Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Mobilized prisoners allegedly sell drugs in the Sumy region

Pro-Russian telegram channels are disseminating information that the Military Law Enforcement Service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly detained several drug buyers in the Sumy region. After the arrest, the buyers stated that they had purchased drugs from mobilized prisoners from three brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - 150 OMBR, 32 OMBR and 53 OMBR. Propagandists add relevant photographs as “proof”. However, this is fake.

VoxCheck project specialists found photographs based on messages from propagandists on the Facebook page of the Military Law Enforcement Service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As it turned out, the creators of this fake showed photographs not from the Sumy region, but from the Nova Poshta branch in Kramatorsk, where military law enforcement officers, together with a canine squad and employees of the National Police, inspect postal items.

As a result of two such reviews, on June 21 and 22, 2024, bags of a green plant substance similar to cannabis were found. Another photo from the message was taken on June 20 during an inspection of the personal belongings of another serviceman in the Donetsk region - then a paper parcel with a powdery white substance was found in his possession.

In all of these cases, the drugs were found on military personnel and not on civilians, as reported. Finally, the Military Law Enforcement Service reports make no mention of the individual or group of individuals from whom the substances were purchased. Accordingly, there is no reason to assert that they received these shipments from mobilized prisoners from the three mentioned brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Message Ukraine allegedly refuses to take back its prisoners of war

Russia actively declares that “the Kyiv regime refuses to take away the Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers who have surrendered”. Propaganda also uses prisoners of war to create various videos that promote the thesis that Ukrainians are “better off in captivity than at home”.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to this. They claim that since the full-scale invasion, Russia has been using Ukrainian prisoners of war for its propaganda purposes. Thus, Russia is once again violating international law and the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, according to which prisoners of war have the right to respect for their person and honor and must be protected from acts of violence, intimidation, as well as insults and excessive attention from the public. In addition, Russia violates international law by preventing organizations such as the Red Cross from accessing Ukrainian prisoners of war, which prevents an objective assessment of the conditions of their detention.

The message that Ukraine does not want to take back its prisoners of war is not true. The Ukrainian authorities constantly emphasize that its position is an exchange on the principle of “all for all”. This approach aims to return all Ukrainian prisoners of war as part of a comprehensive exchange. This concept was discussed at the recent Peace Summit in Switzerland. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi noted that working groups will be created on each of the issues and there are already countries that are organizing separate meetings on these topics. At the same time, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Ukraine, Dmytro Lubinets, claims that the only problem in implementing this idea is the reluctance of the Russian side. Russia's reluctance to carry out such an exchange is confirmed by the fact that Ukraine was recently forced to open a third camp for holding Russian prisoners of war.

Ukraine is always ready for prisoner exchanges and participates in them at the first opportunity. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 3 thousand Ukrainians have already been returned from captivity, and on June 25 another exchange took place.

The message that the Ukrainian military in Russian captivity is “better than at home” is also untrue. This misinformation is refuted by reports from international human rights activists. For example, a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the period from December 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024 states that “torture and ill-treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian internment sites is widespread and systematic, and conditions the contents do not meet the requirements of international humanitarian law”. “85% of the 60 prisoners of war interviewed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provided detailed information about how Russian soldiers or officials tortured or mistreated them while in captivity. The most common methods of torture were beatings, electric shocks, threats of the death penalty, mock executions, and awkward positions”, the report noted. Ukraine provides full access to international organizations to places where Russian prisoners of war are held, which Russia does not do.

By spreading such disinformation, Russia wants to justify the invasion of Ukraine and discredit the Ukrainian authorities.

Fake Six prisoners who joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly escaped from the training center

Propagandists are distributing information on anonymous telegram channels that allegedly six prisoners who joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine escaped with weapons from the training center. However, this is fake.

