Spilnota Detector Media

Disclosure How Russia is spreading pro-Russian narratives in Israel

The Russians managed to create a network of their contacts among local journalists and politicians in Israel, who are becoming instruments of influence in the region. Israel Hayom writes about this, citing Israeli intelligence services. These contacts are actively used to spread Russian propaganda and disinformation aimed at undermining stability in Israel.

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine notes that in order to analyze the activities of Russians in the Israeli media space, it was discovered that the Kremlin uses a wide arsenal to promote propaganda in it. This includes both traditional and new methods to maximize influence on public opinion.

Key technologies include:

- creation of websites masquerading as Israeli media. They look like real news outlets, but they actually spread pro-Russian information and disinformation;

- dissemination of pro-Russian messages in the comments of popular political groups on social networks. This allows one to form public opinion and support the necessary narratives among the population;

- Distribution of anti-Ukrainian publications, including interviews with Israeli military and political figures calling for continued cooperation with Russia. These materials should undermine support for Ukraine and justify Russian aggression.

Israeli intelligence services are actively monitoring these influence attempts and working to neutralize them, but the problem remains relevant and requires constant attention and counteraction.

Disclosure How Russian propaganda penetrated English-language travel blogs on YouTube

A recent Bloomberg report highlighted how Russia is using Western bloggers to spread its propaganda. With an audience of more than two million subscribers, they either moved to Russia permanently or traveled there after the start of the full-scale invasion. In their content, these bloggers mostly ignore the topic of the war in Ukraine. In turn, they focus on the supposedly insignificant impact of sanctions and the creation of a positive image of Russia.

There is no direct evidence that these bloggers are part of a coordinated pro-Kremlin campaign. However, the Russian propaganda machine often uses social media to spread disinformation, and bloggers have become an important part of this mechanism.

Specialists from the Beyond the News project analyzed this using the example of Russian blogger Elina Bakunova, known as Eli from Russia, who promotes Kremlin narratives due to her travels around Russia.

She has a YouTube channel with over 700 thousand subscribers, some of her videos have received millions of views. In them, Bakunova shows Lake Baikal, Mount Elbrus and other sights of Russia, creating the impression that her content is dedicated exclusively to travel.

She positions herself as an ordinary girl from Perm, although her education and access to professional equipment indicate otherwise. She began her career by talking about studying in Italy, where she studied English and PR. Her videos include professional drone footage and time lapses.

Her connection with propagandists is evidenced, in particular, by her interview with an American working for Russia Today about the advantages of living in Russia. In addition, in June 2022, it joined the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), whose honorary president is Shoihu and whose supervisory board is headed by Putin. The organization has become an instrument of hybrid warfare in the international arena and in the field of education. They use cartography to create false maps that label temporarily occupied territories of other countries as Russian.

In its videos, Eli from Russia shows different peoples as part of “great Russia”, focusing on landscapes and cuisine and only briefly mentioning culture and customs. She constantly emphasizes Russian as the main language for everyday use. The YouTuber avoids discussing the past and contemporary problems of these peoples, keeping silent about their true history of “annexing” to Russia, trying to create an attractive image of the state.

While traveling through countries that Russian propaganda calls post-Soviet, such as Georgia and Kazakhstan, she ignores anti-Russian sentiment and focuses on nostalgia for Soviet times. The YouTuber talks about life under the Soviet Union as “the best of times”.

In the comments to the video, she is reproached for keeping silent about Russian aggression against Ukraine. However, her supporters argue that the blog is dedicated to nature and cultures, so she should not talk about political topics. She continues to move freely around the country and travel abroad. After February 24, 2022, she published a video about her trip beyond the Northern Circle, without uttering a word about Russian aggression.

Also, she doubts the fairness of international sanctions against Russia, arguing that they only harm ordinary people, and not Putin and his circle. She focuses on the difficulties that the sanctions created for her personally, without mentioning the reasons for their introduction.

On her travel channel, Elina made several videos that even her fans considered inappropriate. Like the one where she talks about “Victory Day” and praises her grandfather who “fought” “Ukrainian nationalists” during Russia’s modern war against Ukraine.

Eli from Russia disseminates pro-Kremlin narratives to Western audiences who know little about history and life in Russia. They see a beautiful picture that creates the impression of a different Russia and reduces the critical perception of its aggressive actions. She keeps quiet about the war in Ukraine and avoids critical topics, furthering the goals of the propaganda machine, despite the lack of direct evidence of coordination with the Kremlin.

