this is not the case, and Detector Media has repeatedly refuted such fakes and manipulations of Russian propaganda.

Manipulation Russians who opposed the war are now forced to look for food in landfills

Russian media claim that now Russians who left their country due to disagreement with Russian aggression against Ukraine are allegedly forced to look for food in landfills. However, this is manipulation.

Analysts from The Insider project drew attention to it. They found an article cited as a primary source in the manipulated reports. In fact, in the article “Freega - the idea of smart consumption”, journalist and photographer Serhii Stroitieliev talks about young Russians who moved to Georgia and remained faithful to the idea of “smart consumption”, or freeganism, without mentioning the difficulties of emigration. The article also notes that most of these people were engaged in freeganism back in Russia and that this is their way of life and practice associated with subculture, environmental and anarchist ideas.

By spreading such manipulations, propagandists want to discredit all those who oppose the war within Russia. Like, it’s unbearable abroad, but in Russia it’s good, so one needs to exchange principles for comfort.

Manipulation Russian troops are regrouping to more advantageous positions in the Kherson region

Propaganda resources are trying to disorient the Ukrainian Defense Forces with messages about the alleged withdrawal of the Russian army from some temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson region. Thus, on the morning of November 12, pro-Russian media published news about the regrouping of Russian troops near Dnipro, and on November 13 they deleted their publications and reported that the preliminary information was canceled.

The Center for National Resistance investigated this case and stated that the regrouping of Russian troops in the Kherson region has not been recorded. This was reported to the Center by local residents of the temporarily occupied territories (TOT) of the Kherson region, which are discussed in the “news”. It looks like this case is an information operation against Ukraine. The Center for National Resistance also added that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kherson region is a matter of time.

Manipulation Lithuania will introduce a rain tax due to the country's spending on defense and support for Ukraine

Pro-Russian resources began to disseminate information that the Lithuanian authorities are planning to introduce a “rain tax”, the reason for which was “exorbitant expenses” on the country’s defense and the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine. They say that the Lithuanian government no longer knows where to look for additional resources to cover the country’s expenses, so it resorts to innovative methods. This is manipulation.

This case was processed by fact-checkers from the Center for Countering Disinformation. They found out that in some Lithuanian counties there is indeed a rain tax, although it is not related to the war in Ukraine. For example, in Alytus, city residents have been paying it since 1996. It is worth noting that the tax is levied only on residents of private houses and provided that precipitation fell on their territory and entered the general runoff. It turns out that the tax is not really for rain, but for the treatment of rainwater by wastewater treatment plants.

Russian disinformation in this case aims to undermine Lithuanians’ trust in their government, encourage them to boycott financial assistance to Ukraine, and generally weaken international support for our country. One of the key messages of propagandists here is that the internal problems of the state have not been resolved in Lithuania and, for example, school teachers periodically go on strike due to low salaries, and the authorities are indifferent to this - they are thinking about Ukraine.

Manipulation Zelenskyi called on Israel to fight terrorism “without laws and rules”

This thesis was spread by pro-Kremlin media. The messages add how Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly stated that Israel should fight terrorism “without laws and rules” - in fact, he allegedly called for the commission of war crimes. This is manipulation.

Analysts of the StopFake project managed to process the case: they explained that the basis for creating this manipulation was most likely an interview with the Ukrainian president on the American television channel NBC News on November 5, 2023. During the live broadcast, the interviewer asked whether Volodymyr Zelenskyi is confident that Israel is subject to international law in the war with Hamas. Zelenskyi responded that it is Russia, Iran and North Korea that are trying to scale up the war in Israel:

“This is a fire that is burning between Israel and Palestine, and some people are still throwing matches into this fire, and I am sure that Russia is not far behind in sponsoring Hamas. And Iran too. That's who is to blame. When we talk about laws and rules, where there are terrorists, there are no rules [terrorists don’t care about rules ed.]”.

Actually, Volodymyr Zelenskyi meant that Russia and other “friendly countries” - Iran, North Korea, etc. — do not support the norms of international law, especially directly or indirectly incite discord. These countries, for example, actively block any legislative initiatives aimed at supporting Ukraine in the UN General Assembly. And according to Zelenskyi, they may also be interested in scaling up the war in the Middle East.

But propagandists twisted the statement and began to claim that it is the Ukrainian leader who seeks to sow discord and calls for committing war crimes, regardless of the cost. Thus, propagandists demonize Volodymyr Zelenskyi and label him: let's say, he is an aggressor and a provocateur who wants wars around the world.

Manipulation In the Gaza Strip, the number of victims is greater in 25 days than in Ukraine in 563 days

In the pro-Kremlin media and in the Russian segment of the Facebook social network, information is spread that in 25 days almost as many civilians have been killed in the Gaza Strip as allegedly killed in Ukraine in 563 days, that is, since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian propaganda presents an infographic comparing the number of victims. This is manipulation.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. In the graphs published by Russian propaganda, it is stated that 8 thousand 796 people died in Gaza during the 25 days of the conflict, of which 3648 are children. There were 24,000 wounded, of which 9,600 were children. These data are provided by the UN.

During the 563 days of the full-scale war in Ukraine, 9,614 people died, including 554 children. 17,535 people were injured, of which 1,180 were children. However, the Office of the United Nations and High Commissioner for Human Rights believe that “the actual figures are much higher”, because the organization's calculations do not take into account data from occupied cities where fierce fighting took place, such as Mariupol, Lysychansk, Popasna and Sievierodonetsk, where there are reports of numerous victims among the civilian population.

This was also stated by the spokesman of the UN Office for Human Rights in Ukraine, Kryshtof Yanovskyi. He noted that it is impossible to provide exact figures from Mariupol. Ukrainian human rights activists believe that in Mariupol alone, the Russian invaders killed about 100,000 people.

By manipulating numbers and using a sensitive topic for this, Russian propagandists are trying to put psychological pressure on Ukrainians. Russians also want to whiten themselves: as if against the background of Israel, which, regardless of morality, kills people, Russia looks like a humanistic country, because it supposedly protects Ukrainians. Earlier, we refuted the fake that Economy Minister Svyrydenko said that Ukraine would restore the Gaza Strip.

Manipulation More than 500 American volunteers died in the war in Ukraine

Pro-Kremlin resources are spreading disinformation about the losses of American troops in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Propagandists refer to an interview with American volunteer Matthew Van Dyke, published on the YouTube channel Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom. In it, a volunteer allegedly stated that 510 American volunteers who joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces died. This is manipulation.

The Center for Countering Disinformation worked on this case. They found out that during a volunteer’s answer to the presenter’s question about the number of American soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine, Van Dyke voiced the figures of five to ten people. He also added that many American volunteers were wounded.

Russian propagandists exaggerate the achievements of the Russian army in the war against Ukraine to fuel the narrative of the “second army of the world”. On the other hand, by manipulating information, Russian propaganda is trying to convince everyone around that mobilization in the Armed Forces of Ukraine is useless - and so everyone will die, and therefore it is easier for Ukraine to surrender now. Previously, we denied information that American students were allegedly being recruited into the Foreign Legion of Ukraine.