Journalists from Radio Svoboda (Liberty) deny this information, citing a comment they received from the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Thus, propagandists want to discredit the Law adopted on May 8, 2024. It provides for the parole of certain groups of prisoners in case of joining the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, it has already been signed by the President of Ukraine and, according to its provisions, persons convicted of murder, rape, terrorism, high treason, encroachment on the life of law enforcement officers and some other articles cannot become voluntarily mobilized. This ensures the safety of both military personnel who are in the same formation with former prisoners, and the safety of civilians who have contact with them both during and after hostilities.

Russian propagandists are speculating on the topic of the presence of prisoners in Ukrainian military formations, resorting to their stigmatization among the Ukrainian population. Distrust in the involvement of this group of people is also fueled by the recurrent behavior of Russian prisoners on parole, who, after participating in hostilities, commit crimes in civilian space.

Fake A Ukrainian soldier allegedly lived in the Azovstal sewer system for two years, and that is why he is so thin (photo)

Russian propaganda is disseminating information that a Ukrainian serviceman hid for two years in the sewer system of the Azovstal plant in occupied Mariupol. He allegedly drank sewage and ate rats, but survived.

In fact, the emaciated man in the photo returned from Russian captivity on May 31, 2024. This is one of the National Guardsmen who guarded the Chornobyl nuclear power plant when the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine began. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council. The purpose of this Russian fake is to deny the facts of cruel treatment and abuse of Ukrainian prisoners.

The Center adds that Ukrainian law enforcement officers are investigating the murder of more than 60 Ukrainian captives by Russians. Also, 450 criminal proceedings have been registered on facts of ill-treatment of prisoners of war. At the same time, the Russian Federation, in violation of international law, systematically captures Ukrainian civilians. Previously, we wrote about how Russia is manipulating the topic of prisoner exchange.

Fake Proceedings were allegedly opened against Ukraine due to the torture of a Russian prisoner of war

Russian propagandists write that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) allegedly launched the “Reznikov vs Ukraine” process on the “fact” of torture of Russian prisoner of war Denys Reznikov. In asserting this, they refer to the corresponding statement of the so-called “human rights activist” Vikhoreva.

In fact, the website of the European Court of Human Rights does not contain a single mention of the case of Denys Reznikov. In addition, in the document cited by Russian propagandists, it is unclear how Reznikov turned into a “woman”, while in other ECHR documents the gender is indicated according to the rules of transliteration.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine writes that the distributed document is a fake that propagandists created using graphic editors. Previously, we refuted information that Russia supposedly treats Ukrainian captives “humanely”.

Disclosure How Russia is manipulating the topic of prisoner exchange

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine reports that the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Moskalkova, accused Ukraine of suspending the prisoner exchange process for several months.

However, in fact, Ukraine is ready for an exchange both in the “all for all” format and in other options. And reproaches against the Ukrainian side for “far-fetched demands”, supposedly “constantly changing”, are incomprehensible and unfounded, the Center adds.

It is Russia that is blocking the exchange, the last of which took place on February 8, 2024. Moscow similarly blocked the process in the second half of 2023, trying, as usual, to shift the blame to Kyiv. At the same time, Ukraine constantly initiates prisoner exchanges: proposals were received on April 10, 2024, on the occasion of Easter and on the occasion of the call of the Pope, but Moscow ignored Ukrainian initiatives.

Russia’s blocking of the exchange process occurs against the backdrop of numerous violations: the Russians resort to torture and execution of prisoners, use them as “human shields”, and hold civilians captive.

Also, the Russian Federation has still not provided any evidence of the death of Ukrainian prisoners of war, who were allegedly on board the Il-76 on January 24, or the bodies of the dead.

Fake Volodymyr Zelenskyi refused to return hundreds of captured Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers to Ukraine

Russian propagandists write that Ukraine has been refusing to exchange 500 Ukrainian prisoners of war for four months, because Zelenskyi selected only 38 Azov soldiers, and Ukraine, as they add in fake messages, does not need all the rest.

Analysts at the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security explain that this is simply a propaganda hoax, because Ukraine is making every effort to ensure that all prisoners return home to their loved ones as soon as possible. Moreover, the Ukrainian authorities constantly insist on an exchange procedure based on the “all for all” principle.

