Spilnota Detector Media

Message The meeting between Putin and Kim Jong-un will be decisive for circumventing Western sanctions

Pro-Russian telegram channels and media are actively reporting Pyongyang’s readiness for a meeting between Kremlin head Volodymyr Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On June 18-19, negotiations will take place to sign an agreement on a “comprehensive strategic partnership” in order to overcome Western sanctions. The day before the visit, the North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun published Putin’s article “Russia and the DPRK: traditions of friendship and cooperation through the years”.

On June 17, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at a conference at the Wilson Center, noted that the Kremlin ruler's trip to the DPRK “demonstrates how much President Putin and Moscow now depend on authoritarian countries around the world”. In particular, their cooperation takes place in the military sphere. This is confirmed by information from Bloomberg, which reported that the DPRK could send about 5 million artillery shells to Russia. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, citing intelligence reports, said North Korea provided Russia with launchers and several ballistic missiles. The Russians subsequently used them for attacks in Ukraine.

Russia has long tried to avoid and circumvent Western sanctions by buying goods with restrictions on sale. Although the aggressor country boasts that it has successfully avoided restrictions, it is still trying to get rid of them. Thanks to North Korea's support, as well as Moscow's ability to supply banned parts through third countries, Russia was able to increase its ammunition production much more than Ukraine receives from its allies, Bloomberg reports.

The United States fears that as a result of the visit, the Russian Federation may provide assistance to North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and in turn, the ballistic missiles and artillery shells that Moscow is using in the war against Ukraine.

However, the United States will do everything possible to stop the supply of weapons from Iran and North Korea to Russia for the war against Ukraine.

In addition, on the eve of Putin’s visit to Pyongyang, the EU imposed sanctions against nine people and companies that help the weapons programs of the DPRK and Russia. They are involved in North Korean activities related to illegal weapons programs and support for the war against Ukraine.

Fake Romanian fans allegedly shouted the name Putin during the matches of the national teams of Ukraine and Romania at Euro 2024 football

Propaganda resources are distributing a video in which Romanians, who came to cheer for their national team in a match against the Ukrainian national football team at Euro 2024, allegedly chanted the name of the Russian dictator at the stadium.

However, this video is actually fake. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. In the original video, Ukrainian fans were chanting at the stadium during the match between the national teams of Ukraine and Romania. And we are not just talking about Putin’s last name, but about the famous “chant” of Ukrainian fans “Putin is a d*ck!”, the creators of this fake simply edited the original audio track, cutting out part of it.

By creating fakes of this kind, Russians are trying to console themselves, because the Russian national football team itself was not allowed to participate in Euro 2024. Previously, we analyzed the fake that Al Jazeera reported that Ukrainian football fans were detained because of Nazi graffiti in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Fake The Ukrainian Armed Forces brigade allegedly used Putin's words in their advertising

Propagandists accused the Ukrainian military of plagiarism. They began to spread information that the Third Separate Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly used the words of the self-proclaimed Russian President Volodymyr Putin in its recruitment advertising. When publishing this “news”, Russian propaganda adds a photograph of an advertisement for the brigade with the words “Why do we need such a world if there is no Ukraine there?” and Putin's interview with almost identical words.

After disseminating this information, StopFake checked whether one of the Ukrainian Armed Forces brigades actually took Putin’s words for their advertising campaign. They found out that the propagandists themselves added a “quote” to the advertisement, accusing the Ukrainian military of plagiarism.

A reverse image search on TinEye showed that the photo distributed by propagandists appeared online in late April 2024 on the French news site France24. On the website one can see that it was taken by Reuters correspondent Alina Smutko on April 23, 2024 in the Kyiv metro. The original is also available on the Reuters photo bank with a full description. The original photo is different from the one used by Russian propaganda. Putin's quote was added to the image in the photo editor. In the original photograph, completely different words are visible: “Zazhyhai (ignite) in the third assault brigade” (zapaliui - in Ukrainian).

StopFake also ruled out the possibility that the photo used by the propagandists could accidentally show advertisements in different places of the Kyiv metro. If one compares the details of the fake photo and the Reuters photo, one can be sure that this is the same image. Looking closely at the wall in the background, one can see the painted elements positioned the same in both photographs.

Propagandists spread such fakes to show the false closeness of Ukrainians and Russians. Like, we think the same and act the same. However, in reality, Ukraine and Russia are completely different.

Fake The Pope allegedly congratulated Putin on his victory in the elections

Russian media write that Pope Francis congratulated Volodymyr Putin on his so-called victory in the elections in Russia. However, this is a lie.