Disclosure New anti-Ukrainian messages in Russian media

In its digest of anti-Ukrainian messages in Russian media, the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine highlighted the manipulation and fake news spread by Russian propagandists.

Russia seems to be offering a “peace agreement” rather than issuing an ultimatum to Ukraine.

Russian propagandists are spreading information that Russia is offering Ukraine a peace agreement to end the war. Thus, Russia is highlighted as a peacemaker, a party desiring peace. At the same time, propagandists claim the “unwillingness” of Ukraine or the West, which “leads Ukraine”, to end the war.

In fact, Russia issued an ultimatum to Ukraine. The Russians’ demands included: the transfer to Russia of the territories it occupied and international recognition of Ukrainian territories as part of Russia, the non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, and the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

Russian propagandists have resorted to replacing concepts in order to portray Russia not as an aggressor, but as a peacemaker. Such propaganda affects both Russian and foreign audiences. It demonizes the West, portrays Russia as morally superior, and instills doubts in Western society about the wisdom of continuing to support Ukraine.

Ukraine allegedly uses cargo ships for military purposes

Propagandists baselessly claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are allegedly launching missile attacks on Sevastopol and Crimea using dry cargo ships on which launchers with ATACMS missiles are placed. Thus, the ship is supposedly capable of entering the Black Sea or Odesa cargo port after an attack and merging with the dry cargo ships stationed there.

However, this is a fake, since a cargo ship is a transport vessel designed to transport dry cargo and is not suitable for installing weapons on it. Moreover, Russian propagandists cannot provide any evidence of the use of such vessels by Ukraine.

The dissemination of such a fake is an attempt to legitimize Russian attacks on non-military vessels that are allegedly used for military purposes. So the Russians are blowing up maritime security and jeopardizing one of the trade routes for Ukraine. In addition, in this way, Russian propagandists are spreading fear among Ukrainians and, in general, undermining trust in Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainians allegedly receive bills to pay for the telethon

Pro-Russian resources are disseminating information that Ukrainians are supposedly receiving bills to pay for the telethon. As “proof”, propagandists add a photo of a “receipt” from the Rivne Regional Energy Supply Company, which, in addition to electricity charges, allegedly shows charges for the telethon amounting to 40 UAH.

However, this information is not true, write experts on the VoxCheck project. In fact, the United News telethon is financed exclusively from the state budget.

A sample invoice for services from the Rivne Regional Energy Supply Company is presented on the company’s official website. There is no payment for the telethon. Also, the Bereznivskyi district, which is mentioned in the receipt, no longer exists for a long time - as a result of the administrative-territorial reform, four districts were formed in the Rivne region, the former Bereznivskyi district became part of the Rivne one.

Finally, the telethon is broadcast on a dozen national television channels, available on digital airwaves, satellite television and online for free. It is technically impossible to separate “Unified News” into a separate package of services. Citizens of Ukraine either watch it for free or pay providers for a package of channels, which may include channels broadcasting the marathon. Accordingly, when purchasing such a package, the money goes directly to the provider and cannot be combined in one bill with utilities.

Previously, we refuted the information that in Rivne those who evade are disconnected from public services.

Disclosure Russia floods the West with disinformation

Journalist for the American online publication The Washington Post, Lee Hockstader, claims that Russia began actively spreading disinformation in Europe even on the eve of the European Parliament elections. In his column, Hockstader writes that in 2022, Europe was already experiencing a large-scale Russian disinformation operation: “The Moscow-controlled organization cloned the websites of newspapers, magazines and news services, including the British Guardian and the German Bild, posted copies under similar domain names and filled them with Kremlin”.

The main attacks of Russian disinformation are directed against Ukraine: “A website posing as the French Ministry of Defense announced that 200 thousand French recruits will be sought for service in Ukraine. A prominent German TV journalist known as a “Putin expert” and Moscow sympathizer was found to have received more than $600,000 from a Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire”.

Russia's war against Ukraine has removed obstacles to Moscow's use of various disinformation tools. The United States may face a similar or even greater challenge this fall on the eve of the presidential election. If Europe does not respond to this challenge, Hockstader said, which is looking increasingly likely, then the picture will look even bleaker in some places. Particularly in the United States, where dysfunctional policies and First Amendment protections make tracking Russian mischief even more difficult.