Russia uses Ukrainian prisoners as a means of putting pressure on Kyiv and Ukrainian society. For example, on May 17, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War reported that Moscow continues to unilaterally block the exchange of prisoners.

Disclosure Propagandists are spreading fake news about Ukraine’s reluctance to release its military personnel from Russian captivity

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine reports that the Kremlin has launched another disinformation campaign.

According to the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the Russians are spreading fake news about the alleged division of prisoners of war into categories or about Ukraine’s reluctance to release individual defenders and defenders from Russian captivity.

This is done with the aim of sowing discord among the families of captured military personnel provoking artificial conflicts. At the same time, such actions indicate Russia’s recognition of the effectiveness and perseverance of Ukraine in the issue of the release of all prisoners, including defenders from the Mariupol garrison, the Center adds.

For Ukraine, the priority is the release of every captive, regardless of age, gender, religion or other characteristics. Previously, we analyzed a Russian fake about lists of Ukrainian prisoners of war, whom Ukraine does not seem to want to return.

Fake Kyrylo Budanov was allegedly captured

Pro-Kremlin propagandists are spreading information that the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, was captured by the Russian military. Before this, it was reported that after a large-scale missile strike on the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, “one of the important Ukrainian figures” was allegedly eliminated.

In fact, this information is not true, write the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. To create the fake, propagandists used deepfake technology with Budanov’s face. 

By the way, at the 2024 Kyiv Stratcom Forum, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate said: the most absurd Russian fake was that he was killed last year. In addition, propagandists have already captured Budanov - they spread this fake back in October 2023.

Message Russia supposedly treats Ukrainian captives “humanely”

Propagandists continue to claim that Russia allegedly adheres to international norms in its aggression against Ukraine. This time, propagandists spread disinformation about “Russia’s compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war”. Russian media claim that “Russia treats Ukrainian captives humanely” and “Ukrainians are surprised at the good treatment in Russian captivity”.

In fact, Russia has repeatedly violated the basic principles of the Geneva Conventions, attacking civilians, medical facilities and medical personnel, and disregarding the principle of humane treatment of prisoners of war. All these facts were re-recorded by independent commissions under the auspices of the United Nations, as StopFake reminds us.

At the end of March 2024, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine published another report (December 2023 - February 2024), which reports a sharp increase in cases of torture and execution of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russian occupiers. The 28-page document, consisting of 110 points, describes the facts of torture, abuse, sexual violence and executions of both civilian Ukrainians by the occupiers and prisoners of war, documented by UN experts.

The report emphasizes that torture and ill-treatment of Ukrainian prisoners by Russians is very common and “commonplace”. According to the UN, 96% of Ukrainian prisoners of war (58 out of 60 respondents) became victims of various types of torture.

UN experts named beatings, electric shocks, threats of execution, mock execution, exposure to cold and water, and torture in which the victim is forced to remain in one fixed position for a long time as the most common methods of torture. Ukrainian prisoners of war told the commission about the practice of sleep deprivation, prohibition of the use of toilets, torture by hunger and thirst, loud noises and Russian songs. Captives interviewed by the UN reported that conditions in Russian colonies had improved a month before their exchange in order to hide traces of numerous tortures of Ukrainians.

A separate paragraph in the UN report describes Russian torture of a sexual nature. 65% of Ukrainian prisoners - 39 people out of 60 respondents - were subjected to sexual violence or threats of such violence from the occupiers. These included attempted rape, threats of rape and castration, beatings or electric shocks to the genitals, and repeated forced disrobing, the UN report said.

Message Russia “treats Ukrainian captives humanely”

Pro-Kremlin media write that Russia allegedly adheres to international norms in its aggression against Ukraine. Russian media add that “Russia treats Ukrainian captives humanely - and Ukrainians are surprised at their good behavior in Russian captivity”.

StopFake analysts analyzed this case and explained that Russia has repeatedly violated the basic principles of the Geneva Conventions, attacking civilians, medical facilities and medical personnel, as well as neglecting the principle of humane treatment of prisoners of war. All these facts have been repeatedly recorded by independent commissions operating under the auspices of the United Nations.