StopFake fact-checkers investigated this case and found that the Vatican press service refuted this information in the propaganda publication RIA News, which themselves published this fake. Subsequently, this information was replicated by other media.

While the entire democratic world unanimously condemns such “elections”, calling them authoritarian and repressive, there were also those who recognized the legitimacy of the “civil will”. These are such friendly countries as the DPRK, Cuba, Venezuela, Belarus, Bolivia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. And the Chinese leader even sent a congratulatory telegram to Putin.

Disclosure Main Directorate of Intelligence: Russia has launched an information campaign to discredit Ukraine in the Middle East

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reports that the Kremlin has intensified its disinformation campaign against Ukraine in the Middle East.

Russia is intensively using its diplomatic missions and intelligence network, and various means of propaganda.

The task of the Kremlin’s next hybrid special operation:

● justify a war of conquest;

● discredit Ukraine and Western countries;

● impose unacceptable terms of negotiations;

● improve your own position in the region;

● achieve a reduction in the economic and political pressure that Moscow experiences due to aggression and the commission of war crimes.

Employees of the Russian embassy in Egypt, for example, received instructions from the Kremlin to hold a series of meetings under diplomatic cover to spread disinformation about the war and carry out recruitment activities.

Also, as part of this operation, the Russians are sending propaganda materials to the embassies of other states in Cairo, which justify waging war against Ukraine.

It is, in particular, about two “documents” entitled “On the role of the West in the conflict in Ukraine” and “On the situation around Ukraine”. These materials present a pro-Putin version of the history of Ukraine since the collapse of the USSR. And Russia, of course, is presented as a victim.

The key idea that Russia is promoting in the Middle East is that there is no alternative to the scenario it has imposed for ending the war.

Disclosure Russia is hiding the truth about the security situation in the Belgorod and Kursk regions

Russia is silent about the situation in the Belgorod and Kursk regions - the Putin regime is not able to ensure security in the border areas. Russian authorities are hiding attempts by residents there to evacuate on their own, and are also blocking the evacuation.

That is, propaganda is doing everything possible to hide the truth about the security situation in the country. Russia’s goal is to use the population as a “human shield” and hold “elections” at any cost. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

Message The Zaporizhzhia “authorities” will allegedly take care of security during the “elections” of the Russian president

Pro-Kremlin media are spreading information that the Zaporizhzhia region is ready for “provocations” from Kyiv during the “presidential elections”. That is, Russia has allegedly already taken care of the safety of voters. The corresponding statement was made by gauleiter Balytskyi.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine writes that the “concern” of the occupiers and local gauleiters for the safety of the population is hypocrisy, because it was Russia that brought war, destruction and death to these lands. In addition, it is the Russians who expose the residents of Zaporizhzhia to danger. It is possible that the Russian army is preparing provocations with victims in order to blame Ukraine, the Center adds.

The pseudo-voting itself will not be considered legitimate in any case. After all, forcing people to participate in illegal elections, at a minimum, does not correspond to the general principles of democracy. We previously wrote that in temporarily occupied territories, Ukrainians are forced to publish photos with their family at “polling stations”.

Message Putin's decision on Crimea 10 years ago supposedly preserved peace and stability on the peninsula

Russian resources are disseminating information that the situation in Crimea has been taken under full control after Putin’s decision and the actions of the Russian army. They say that this “ensured the preservation of peace and stability”. The corresponding statement was made by the ex-chairman of the Crimean State Committee for Interethnic Relations and Deported Citizens Smyrnov.

The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine denied this information. In fact, the introduction of Russian troops to the peninsula provided not “peace and stability”, but occupation. In 2014, the Russian military forced residents of the peninsula to vote “correctly” for Russia. This is what is happening today in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular in Crimea. That is, we are not talking about “ensuring peace and order on the peninsula”, but about limiting rights and freedoms.

After 2014, Crimea turned into a huge military base, from where the Russians launch missiles at peaceful Ukrainian cities, where they store military equipment and conduct military exercises.

Read also: Turkey allegedly admitted that Crimea “is Russian territory and will always be so”.

Manipulation Ukraine admitted that Putin has “peaceful intentions” in the war

This thesis was spread on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say that First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Chalyi said that Ukraine has once again “confirmed the peaceful intentions” of Volodymyr Putin in the Russian-Ukrainian war. This is manipulation.