Disclosure Allegedly, the French website Republican Resistance is spreading Russian narratives about the war in Ukraine

This resource disseminates fake news, in particular, about “the death of soldiers of the French Foreign Legion in the war in Ukraine”, criticizes the French government, publishes caricatures of President Macron, promotes pro-Russian fakes and supports right-wing radicals. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Resistancerepublicaine.com is registered and hosted in Moscow - that is why the .com domain was chosen rather than .fr, intended for French online resources. This was determined by researchers from Insight News Media.

According to investigators, the materials on this site are intended to spread chaos, despair and protest sentiments in France, to blow up the French government and support right-wing radicals committed to Moscow. Previously, we denied information that France had allegedly made an official decision to send its troops to Ukraine.

Disclosure Russia is preparing another IPSO against Ukraine for $15 million

According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, the Russian intelligence services are planning a new campaign to discredit the country’s military leadership, aimed, in particular, at Ukrainian military intelligence. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Russian propaganda has prepared a number of articles and films that reveal the data of employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine involved in coordinating the combat work of special forces of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine.

Propagandists have already received instructions to organize paid creation and distribution of relevant materials in the media space of Ukraine and Western countries. The Russians allocated $15 million for this, intelligence officials said.

Russia's next information attack has the following goal:

• discredit Ukrainian military special forces, their officers and employees;

• block the work of departments developing and carrying out combat and special missions against Moscow;

• create another factor of social tension in Ukraine.

Previously, we wrote about how the Russians are recruiting people for Maidan-3 on Telegram.

Fake How a mistake by a Western TV channel formed the basis of a Russian fake

Pro-Kremlin media, citing the British television channel SkyNews, disseminated information that the rate of production of artillery ammunition in Russia is three times higher than that of all Western countries combined. In turn, SkyNews referred to data from the consulting company Bain & Company. According to “forecasts”, the Russian Federation will produce about 4.5 million artillery shells in 2024, while the United States and European countries will produce a total of approximately 1.3 million.

However, this information is not true. The head of the Conflict Intelligence Team, Ruslan Leviev, pointed out the mistake of the consulting company and, as a result, the British television channel that trusted its assessment:

“The problem is that they [the Bain & Company analysts. - ed.] name the number of shells that the USA and Europe will make, they are talking about shells of the same caliber, the main one is 155 mm. And when they say that Russia will produce 4.5 million of its shells, they count all artillery shells, that is, the main 152 mm, and some kind of 122 mm rocket, and all other shells too”.

Russian propagandists did not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the mistake of Western analysts to exaggerate Russia's production capabilities in the manufacture of shells.

Fake Fake story about the funeral business in Ukraine

Russian resources are distributing a story on behalf of the BBC that allegedly Bellingcat journalists found out the following: “The funeral business in Ukraine was monopolized by a company whose main shareholder is the personal eccentric of Hunter Biden, the second son of Joe Biden”.

However, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. In fact, this story is another fake by Russian propagandists. There are no materials on this topic on the official Bellingcat pages. In addition, there is no corresponding story on the official BBC resources.

This is not the first time that Russian propaganda has spread its fake news on behalf of reputable Western publications in an attempt to give them more credibility. All fake videos have similar templates using international media graphics and captions without voiceover of the text. Previously, we analyzed a similar video fake on behalf of the same BBC about the Bellingcat investigation, in which journalists allegedly found out that the head of the Presidential Executive Office Andrii Yermak paid $27 million for a place in Time’s ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Fake The alleged cover of The Economist with the ex-Minister of Defense of Russia

Russian telegram channels are distributing an alleged cover of The Economist magazine with the image of former Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu. The “cover” bears the title “The Last 120 Days” and the message adds that “the final phase of the conflict has already begun”. Propagandists claim that the magazine allegedly published material about decisive events that will lead to Russian victory in the coming months. In fact, this is a fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that on the official website of the magazine in the All Issues section there is no issue with a picture of Shoihu. Additionally, there is no publication date on the cover. Russian and pro-Russian outlets began circulating the cover on May 14, although The Economist did not publish any new issues that day. The covers for May 4, 11, and 18 are significantly different from the fake ones, and the topics in these issues do not concern ending the war “in 120 days” or any other time frame. This image of Shoihu is also missing from The Economist's social networks.

In addition, a link to the telegram channel “The Economist” was added to the fake message. This channel is not the official channel of The Economist, since the publication does not have a telegram channel at all. The fake channel imitates the British publication, copying its description and logo.