For example, at the end of March 2024, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine published a report (December 2023-February 2024) which reported a sharp increase in allegations of torture and execution of Ukrainian prisoners of war at the hands of Russian occupiers. The 28-page document, consisting of 110 points, describes the facts of torture, abuse, sexual violence and executions of both civilian Ukrainians by the occupiers and prisoners of war, documented by UN experts.

Fake Ukrainian soldiers allegedly shot Russians who wanted to surrender

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

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

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

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

Fake Arestovych allegedly accused Zaluzhnyi of shooting down the Il-76 aircraft

A video is being distributed online in which a former freelance adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, Oleksii Arestovych, allegedly accuses Valerii Zaluzhnyi of shooting down the Il-76 aircraft in order to frame the Office of the President. The video also states that there were supposedly Azov brigade prisoners of war on board of the plane. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that Arestovych never made such statements, and the video was a deepfake made with the help of artificial intelligence. No evidence or comments from Arestovych on social networks were found to support this story. In addition, incorrect facial expressions and the discrepancy between the term “Azov Regiment” and the actual name of the brigade indicate falsification. The results of testing the video using tools such as Deepware and AI Speech Classifier confirmed the possibility of creating it using AI. In addition, experts discovered that the footage used to create this fake was taken from a live broadcast on Arestovych’s YouTube channel, but the speaker did not mention the Il-76, and the reticence occurred the day before the event.

Propagandists create and spread such fake news to divert attention from the crimes of the Russians and incite controversy among the political elite of Ukraine.

Fake Fake about lists of Ukrainian prisoners of war whom Ukraine does not seem to want to return

Lists of Ukrainian prisoners, whom Ukraine does not seem to want to return, are being circulated on social networks. These are the names and surnames of real people in Russian captivity. However, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War reports that the Russian side did not offer these lists for exchange.

They also noted that Ukraine has a significant exchange fund and is ready to exchange “all for all”. However, Russia is not interested in bringing its military personnel home. The Coordination Headquarters continues negotiations for the speedy release of all Ukrainians caught in Russian captivity and living there in the most difficult conditions.

Russian propaganda continues to speculate on the feelings of Ukrainians whose relatives were captured or are considered missing, because they regard this as a lever of influence on Ukrainian society. The Coordination Headquarters writes that new exchanges are being prepared and calls on Ukrainian society to remain united and not trust the enemy and his provocations.

Fake A Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee allegedly called a military man’s wife a “katsap woman”

Social networks in the Russian segment are disseminating information that an employee of one of the local territorial recruitment and social support centers addressed the wife of a Ukrainian prisoner of war, saying that “she is a katsap’s (Russian) wife, and he is the master of his country”. Allegedly, this happened during a meeting between the relatives of the prisoners and the city administration of the city of Lozova, Kharkiv region. Photos are attached to the publication, which supposedly should testify to the words of an employee of the Territorial center of recruitment and social support . It is not true.

The VoxCheck specialists analyzed this case and found out that the quote from the so-called Territorial center of recruitment and social support employee was simply made up. After all, at first these messages were published on telegram channels of the Russian segment and subsequently replicated online without indicating the original source. A reverse search on Google showed that the photos used in the publication were actually taken in Lozova during a meeting of relatives of prisoners and missing persons.

Although representatives of the Territorial center of recruitment and social support were present at the meeting, they did not make any such statements, nor was there any mention of this in the media.

Manipulation They allegedly spend more money on one prisoner in Ukraine every month than on pensions for Ukrainians

Information is being spread on the Internet that supposedly 10 thousand hryvnias are spent monthly on the maintenance of one prisoner of war in Ukraine, and if the amount is less, this is a violation of human rights. At the same time, the state allocates only 2,500 hryvnia monthly for pensions of Ukrainians. However, this is not true.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to this. They found out that the cost of maintaining a prisoner included not only clothing and food, but also utilities, staff and security. No special conditions were created for Russians, since the same amount is spent on maintaining prisoners in Ukraine. In March 2023, Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska stated that about 10 thousand hryvnia per month are spent on one prisoner of war in Ukraine. However, this amount includes not only clothing and food for the prisoner, but also payment for utilities, arrangement of the place of detention, work of staff and security, and so on. The Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War does not specify a specific amount that the state must allocate for their maintenance. Each country determines this amount itself. Prisoners are also involved in work in the camp, and their labor partially offsets the costs.