StopFake project specialists took on the case and determined that the basis for creating this manipulation was the speech of Oleksandr Chalyi during a discussion about the Russian-Ukrainian war in Geneva, which took place in early December 2023. Among other things, the diplomat said that dictator Putin “very quickly” realized his mistake and tried to resolve the conflict with peace treaties - which he ultimately failed. At the same time, anonymous telegrams distorted the context and demonstrated Mr. Oleksandr’s statements as if the head of the Kremlin was trying to end the war “peacefully”.

The Russian dictator developed his public activity in December 2023 - this included his “Direct Line”, where he summed up the results of the year and found it difficult to answer awkward questions and also a meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense. With all this, he demonstrated that his unhealthy desires are unchanged: to take over Ukraine, occupy and seize other territories, and turn it into a satellite of his empire. And it also gives a clear signal that nothing will stop him on the path to capturing Ukraine.

Russia continues to terrorize the Ukrainian civilian population: for example, on the night of December 29, Russia carried out a massive attack on Ukrainian cities. It literally ran everything: it used Daggers, ballistics, S-300, cruise missiles, Shahed type drones, etc. In Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Sumy and Cherkasy regions there are casualties and deaths.

That is, they are not talking about any peaceful ways to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian war; Volodymyr Zelenskyi, in an interview with The Economist, assured that he does not see “any fundamental steps towards peace on the part of Russia”.

Message Putin hasn’t destroyed Ukraine yet because he doesn't want to kill Christians

Russian media and anonymous telegram channels circulate publications according to which Putin has not yet destroyed Ukraine because he does not want to kill Christians. Like, Russia has everything to defeat Ukraine, but the Russian troops “pity the Ukrainians”,  because Putin considers them Orthodox, like Russians.

Specialists of the EUvsDisInfo project drew attention to the message. They denied the message. In particular, the Russians undoubtedly killed and continue to kill Ukrainians, regardless of their religion. They continue to attack civilian targets, often using the “double blast” technique to increase casualties. Russia is also destroying numerous religious sites, such as an Orthodox church in Odesa. Project analysts note that Russia's failure at the front is more likely the result of systemic problems of the Russian army, logistical shortcomings and inappropriate planning, rather than self-restraint.

Using this message, propagandists want to portray Russia as a victim, fighting with a view to the safety of civilians. However, the examples mentioned above prove otherwise.

Message Russian air defense, “evil Bandera” or a bomb on a plane: what propagandists wrote about the likely death of the leader of the Wagner group Pryhozhyn

His people killed him, he was killed by enemies, he decided to take a break - those are a few versions of the event thrown by propagandists in order to confuse the audience.

Oleksandr Kotenko

On August 23, 2023, an Embraer business jet owned by Yevhenii Pryhozhyn crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino, Bolohivskyi district, Tver region. Later, the Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsia published a list of passengers, according to which there were 10 passengers on board, including Yevhenii Pryhozhyn and co-founder of the group Dmytro Utkin. On the morning of August 24, the body of Pryhozhyn among the dead had not yet been identified.

Yevhenii Pryhozhyn is a Russian war criminal, oligarch, founder of the Wagner terrorist organization within the Russian army, recognized by the Ukrainian parliament as an international criminal organization. In the past, a restaurateur, which is why he began to be called “Putin's chef”. The Kremlin provided financial and military support to the Wagner group when the mercenaries performed tasks in Sudan, Libiia, the Central African Republic and participated in Syria and the Donbas, as well as in a full-scale war in Ukraine.

On June 23, 2023, Yevhenii Pryhozhyn reported that the troops of the Russian Ministry of Defense had hit the place of deployment of the Wagner group, as a result of which many mercenaries were killed. He announced the “march of justice”, said that there were 25 thousand Wagner groups, and they were going to “sort things out”, and everyone could join the “march of justice”.

This was the beginning of the Wagner mutiny - an internal conflict in Russia between the Ministry of Defense and the regular Russian army and Wagner led by Yevhenii Pryhozhyn. During this conflict, the Wagner group killed more than 13 pilots of the Russian Aerospace Forces. On June 24, negotiations took place between the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Oleksandr Lukashenko and Yevhenii Pryhozhyn, the rebellion itself was stopped, the criminal case for “armed rebellion” was closed, and the Wagner group and Pryhozhyn himself left for Belarus, and then to Africa.

Russian propagandists, authors of anonymous telegram channels and pro-Kremlin media responded to the death of Wagner group leader Yevhenii Pryhozhyn with a number of messages. We have highlighted some of them.