This is not the first time Russians have used Western brands to spread misinformation. They take the name of a Western publication, its logo, and through fake photos and videos they promote narratives that are beneficial to Russia. The authority of the publication gives information to fictitious “legitimacy” and creates the impression that supposedly even Western journalists recognize the inevitability of Ukraine’s defeat.

Fake The French publication Charlie Hedbo allegedly released a cover with a French military man in the form of a dead man

An alleged new cover of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo is being circulated online. The drawing depicts a French military man in the form of a dead man. The picture also has the caption: “Cold, smelly, full of holes, made in France, but not cheese”.

VoxCheck analysts analyzed the case and found that such a cover was not in any issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine. The cover of the magazine indicates that this is issue No. 1659 dated May 7, 2024 - but on the official website of the publication there is the original issue of the magazine for the specified period, which was also published under number 1659.

The cover may be linked to calls by some French MPs for a boycott of the participation of Israeli athletes in the Olympic Games in Paris.

Fake Ukraine has allegedly “become a hub” for drug trafficking in the world, German newspaper Junge Welt

Anonymous telegram channels write that Ukraine has allegedly become a hub for drug trafficking in the world, citing an article in a German newspaper. The author of the article asks the question about the ultimate goal of “legalizing marijuana” in Ukraine and makes the reader wonder whether Volodymyr Zelenskyi legalized this substance due to his own “capture”. At the same time, the authors of the fake news allegedly cite data from the report of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC) to support such theses. In it, the organization allegedly writes that against the backdrop of failures, the Ukrainian military is becoming easy prey for drug lords.

VoxCheck analysts explained that GITOC did not call Ukraine a “hub” for drug trafficking in its report. At the same time, Ukraine legalized not recreational marijuana, but medical cannabis, which contains almost no narcotic substance.

At the same time, the publication Junge Welt actually published material filled with Kremlin anti-Ukrainian narratives. After all, it is the pro-Russian media that is spreading fake news not for the first time.

Fake A Polish journalist was allegedly fired from her job due to an investigation into “Ukrainian Nazis” among the military

Propagandists are distributing a report allegedly created by Deutsche Welle, which states that Polish journalist Agata Grzybowska was fired because she published her own investigation in the publication Rzeczpospolita. Grzybowska allegedly said that European media heavily edited videos of Ukrainian soldiers to hide Nazi symbols on their uniforms. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to the fake. They found out that Deutsche Welle did not actually publish such a video on its official website or social networks. There is also no such investigation on the website of the Polish publication Rzeczpospolita.

A reverse image search on Google revealed that clips from other videos were used for the fake report. For example, the image of Agata Grzybowska is taken from a presentation of her work at the cultural institution Dom Spotkań z Historią in Warsaw. The photo of police detaining her was taken in 2020 during women's protests against an abortion ban in Warsaw. The video with the 59th brigade was filmed in Kramatorsk in February 2024.

Agata Grzybowska is a Polish photographer. On her Facebook page she covers events in Ukraine, in particular the Revolution of Dignity and the Russian full-scale invasion. In a comment to the Belarusian Intelligence Center, Grzybowska denied information about her dismissal and the publication of the investigation. She explained that she does not write articles because she is a photojournalist by profession.

Propagandists are spreading this fake news to once again reinforce their message about “Ukrainian Nazis” and the “need for denazification”. Thus, they justify the crimes of Russians against Ukrainian civilians.

Disclosure US Intelligence: The Kremlin has stepped up its disinformation campaign against Zelenskyi

American intelligence agencies note that in recent months, Russian propaganda has intensified discrediting messages against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. This was reported by European Truth with reference to CNN.

Russian disinformation focuses on two topics - the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka, as well as the postponement of the presidential elections in Ukraine. The Russians are trying to present the first not as a strategic decision, but as a defeat, and the second - that supposedly Zelenskyi is no longer legitimate. At the same time, we have repeatedly refuted reports about the illegitimacy of the current President of Ukraine.

US intelligence agencies believe that Russian intelligence services are behind the campaign and are spreading disinformation through pro-Kremlin media, fake websites and social networks.

Disclosure How Russia uses “active measures” in its propaganda abroad

Russia uses various means to influence public opinion both in its own country and at the international level. These means include not only “positive propaganda” but also complex “information operations”. The Jamestown Foundation wrote about this in more detail.