As for pensions, in 2024 more than 271 billion hryvnia will be allocated from the state budget to pay pensions. The average pension in Ukraine exceeds 5,300 hryvnia. It is incorrect to compare expenses on prisoners and pensions, since these are different categories of expenses related to the protection of human rights and social support of the population.

With their statements, users are trying to sow hostile sentiments in society and emphasize that Ukraine allegedly does not care about its residents. Detector Media recently denied other manipulations related to Ukrainian captives.

Fake Only 173 servicemen allegedly returned to Ukraine

Propagandists claim that, according to them, only 173 military personnel returned to Ukraine in exchange for 248 Russian citizens. According to them, the exchange allegedly took place in the format of 173 people on both sides. At the same time, Russia additionally received 75 military personnel for those five Azovstal defense commanders, whom Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi took from Turkey in the summer of 2023. It is not true.

In fact, the Ukrainian side officially reported that 230 people returned to their homeland, including 130 military personnel, 55 national guardsmen, 38 border guards, one policeman and six civilians.

Propagandists spread such fakes to create distrust in the Ukrainian authorities. They say that Kyiv does not care about the fate of prisoners. They spread such fabrications whenever there is talk of an exchange of prisoners. So, in the summer, when the exchange of Azovstal commanders was called a violation of previous agreements. They say that the military should have remained in Turkey until the end of hostilities.

Disclosure Propagandists began to use more personal information of Ukrainian prisoners of war

The number of telegram channels and pages on social networks promising to help in the search for captured or missing Ukrainian military personnel has recently increased. It is indicated that to complete this task they contact relatives and friends with questions about personal data and other information. This information is subsequently used by propagandists.

Specialists from the “Beyond the News” project cited the answers of the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War to the most common questions. In particular, one cannot share their phone number and other contacts, residential address, social media profiles, brigade number, unit location, as well as photographs, including images with comrades from the army, to strangers.

The dissemination of such information could lead to a deterioration in the situation of military personnel. If scammers can simply profit from someone else's misfortune, representatives of enemy intelligence services can manipulate or resort to blackmail.

The project specialists note that no one on social networks, such as Facebook or Telegram, will effectively search for your loved one. This work is performed professionally and free of charge only by specialists authorized by government agencies. A Road Map is available on the official website of the Prisoner of War Coordination Headquarters, which details what a family should do in cases where a family member is captured, missing, or killed.

Fake Ukraine allegedly passed a law to “conceal torture in prisons”

Media spreading pro-Russian rhetoric are spreading a fake news story about the Ukrainian parliament passing a law that allegedly aims to “hide up torture in prisons”. According to it, since other countries refuse to extradite detained Ukrainians to Ukraine due to “non-compliance with human rights” there, the Verkhovna Rada decided to pass a law that will protect such prisoners. This, it would seem, is being carried out with the goal of “convincing partners to hand over persons unpleasant” to the regime to the neo-Nazis. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They point out that propagandists not only misspelled the name of the Verkhovna Rada deputy who co-authored the bill — not Vadym Bozhyk, but Valerii Bozhyk — but also distorted the content of the legislative initiative for propaganda purposes. We are talking about bill No. 9451, the purpose of which is to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of convicted Ukrainians extradited to Ukraine for prosecution or execution of a sentence. The explanatory note notes that the law was proposed due to the refusal of many countries to fulfill requests for extradition to Ukraine due to violations in Ukrainian penal institutions of Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on the prohibition of torture, as well as due to the inability to ensure security during the stay of persons in penal institutions under martial law.