Pryhozhyn’s plane was blown up, there was a technical breakdown or he was shot down by Russian air defense

After the crash of the plane, on board of which Yevhenii Pryhozhyn was probably on board, the pro-Kremlin media put forward the version that Pryhozhyn’s plane was blown up from the inside - allegedly someone planted a bomb. Also technical breakdown is not excluded. However, the Wagner group telegram channels promoted the thesis that the plane was shot down by the Russian air defense system, and the locals allegedly heard two loud explosions. Also, anonymous telegram channels published a video with a characteristic trail in the sky.

The variety of versions shows that there was no unequivocal attitude towards Yevhenii Pryhozhyn in society. Those who did not sympathize with him tend to believe in a “technical error” or “explosion from the inside” due to the supposedly planted bomb. Prior to the mutiny, official Russian propaganda portrayed him as a tenacious and efficient military leader who had military accomplishments in Ukraine and earlier in Africa. After the rebellion, he was portrayed as a traitor, a thug, and a dangerous criminal element. Despite the change in the official version, some military correspondents and bloggers continued to consider him a hero, so the version of a technical error is unpopular in their media environment.

Pryhozhyn was killed by Ukraine, it was a terrorist attack on Independence Day

“It’s definitely Ukraine that killed Pryhozhyn. For Putin, Yevhenii Pryhozhyn is no longer a problem. For Shoihu, Pryhozhyn is no longer a problem. Big bosses do not take revenge, because they have a lot of real problems and real enemies. This is a terrorist act of Ukraine on Independence Day”, Russian propagandists wrote.

The American Institute for the Study of War reported on its website that “Putin almost certainly ordered the Russian military command to shoot down Pryhozhyn’s plane”. Analysts believe that this is how Putin could have taken revenge on Pryhozhyn for the attempted mutiny that occurred at the end of June 2023.

By blaming Ukraine for the murder of Yevhenii Pryhozhyn, Russian propaganda is trying to shift its internal political problem outward, to shift the responsibility to another country. Like, Ukraine interferes in the internal affairs of Russia.

In Russia, Pryhozhyn was not given a promise that they would not be killed

Russian propagandists write: “It was necessary to sit in Africa or Belarus, where Lukashenko gave his security guarantees. Nobody in Russia promised him anything. Or rather, they promised to open all criminal cases and they did”.

This thesis allegedly removes responsibility for the death of the main “Wagner” from Russia. They say that Yevhenii Pryhozhyn himself is to blame for his death, because no one provided him with security guarantees in Russia - they were voiced by the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Lukashenko. In one of his interviews, Putin noted that he could forgive everything except betrayal. He adhered to his principles and punished treason. So, Putin in this situation is depicted as a “man of his word”.

Yevhenii Pryhozhyn did not die, but staged his own death 

The opinion that Yevhenii Pryhozhyn could have staged his own death was expressed both by pro-Kremlin political scientists and propagandists, and by so-called liberal journalists and experts in exile. “But in order to hide forever, taking one of the many spare passports, a burned-out plane is also a good excuse”, they wrote on social networks. 

Allegedly, the leader of “Wagner” was tired in the “service” and decided to leave everything and rest. However, this version is conspiracy theory and resembles a conspiracy theory, according to which Hitler did not commit suicide on April 30, 1945, but fled to Argentina and lived until the end of the twentieth century. Such mythologization only adds mysticism to the figure of Pryhozhyn, which in the eyes of fans makes him an even greater hero. 

Putin killed Pryhozhyn 

“Yevhenii Pryhozhyn, despite being an outspoken enemy of Ukraine in this war, stood out qualitatively against the backdrop of the lazy, stupid top of the Russian Federation”, write anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. But they add, speaking of the death of Pryhozhyn: “Today Putin could not cut his teeth, openly, or rudely, or like a man, but simply using resources that did not belong to him”. 

This opinion is shared by the “Wagner”, but they do not say directly who exactly they mean when talking about the death of Pryhozhyn. In the “Wagner” telegram channels they write: “He died as a result of the actions of traitors to Russia. But even in hell he will be the best! A similar thesis is promoted by another Russian propagandist, hinting that Russia did not react properly to the death of two important military figures. In his telegram channel, he wrote: “We shot down a plane with two of those who have the stars of the Hero of Russia - and wait for official information, don’t be nervous”.  

According to this version, Putin could have eliminated Yevhenii Pryhozhyn because of the Wagner rebellion that began on the evening of June 23, 2023. The death of Yevhenii Pryhozhyn may be the beginning of the end of this structure as an independent organization. 

One of the Russian propagandists wrote about this in his telegram channel: “Putin cowardly destroyed not the Wagner group, but a brand that had been created for decades, terrified and was known all over the world”. 