For a long time, the main line of Russian propaganda was to propagate the idea that truth is different or even non-existent. The main methods of such operations include spreading disinformation, manipulating ideas, exacerbating existing social conflicts, and discrediting the fundamental values and institutions of democratic societies.

The combination of cynicism and ideology led to the emergence of a unique Russian phenomenon known as “ideological cynicism”, where “geopolitics” became a cult without regard to moral guidelines or principles.

In addition, Russian propaganda uses contradictions in Western countries and between governments, as well as politicians' avoidance of real problems, to cause discord and deepening social polarization.

The most effective tools in these information operations have become “ideologies for export”, the essence of which is the creation of “mini-ideologies” — individual, often self-contradictory worldviews for different social groups. However, they can be countered through exposure and refutation.

By identifying the underlying strategies that underpin Russian propaganda, the West can develop more effective methods to counter Russian information operations and reduce global support for Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Disclosure Russia plans to use Eurovision, the Olympics and other large-scale international competitions to spread its lies

Journalists from the Finnish publication Yle claim that in May the Russian Federation seeks to use Eurovision and the World Hockey Championship as a platform for propaganda. Then the Russians plan to use similar narratives in the summer at the European Football Championship in Germany and the Olympic Games in France.

The publication adds that a similar campaign was previously recorded in the Latvian segment of social networks. Then a group of hockey players from Latvia took part in a tournament organized by Putin in Kazan. After this, the Hockey Federation introduced a number of bans, and thousands of bots suddenly appeared on social network X, speaking out in defense of hockey players and demanding to “separate sports from politics”.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine reports that Moscow is going to take advantage of large-scale measures in EU countries to weaken Europe and slow down support for Ukraine. Previously, Detector Media wrote about how Russian propaganda reacts to the exclusion from the 2024 Olympic Games.

Fake The German magazine Handelsblatt allegedly resorted to black humor towards Ukrainian men abroad

Russian propaganda resources are disseminating information that on the cover of its latest issue, the German magazine Handelsblatt depicted a bloody Ukrainian passport, as well as a severed hand, and signed it all with the words: “Yes, dead. But with a new passport”. This is how the publication allegedly responded to the decision of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to restrict Ukrainian men abroad from receiving consular services.

In fact, this information is fake, because the German magazine Handelsblatt did not publish an issue with such a cover. One can verify this by looking at the official website of the publication. In addition, the cover distributed by Russian propagandists shows the magazine issue number 87 dated May 4, 2024, but the actual issue of the magazine under this number is dated May 6, 2024 and has a different cover.

This fake is a reaction of Russian propaganda to the temporary cessation of the provision of consular services to Ukrainian men abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasized that the decision to suspend the process of providing consular services to a category of Ukrainian citizens defined by law is a temporary step, due, in particular, to the need to resolve the issue of military registration of citizens of mobilization age abroad.

Disclosure Maidan-3 Russian disinformation campaign launched

On the social network TikTok, videos of some “bloggers” are being distributed who promote the thesis about the alleged “illegitimacy” of the Ukrainian authorities with calls for Ukrainians to go to protests. The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council writes about this.

This is happening as part of Russia's massive disinformation campaign called Maidan-3. Its goal is to destabilize the situation in Ukraine as much as possible, discredit the military-political leadership of the state, and also sow chaos and an atmosphere of mistrust in Ukraine.

The Center adds that such calls correspond to the interests of Russia, which is preparing for an offensive at the front and is interested in disorganizing the situation in Ukraine. And the main efforts aimed at this are being prepared for the 20th of May.

Disclosure How Russians spread propaganda while masquerading as Ukrainian government agencies

Specialists of the NotaYenota project have found out that recently propagandists have been waging an anti-Ukrainian information campaign on Ukrainian Facebook, masquerading as government agencies. At the end of December 2023, a page called “Information Defense Center” appeared. This page has nothing to do with government organizations, but creates the illusion of officiality. In fact, it gently discredits the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the authorities. Although the number of subscribers on the page is small, the publications have a large reach, and comments are left by real users, not bots.

The authors of the page use painful topics for society, such as mobilization, telethon, elections and others. True facts are spread, which then turn into absurdity and only support the credibility of the telethon. For example, one of the publications is about conflicts between the Territorial centers of procurement and social support and civilians. The topic is controversial and scandalous, but messages on the page claim that all incidents related to the Territorial centers of procurement and social support are fiction and Russian propaganda.