Bozhyk explained that because of this law, the Ministry of Justice receives the authority to approve a list of correctional labor or educational colonies to which Ukrainians from extradition will be transferred. It is also indicated that such institutions will fully comply with both the requirements of national legislation and Ukraine’s international obligations in the field of human rights.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to discredit Ukraine and portray it as a country that systematically violates international law. Detector Media has already repeatedly refuted other Russian video fakes.

Fake Commander of Azov Denys Prokopenko “Redis” was captured again

In the Kremlin media and the Russian segment of Facebook they disseminate information that the commander of Azov, Denys Prokopenko “Redis”, who returned from Turkey after being extracted from Russian captivity, was allegedly taken prisoner again on August 18-19. They refer to the Russian propagandist Semen Pehov. Prokopenko was allegedly taken prisoner near the village of Mala Tavolzhanka. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the fact-checkers of the StopFake project. The telegram channel of the Russian propagandist, cited by social media users and pro-Kremlin media, does not contain information about the second capture. Also, there is no settlement with the name Mala Tavolzhanka, which is similar to the name Tavilzhanka, a village in the Dvorichanskyi settlement society of the Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv region. In addition, on August 23, on the Day of the State Flag of Ukraine, a fresh photo with Prokopenko appeared on the official pages of Azov.

Thus, the Russian propaganda is trying to sow panic and discouragement among the Ukrainian military and civilians. The enemy is trying to demoralize the Ukrainians. Earlier, we refuted the fake that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra will be populated by servicemen of the Azov battalion.

Message The purpose of the “special military operation” is the release of the Russian military from Ukrainian captivity

On August 15, Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu spoke at the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security, where he stated that “one of the priority humanitarian tasks of a special military operation is the release of Russian servicemen from Ukrainian captivity”.

Special military operation (in Russian - SVO) is a term that has entered the dictionary of the Russian new language and is used to refer to Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. That is, the war unleashed by the aggressor country Russia. To justify the crimes against the Ukrainian people, Russian propagandists have repeatedly noted that this “operation” is designed to save the Russian-speaking people who are experiencing oppression in Ukraine, to denazify Ukrainians.

The Russian military began to be captured in Ukraine after they had attacked the territory of our state and committed war crimes. Russian propaganda deliberately distorts the causes and consequences in order to divert attention from the real situation and the real motives of the war - the genocide of the Ukrainian people and the seizure of territories.

Message Ukraine violates the Geneva Conventions by sending soldiers released from captivity to the front line

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that Ukraine is allegedly violating the Geneva Conventions by sending soldiers who have returned from captivity to the front lines. Like, the leadership of Ukraine is indifferent to the military, so they do everything as they want.

The specialists of the VoxCheck project investigated the case and determined that such a thesis is unfounded. In international humanitarian law, there is indeed an option of the exchange of prisoners, according to which a former prisoner of war is obliged not to return to military service. However, this is one of the options, so there is no evidence that Russia and Ukraine agreed on just such a release from captivity, because there are other formats for the exchange of prisoners.

There is no single rule in international law that all former prisoners of war must refuse to take part in hostilities. According to Jeroen van den Boogaard, researcher, consultant on international law in the Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, international humanitarian law provides for 4 options for the release of prisoners of war before the end of hostilities:

conditional early release of prisoners fit for service. Typically, the dismissal comes in exchange for a commitment not to use arms again in the same conflict; however, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) claims that the practice of such dismissal has been significantly reduced since 1949, and many states today prohibit their military from agreeing to parole;

the release of captives fit for service who were held captive for a particularly long period; such an exchange could be arranged using intermediaries such as a neutral state or the ICRC;

the release of wounded or sick prisoners of war who will benefit from treatment in a neutral state;

the release of prisoners of war who, for health reasons, are unlikely to be able to continue to participate in hostilities.

It is not known for certain which of these options Russia and Ukraine chose. The Ukrainian bodies involved in the exchange of prisoners of war did not report that the dismissed fighters would not be able to return to duty again, and did not disclose all the details of negotiations with Russia. Former prisoners also cannot publicly talk about all the details. At the same time, there is confirmation that in Ukraine there is no ban on the return of former prisoners to military service.