Consequently, Putin is shown as a cunning politician with no honor, a man who does not keep his word, and his style of reprisal against political opponents - “kill in the toilet” - is unchanged. Having eliminated the war criminal Yevhenii Pryhozhyn in broad daylight, having done it defiantly, the Russian dictator also seeks to intimidate political rivals and the Russian elite. They say that everyone who goes against Putin will have a fate like that of Yevhenii Pryhozhyn. 

Yevhenii Pryhozhyn was killed by the intelligence services of other countries 

“Both the CIA and the Mi-6, and the French DGSE and the GUR could well pull off such a thing. The public assassination of one of the most media and influential public figures is a huge blow to the Russian collective unconscious”, wrote anonymous pro-Kremlin telegram channels. 

This version was put forward by Russian propagandists in order to discredit the West and divert attention from other versions and likely killers. Here Russian propaganda applied the tactic of reflection. The leader of the criminal organization is heroized by some propagandists and “Wagner”, romanticizing his “achievements”. 

A cult of personality was created from Pryhozhyn in Russia, but he is a criminal, and Putin saw him as a competitor who, by his actions, raises the vertical of power and violates the state's monopoly on violence.

Message Without the dollar and almost with Putin: how did Russian propaganda cover the BRICS summit?

In the optics of Russian propaganda, BRICS is being transformed into UN 2.0. without the West and with the leading role of Russia. Here is how the Kremlin covers its international isolation with information.

On August 24, the three-day 15th BRICS summit, an association that so far includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, ended in the largest city of South Africa, Johannesburg. BRICS members represent over 40% of the world's population and over a quarter of global GDP.

The Johannesburg summit was personally attended by four of the five leaders of the BRICS countries. Russia was represented by Foreign Minister Lavrov. South Africa is a party to the Rome Charter and in the event that the leader of Russia arrives on its territory, it is obliged to detain him on a warrant from the International Criminal Court and extradite him to The Hague. After lengthy legal consultations, the South African authorities have not conceded to international principles, so Putin had to content himself with an online speech.

The key event of the summit was the invitation of six new countries to join the BRICS: Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Previously, the organization expanded only in 2010, when the current host of the summit, South Africa, joined it. The biggest lobbyists for expansion were China and Russia. China, as the most powerful member of the organization, seeks to further strengthen its global influence against the backdrop of growing rivalry with the United States. Russia needs to expand to overcome partial international isolation. At the same time, Putin's online participation this year only symbolically emphasized this isolation. The other three BRICS countries have much warmer relations with Western democracies and are not interested in turning the organization into a bloc hostile to the West.

The key messages that Moscow spread in the context of the summit:

“Isolation Shattered Forever”

Moscow seeks to take advantage of any international interaction to promote the thesis that attempts to isolate it are useless. The BRICS summit was no exception. For example, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mariia Zakharova, summed up the course of the summit in her telegram as follows: “The results are brilliant. “Isolation” as an American weapon is destroyed forever”. But Putin's absence from the summit made it much more difficult for Russian propaganda to advance the relevant thesis. The Russian official media noted the usefulness of Putin’s participation in the meeting, even if it was online: “Volodymyr Putin takes part remotely, in the format of a video conference, which did not prevent our president from delivering a voluminous speech on the role of BRICS in shaping a multipolar world order. ..”. The same Zakharova, in an interview with propagandist Volodymyr Soloviov, decided to even appeal to India's success in space, just to prove that there is nothing wrong with Putin's absence: “A concrete example - yesterday the meeting of BRICS members was closed. Each speaker continues the discussion. The Prime Minister of India apologizes and says that he needs to personally remotely monitor the landing on the moon of the Indian spacecraft. He left the meeting room, his place was taken by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India. The world is so full of events today that the formal, protocol part is being adjusted. Therefore, for Zakharova, an arrest warrant from the International Court of Justice and the conquest of the moon are equally valid reasons to leave.

“BRICS is a more influential version of the G7”

Russian propaganda sought to pit the BRICS against the Group of Seven (G7), an association of major liberal democracies from which Moscow was excluded in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea. Because of the fact of the expansion of the BRICS, the propaganda convinced that the organization to which Russia continues to belong has now become much more powerful than the organization from which Moscow was expelled. Therefore, propaganda social networks were filled with figures that should convince of the key role of the enlarged BRICS in the future world: “BRICS is now four times the size of the G7 in terms of population”, “BRICS now accounts for 36% of the globe, and this is twice as much as the G7”, “BRICS will become the owner of 44.35% of the world's oil reserves”. Potential new members of the BRICS in a separate order befell the comparison with Western countries by pro-Russian social networks: “These six states are home to more than 400 million people, which is comparable to the population of the entire EU. The size of the GDP per PCS of the new BRICS members exceeds $8 trillion: this is comparable to the size of the economies of the “locomotives” of Old Europe - France and Germany”. Finally, in one of the anonymous channels, it was assumed that BRICS would replace the UN in the future: “BRICS is gradually turning into UN 2.0. only without the West”.