Media that publish true facts are also discredited by adding reductio ad absurdum comments to claim that this is just a Russian propaganda narrative.

The problems discussed on the page do exist and are difficult to refute. Therefore, NotaYenota specialists urge people to keep a cool mind and not be fooled by provocations.

Disclosure Russia uses African media for disinformation

The Kremlin promotes disinformation through the Nigerian publication THE NATION, the Senegalese SENE NEWS, and the Egyptian El Mostaqbal. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

• THE NATION, for example, published an article about the alleged sale by the Office of the President of Ukraine of land to the Soros Foundation in order to bury chemical waste.

• SENE NEWS publishes “investigative articles” about Ukraine with links to anonymous sources or fictitious journalists.

• El Mostaqbal quotes Russian officials accusing Ukraine and spreading narratives about “biological laboratories” or that “Ukraine is a US puppet”, for example.

Considering that the fakes on the analyzed resources have not received significant publicity among the international community, unlike the Russian information space, we can conclude that Russian propaganda uses these media to increase the confidence of the Russian domestic population in false information. Like, “even foreign media are writing about this!”.

You can read more about how Russia promotes its narratives through African media in a joint study by the Center for Countering Disinformation and the Molfar OSINT agency.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly stopped believing in reaching the 1991 borders

This information is disseminated by pro-Russian media. They argue that reaching the 1991 borders is an impossible goal. Even President Zelenskyi is now supposedly beginning to think about the reality of victory. In the corresponding “news”, the Kremlin media refers to Ukrainian political scientist Konstiantyn Bondarenko.

In fact, this information is not true. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. During a press conference on December 19, 2023, Zelenskyi stated that “the strategy cannot be changed, according to our Constitution - these are all our territories”. In a December interview of the same year for The Economist, the President of Ukraine also emphasized that only after the Russian army leaves the 1991 borders will it be possible to transfer the war from a military path to a diplomatic one.

It can be argued that statements about “Zelenskyi’s despondency” are just Bondarenko’s personal speculations, not supported by real facts. The political scientist himself has a rather dubious reputation. In 2021, he collaborated with the pro-Russian blogger Anatolii Sharii, recording a series of lectures in Russian about the OUN, UPA and Ukrainian nationalism for one of his YouTube channels. In addition, already on the eve of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he collaborated with the Russian propaganda online publication Ukraina.ru. Previously, we denied information that EU countries are seeking to take control of part of Ukrainian territories.

Fake CNBC allegedly wrote about US “global military operation” “Storm”

Propagandists are spreading information in the English-language segment of social networks, allegedly the American media company CNBC published news about a “global” US military operation called “Storm”, which was supposed to take place in 2024. One user posted the screenshots on Platform X (formerly Twitter), describing them as “shocking in many ways” and pointing out that they referred to Donald Trump as the “current president” of the United States. However, this is fake.

The fact-checkers from Reuters drew attention to it. They found that the expression “Storm” is often used by adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Through it, they describe moments when influential individuals are expected to be detained. Also, the authors of this fake falsely claim that Donald Trump has led the US Military since 2020.

The material was published on the now defunct website cnbcusa.com, which is not related to the official CNBC website. A CNBC spokesperson confirmed in a comment to Reuters that the article was not published by them and stressed that cnbcusa.com was never affiliated with CNBC. Reuters also did not find any related articles about Trump as the “current military president” in 2024 or about the “global” US military operation called “Storm” on the official CNBC website. Therefore, this information is false.

Propagandists distribute or support such materials in the English-speaking world to deepen divisions in American society and create distrust in democratic institutions. Detector Media has already written about what methods Russia is using for this in the context of the upcoming presidential elections in the United States.

Message Kherson is allegedly waiting for Russia

Propagandists do not stop trying to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine, the motives of which are hidden under the narrative of “the need to fire Russians in Ukraine”. To promote this message, Russian media again claim that the residents of Kherson are supposedly waiting for “Russian liberators” and “supporting” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this.

Russian media used the statements of the governor of the occupation authorities, collaborator Volodymyr Saldo, who cannot be considered a reliable source of information. Although the Kremlin calls him “the governor of the Kherson region of Russia”, this position is fictitious. In Ukraine, Saldo is wanted for high treason and violating the territorial integrity of the country. In addition, Volodymyr Saldo is under numerous sanctions from Ukraine, the EU, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

After massive shelling of peaceful cities, destruction of civilian infrastructure and mass murder of civilians, the level of self-identification of Ukrainians reached its highest level in all the years of the country’s independence. According to an all-Ukrainian sociological survey by the Rating group, published on January 29, 2024, very high rates of a sense of Ukrainian identity were registered in the Kherson region - the majority of respondents called themselves convinced Ukrainians from a European nation. At the same time, respondents most often noted Ukrainian identity as a conscious choice, aggravated by the war.