Fake The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine banned criminals from using the greeting “Glory to Ukraine”

Pro-Russian telegram channels and social networks disseminate information that in Ukraine they allegedly make “punitive penal units” of people convicted of desertion, rape and murder. Like, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine forbade them to use the “battle cry” “Glory to Ukraine”, since by doing so they discredit the Ukrainian army. Allegedly, in order to use this greeting, you first need to “atone yourself” on the battlefield. The reports also add that instead of “Glory to Ukraine”, the guardsmen most often prefer to use Russian swearing or the slogan “Death to enemies!”. It's fake.

There are no so-called “punitive penal units” in Ukraine. Prisoners do participate in hostilities, but for the most part this concerns the former military. Before sending a prisoner to the front, they take into account their combat experience, services to the state and sincere repentance. However, these are isolated cases in contrast to the mass mobilization of prisoners into the ranks of the Russian army.

In October 2018, the Verkhovna Rada approved the military greeting “Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to heroes!” as an official greeting of the Ukrainian army and the National Police of Ukraine. However, there is no evidence that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has banned anyone from using this greeting, VoxCheck fact-checkers note. There is no confirmation that the guardsmen use Russian swearing or the slogan “Death to enemies!” instead of greeting. In fact, the expression “Death to enemies!” is part of the slogan “Glory to the nation! - Death to enemies!”, which is considered a continuation of the greeting “Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to heroes!”.

In this way, the propagandists nourish the narrative of Nazism in Ukraine. Like, Ukrainians are divided into worthy and unworthy to use certain slogans. Also, Russian propaganda uses reflection tactics to emphasize that former criminals also serve in the Ukrainian army.

Fake Russia will hand over Transcarpathian POWs to the Hungarian government

Such a fake was distributed in the Hungarian segment of social networks, including Facebook. The reports say that allegedly Ukrainian prisoners of war among the Hungarian national minority of the Transcarpathian region, will be handed over to the Hungarian government by Russia. Like, despite the fact that the military are Ukrainians, they need the protection of the Orban government, because they are ethnically Hungarians and no one will take care of them in Ukraine. The messages of the authors were picked up by Ukrainian users of the social network and began to distribute it in various groups on Facebook. It is not true.

Analysts of the Infopost project took the case and examined that this claim is unfounded, since Ukrainian prisoners of war are under the protection of Ukraine, regardless of whether they belong to any of the national minorities. According to the publication, the fake news was published by the Békekör Egyesület organization. According to journalists, this is a typical pro-Russian group. Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this organization has dealt exclusively with the issue of Hungarians as a national minority in Transcarpathia.

This organization also joined marginal rallies, the purpose of which was to stop the mobilization of national minorities, in particular Hungarians, in Transcarpathia. As the journalists explain, representatives of the Russian special services, with whom the head of the pro-Russian organization is in close contact, were involved in the preparation of the action.

Fake Released prisoners of war await prison or forced return to the front

Such a fake was spread on social networks and in the propaganda media. The report says that no one spares prisoners of war in Ukraine. Like, upon returning from captivity, male and female fighters face a choice: to return forcibly to the front or go to jail. Allegedly, the Ukrainian leadership is indifferent to its army and everyone wants constant victories, returning defenders to the front. The authors of the messages refer to the appeal of Moskalkova, the Ombudswoman for human rights of Russia. It's a lie.

Analysts of the StopFake project drew attention to this case and found out that the information disseminated by Moskalkova is not true. After returning to Ukraine, Ukrainian prisoners of war are not expected to either go to a prison or face a forced return to the front. Analysts turned to the Coordination headquarters for the treatment of prisoners of war with a request to explain the algorithm of actions with prisoners of war who returned from captivity. As the press service of the headquarters said, first of all, the military is undergoing a process of reintegration into Ukrainian society, which includes physical and psychological rehabilitation. Then the released POW has the right to vacation, after which a special commission will decide on the possibility of serving further.

By spreading this fake, propagandists nourish the narrative that everything is bad in Ukraine, there is supposedly no one to fight, so the prisoners have to be mobilized again, despite their psychological or physical condition.