Although these figures are formally correct, most of the old and new members of the BRICS are not at all going to resist the West to please Moscow. In addition, the BRICS countries are much more diverse in terms of the nature of their cultures, economies and political regimes compared to the post-industrial democracies of the G7. The G7 countries are also united by long-term military-political cooperation in the format of NATO or bilateral agreements with Japan. Between the key members of the BRICS, India and China, there is a long border confrontation. Newly invited members Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been engaged in a cold war in the Middle East with hot proxies, for example in Yemen or Syria. And only recently, with the mediation of China, they agreed on a temporary cold peace. Therefore, BRICS is primarily a consultative platform for states with very different interests, and this form of interaction in the organization is likely to continue in an expanded format.

“BRICS de-dollarizes the world and Russia”

Russian propagandists have long predicted an early end to the dominance of the dollar in international trade, which should protect Russia from the impact of international sanctions. Therefore, in the context of the summit, Russian propaganda intensified dreams of a single BRICS currency as an alternative to the dollar. This opinion was also promoted by Putin in his speech. Due to the diversity of the political regimes and economies of the BRICS members and their not very close economic interaction, the single currency is a completely unrealistic project that was not even on the summit agenda. The parties only agreed to consult on increasing settlements in local currencies. But the Russian media believes that, despite the difficulties, Putin will make progress in creating a single currency: “Putin intends to deprive the United States of their main weapon in foreign economic policy of the ability to use the dollar to influence other countries”.

Fake Putin was killed in the Kremlin

In the American segment of Facebook, a message was circulated, which noted: “Official statement - Putin was killed in the Kremlin! The President of Russia has been hospitalized!”. The message also contains a video criticizing Putin and Russia, which started the war in Ukraine. It's fake.

The case was investigated by the Politfact fact-checker. The post was flagged as part of Meta's efforts to combat fake news and misinformation. There is no confirmation of the death of the Russian dictator or reliable official reports. There have also been no recent reports of Putin being hospitalized.

Earlier we talked about the fact that at a meeting with the leaders of African countries, Putin presented a fake “agreement on the neutrality of Ukraine”.

Message Ukrainians “want to see” Putin as their president

This thesis was spread by the Russian media quoting propagandist, representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mariia Zakharova. At one of her briefings, she said that Ukrainians supposedly secretly admire Putin and want him to become the president of Ukraine. The fact-checkers of the StopFake project analyzed the case and determined that such a thesis is unfounded.

Zakharova threw in information without evidence or specific facts. In fact, there is no evidence that Ukrainians could be “infatuated with Putin” or would like such a president for themselves. For example, the Foundation “Democratic Initiatives” named after Ilko Kucheriv  together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center conducted a survey on the attitude of Ukrainians towards the Russian president. Thus, 82.2% of respondents agreed with the statement that “Putin is Hitler today”. That is, most Ukrainians do not see Putin as a leader.

Thus, propagandists want to show that Ukrainians, as they say, do not really support their power. Solidarity with the Russians and their politicians and at the same time support Russia in its aggression.

Disclosure At a meeting with African leaders, Putin presented a fake “agreement on the neutrality of Ukraine”

On June 17, Putin met with the leaders of African countries, where he presented a “pact on the neutrality of Ukraine”. This agreement was allegedly initiated by the Ukrainian side during negotiations in the spring of 2022.

The “document” was noticed by the fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications, who found out that it was not real. This is indicated by the following facts:

the Ukrainian side did not initiate any “neutrality treaties”; Putin showed the working materials of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiation process in 2022 under the guise of a treaty; after the facts about the crimes of Russia in Bucha were revealed, after the evidence of the genocide of the Ukrainian people, the negotiations were terminated; no agreements were reached in the negotiations, and the Ukrainian side rejected the veiled form of surrender promoted by Russia; after the discovery of the facts of the massacre in Bucha and other evidence of the Kremlin's implementation of the genocide of the Ukrainian people, the negotiations lost their meaning and were terminated.

So, Putin showed a fake document to African leaders, counting on their ignorance.