Russia regularly shells every district of the city, killing civilians in Kherson and causing enormous damage to critical infrastructure. It was the actions of Russian troops that led to significant material and human losses in Kherson, which caused negative emotions among the vast majority of local residents. According to a survey by the Protection Kherson Society Foundation (2023), only 8% of Kherson residents noted that they were not injured as a result of enemy shelling. Every third Kherson family lost property due to Russian aggression. A third (35%) of Kherson residents had their apartment or private house damaged, 27% of respondents noted that their apartment building was damaged, and another 23% had their property damaged. Significant damage has also been caused to the health of Kherson residents: 35% testify that in their families there are people who have begun to suffer from mental disorders, 3% in the family are injured. However, the worst thing is that people are dying due to shelling of the city. During the survey, 2% of Kherson residents said that there were deaths in their families.

The majority of respondents believe that the restoration of Kherson should occur primarily at the expense of the aggressor state (79%), which should be punished for its criminal actions.

The Russian myth about the “originally Russian southeast” of Ukraine, which, according to the occupiers, should include the Kherson region, has never been confirmed by facts. It should be recalled that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, during the all-Ukrainian referendum on December 1, 1991, 93.13% of the residents of the Kherson region voted for the independence of Ukraine. Thus, they confirmed their desire to live in an independent and sovereign state - Ukraine. And during the 2001 All-Ukrainian Population Census, the majority of Kherson residents (82%) considered themselves Ukrainians.

Detector Media wrote that Russian propaganda is trying to create the impression that life is thriving and being restored in the temporarily occupied territories, while disorder reigns in those controlled by Ukraine.

Disclosure The Washington Post received intelligence about Russian IPSO against Ukraine

The Washington Post has gained access to Russian documents proving that Russian propaganda is organizing a large-scale disinformation campaign in Ukraine, Europe and around the world.

As part of this campaign, tens of thousands of manipulative media publications, fake news and messages on social networks have already been published from a kind of army of Russian “trolls”. The purpose of these publications is to discredit the leadership of Ukraine, split the elite, demoralize the Armed Forces of Ukraine and disorient the Ukrainians. It should be noted that the theses from the fake posts of Russians echo the theses of individual political players and bloggers in Ukraine.

One of the main directions of the campaign is an attack on the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The Russians are trying to convince Ukrainians and the world that Zelenskyi is afraid of losing power and is allegedly replacing democracy in Ukraine with authoritarianism. The Russians are also promoting the message that Western countries will soon replace Zelenskyi because he is becoming uncomfortable for them. The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council urges not to be fooled by such information, and to trust only verified sources.

• Read on Censor.NET: How Russia tests the mood of Ukrainian society through pseudo-Ukrainian Facebook pages

Fake Egyptian magazine Akher Saa allegedly dedicated its cover to Western leaders calling them liars

On social networks in the Russian segment, they publish what appears to be a real cover of Akher Saa magazine, which depicts Western leaders: Olaf Scholz, Joe Biden, Antony Blinken and others. At the same time, their noses are elongated, hinting at the fairy-tale hero Pinocchio, whose nose grows larger as soon as he lies. The word “liars” was also placed on the cover in different languages. “Where is Zelenskyi on the cover? Obviously, they couldn’t put him on the cover, because his nose is too big (deceitful - DM)”, comment the authors of the fake.

VoxCheck analyzed the case and found out that Akher Saa magazine did not produce its issue with such a cover. The primary source of this “news” is an anonymous telegram channel broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. There is no such publication on the Akher Saa magazine website or on its social media pages.

We have repeatedly documented hoaxes involving fake graffiti or covers on foreign magazines, newspaper columns or advertisements. Thus, propagandists seek to show that their rhetoric (for example, that Zelenskyi is hated by the whole world) is also repeated in the West. So it may seem to readers that the public is really dissatisfied with Ukraine. And especially when the authors use elements of popular culture, hinting that people are laughing at the situation in Ukraine, and that the Ukrainian agenda is a reason to laugh.