Message Putin's arrest warrant issued as sanctions against Russia do not work

Such reports appeared in the Russian propaganda media. Their authors argue that the sanctions against Russia do not seem to be working and everything indicates that the sanctions have reached their peak or bottom. Like, the West is disappointed with the ineffectiveness of the sanctions, which is why the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Volodymyr Putin.

Analysts of the EU vs Disinfo project drew attention to the case in the network. Analysts are convinced that messages that do not work are part of Russia's strategy to avoid responsibility for its own war crimes. Messages that Western sanctions do not work appeared in the information space last spring. Then the propagandists assured the audience that sanctions harm countries that impose them more than Russia itself. Like, because of these sanctions, both Ukraine and the EU countries will freeze in winter. But the Russians will be fine.

Western experts are indeed examining the effectiveness of sanctions. However, the International Criminal Court's warrant for Volodymyr Putin's arrest is not an escalation of Western pressure on Russia because sanctions don't seem to be working. An arrest warrant was issued in the case of the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. That is, the European Union expressed support for the investigations of the ICC prosecutor.

Fake Joe Biden admitted that Putin can not be defeated

Such messages are spread by Russian propaganda media and telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric. As proof of their words, the authors of the messages add an audio recording that they tried to pass off as a “leak” from a meeting of US President Joseph Biden with American congressmen that was closed to the press. Allegedly, Biden officially admitted at this meeting that Putin and Russia cannot be defeated. However, this is fake.

The StopFake fact-checkers drew attention to the case. As it turned out, the propagandists are referring to the audio, which they call “the leak of a conversation between the President of the United States and American congressmen to the network”, however, a male voice that has only a slight resemblance to Biden’s voice sounds on the 15-second recording.

However, the audio recording, according to fact-checkers, does not sound like the voice of President Biden, but his imitation. “StopFake offered to listen to the audio to several Americans, and they all said with confidence that English is not native to the person they are trying to pass off as Biden's words. The audio, allegedly proving the revelation of President Biden, does not sound at all like the voice of the American president, but a clumsy fake with gross phonetic errors”, the fact-checkers write.

However, the dissemination of such fakes is beneficial for Russian propagandists in order to once again show that no one supposedly believes in the victory of Ukraine including its devoted partners. They say that everyone has long understood that there is no point in fighting against Russia, because it is not victorious. Thus, propagandists seek to convince the audience that victory is definitely for Russia.

Message Zelenskyi could have stopped the war, but the West did not let him do it

Telegram channels from a network supervised by Russian intelligence spread the message that President Zelenskyi allegedly could have held talks with Putin during the Beijing Olympics as early as February, so the war would not have started. But Ukraine's Western partners seem to have banned Zelenskyi from going to Beijing, because they “had their own plans for Ukraine”. This is manipulation.

The information that Zelenskyi was supposedly banned from going to Beijing is spread with reference to an article in the Financial Times, which, citing sources, says: Putin did not warn Chinese President Xi Jinping about plans for a Russian invasion of Ukraine. And Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng was even demoted because he could not foresee the invasion. This Financial Times story denies the earlier notion that China has asked Putin not to go into war in Ukraine before the Olympics are over.

In this material, there is no mention of a possible visit or negotiations between Zelenskyi and Putin at all. And there are no facts or arguments in favor of the theory that Zelenskyi wanted to leave for Beijing or planned to do so, but someone or something prevented him.

At the same time, it is known that before Putin's trip to Beijing, his press secretary Pieskov reported that Putin did not plan to meet with anyone other than the head of China, including due to COVID restrictions. A few days before Putin's visit to China, Russian Foreign Minister Serhii Lavrov offered Zelenskyi to meet with Putin in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Sochi, but immediately warned that Donbas or Crimea's ownership could not be topics of discussion. Zelinskyi refused such an offer, and later said that he did not plan to visit Beijing - instead, he had meetings scheduled in Kyiv with representatives of Ukraine's allied countries.

Fake In café Pohrebok opened in Berlin people drink to Putin's health

A message appeared on pro-Russian anonymous telegram channels that the Pohrebok (A cellar) café opened in Berlin, the advertisement of which became viral immediately after it appeared on the network.

This café, according to propagandists, is allegedly Russian and they glorify Putin, drink to his health, and Berliners like it, which is why advertising has become so popular.

“The advertisers fantasized about the consequences of the coming European winter. In their opinion, next year Putin will be signed on German television as Chancellor of Europe. Visitors argue about his role in history: "It was he who liberated our Scholz!", "Europe is humiliated!", "Instead, we no longer supply arms to anyone", "Yes, thanks to him we have freedom!". As a result, everyone agrees that thanks to Putin, there are delicious pancakes and authentic kvas from Pohrebok in Berlin”, the propagandists write. However, there is no such café in Berlin. As the StopFake fact-checker writes, the so-called “viral advertising”, in which the Germans drink to Putin, is distributed exclusively on Russian websites and in the Russian-language segment of social networks. The actors in the video are also non-native German speakers and speak with a very strong Russian accent. That is, the so-called advertising is just a staging. And you can't really advertise a place that doesn't exist. However, with the help of such fakes, propagandists create the appearance of support for Putin's policies in Europe.

They say that the Europeans have long understood that their leaders are weak and are leading the EU to collapse, while Russia's policy is strong and the EU will not stand without its help. In the so-called commercial, propagandists also use the thesis of a cold winter that will destroy the Europeans, because the EU leadership allegedly does not think about citizens when it imposes sanctions against Russia. Thus, the Russians create the appearance of the excessive importance of Russia. Like, other countries will not be able to do anything without its help.

Manipulation Putin's ideas are becoming increasingly popular in the West, which has been recognized in the USA

The Russian mass media publish news with headlines from which it follows that "Putin's ideas" are becoming increasingly popular in the West. Moreover, they cite Putin's words from September 30, in which he talked about the "breakdown of Western hegemony" and "the inadmissibility of the third sex."

In fact, as StopFake pointed out, the Russian news regarding the article in The Washington Post titled "Leaders of democracies increasingly follow Putin in gravitating toward authoritarianism." So the article, of course, is not about Putin's crazy ideas about the "third sex," which are becoming increasingly popular in the West. The article states that rapid changes, social stratification, and new technologies have made the world so complex that people look for simple answers. First, they listen to the opinions of right-wing populist, authoritarian leaders who pretend to be "strong and tough guys." The article mentions Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, among others. The analytical article points out that a new wave of right-wing populists came to power, taking advantage of the difficult economic situation which Putin himself arranged. Instead, it isn't about Putin's fabrications regarding historical "claims" and "geopolitical calculations."

Manipulation The US military is discussing the assassination of Vladimir Putin

This information was spread by Russian publications concerning the American magazine Newsweek. Allegedly, the military doesn`t agree with US President Joe Biden on deterring Russia exclusively by non-nuclear means. He said that the American military believed that it would be necessary to "hit the Russians with a hammer" and prepare "a blow to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin."

Russian propagandists took the quotes out of context. In fact, the Newsweek article said that “Biden believes non-nuclear threats will stop Putin. His military doesn't think so." It refers to a disagreement over the role of American nuclear weapons and the most effective way to deter Vladimir Putin. The article points out that Washington "told the Russians at a very high level that there would be catastrophic consequences for Russia if they used nuclear weapons in Ukraine."

Moreover, their unprecedented threats are just a reaction to Putin's equally unprecedented speech about a nuclear strike. Russian propagandists spread the thesis that the USA is preparing a nuclear attack on Russia and the assassination of Putin to justify any decisions of Putin and the crimes of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine, allegedly for protection. More details.

Fake The Russians used the "newest laser weapon" for the first time in Belgorod

Russian telegram channels, in particular "voyenkory", as well as a network of telegram channels controlled by Russian intelligence, spread dozens of messages about the use or preparation for the use of the "newest laser complex - Peresvit".

The messages scared the readers of the unknown but catastrophic consequences of the use of weapons, while the "voyenkory" rejoiced and waited for rehabilitation after the defeats in the Kharkiv, Kherson, and Luhansk regions. And they spread photos of light poles shining into the sky - both in Belgorod and in other cities of Russia, for example, Moscow. Some media even described how the laser complex "blinded the NATO satellites" and stopped working.

However the propagandists spread a fake: in the photos taken in the cities of Russia, one of the most common types of the halo is a light pole. It is a natural atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when light reflects off microscopic ice crystals in the air, mostly from the Sun and Moon. Halos come in almost any shape, with nearly a hundred varieties recorded, but the most common is the circle around the Moon and the pillars of light at sunset. Moreover, pillars can arise from other light sources, for example, powerful lighting devices.

Little else is known about the Russian "newest laser complex". Putin announced its appearance in 2018, and hypothetically this complex should interfere with the operation of satellites functioning at an altitude of up to 1.5 thousand kilometers, but there is no reliable data on the testing or use of this complex, as well as evidence that it exists at all.