Spilnota Detector Media

Fake A Swedish company allegedly released the energy drink “Tears of Zelenskyi”

Propagandists are distributing messages on anonymous telegram channels about the release of an energy drink called “Tears of Zelenskyi” by a Swedish company, along with a corresponding photo. However, this is a fake photo.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that OVRHYPD does not produce such a drink with the appropriate name and design. The fake makers edited the photo, replacing the original name of the drink with “Tears of Zelenskyi”.

A search under the name “Tears of Zelenskyi” did not return any results, but under the name of another drink, “Snot juice”, the fact-checkers found the drink company OVRHYPD. However, on their website and social networks there is not a single drink with the name “Tears of Zelenskyi” or the face of the Ukrainian president on the packaging. Russian resources mainly wrote about this “new” drink.

Using a reverse photo search on Google Images, the original image was found posted on the US website Reddit on December 27, 2023. There was not a single energy drink with Zelenskyi's face on it, but instead of the name “Tears of Zelenskyi” - “F*ck You You F*ckin' F*ck”. In addition, the propagandists made other changes to the photo, removing the drawing of a condom from the red and blue cans and the drawing of a penis from the white can.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

Fake In Ukraine, there are supposedly huge queues for free bread and even fights over it

Information is being spread online that Poltava residents stand in long lines for bread and even fight for the opportunity to get it for free. Entire families supposedly come to stand in the cold, since “only one loaf of bread is given per person”.

This “news” is nothing more than fiction. They write about this, in particular, in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Thus, Ukrainian and foreign volunteers, regional military administrations, and private entrepreneurs bring and distribute free bread to everyone in need, especially in settlements affected by Russian aggression. However, no unrest was ever recorded. Information about “fights for bread in Ukraine” is not found either in the Ukrainian media or in law enforcement agencies. In addition, the creators of the fake used an arbitrary photograph from the Internet, which did not reflect the context at all, to make what was written more credible.

By spreading this disinformation, Russian propaganda seeks to convince the domestic population of Russia that life is very, very bad for people in Ukraine. To be fair, the lives of every Ukrainian did change once and for all after Russia invaded Ukraine. The “Russian World” brought with it pain, despair, sadness and suffering. However, there are many programs, both domestic and foreign, that today help people affected by the war return to normal life.

Let us recall that on March 16, 2022, the Russians fired artillery at the line for bread in Chernihiv. As a result, 14 people were killed and dozens were injured.

Read also: In Chernihiv, because of “poverty”, people allegedly stand in long lines for bread

Fake A grandmother in Avdiivka allegedly fed the Ukrainian military with pies with a blade

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks in which allegedly a Ukrainian military man serving near Avdiivka discovered sharp blades in pies. Like, a local grandmother treated him to these pies. The video was seen by thousands of people, it is actively distributed on social networks with captions like “a grandmother near Avdiivka treats Ukrainian soldiers with delicious pies” and “they hate Ukrainians in this place”. However, this is a staging.

This was found out by specialists from the “Beyond the News” project. They explain that it is doubtful that after the round-the-clock shelling, a multi-storey building with electricity and intact windows remained in the city or its surroundings. However, this is the environment in which filming takes place. In the video, we see two people (one holding a camera) standing in front of a window in a lit room during night time. From a security point of view this is very dangerous. The Ukrainian military would be unlikely to commit such actions. The military clothing that we see in the video has no signs of identification, and the chosen shooting angle does not allow us to see the face of the “victim” from the grandmother. At 6-7 seconds one can see that the man is breaking an already broken product. Probably damage to the “theater prop” was done before filming to insert a blade into it. The audio of the video also has its own characteristics. Firstly, we hear the Russian pronunciation at the 10th second. In addition, the phrase “and here are the blades” sounds strange to denote the singular; it is more likely that a Ukrainian military would say “and here is the blade”. The Russian intonation is especially heard at the end of the video.

It appeared around February 5 on resources publishing Russian propaganda. The video appeared in the domestic segment within a day or two. Unfortunately, it was picked up and spread on some Ukrainian-language pages on social networks.

Propagandists spread such fake news to show that local residents do not really want Ukrainians to fight for them. They say that’s why they feed the Ukrainian military pies with blades.

Fake A Ukrainian confectioner allegedly smeared Nutella on the walls of a restaurant's toilet as it supports Russia

Propagandists on social networks are spreading information that a Ukrainian confectioner allegedly smeared the walls of the toilet in the London restaurant Hide, owned by Russian entrepreneur Yevhenii Chychvarkin, with Nutella. As proof of this, they are distributing an Instagram story allegedly written on the pastry chef’s profile. Like the publication included a description: “If you continue to support Russia, next time it won’t be chocolate”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the messages show that the publication was allegedly made on behalf of the profile @dolnyk.art.cake, owned by Ukrainian confectioner Kristina Dolnyk, who now lives in California (USA). StopFake journalists contacted Dolnyk to find out whether she really made such rhinestones on her Instagram profile. The pastry chef replied that she had never made such publications. Moreover, in correspondence with StopFake, she confirmed that she was not in London and therefore did not visit the Hide restaurant.

Later, the pastry chef published a story in which she refutes the fake news. She also noted that Yevhenii Chychvarkin does not hide his support for Ukraine, so such provocations are pointless.

Propagandists spread such fakes to strengthen their message about “wild Ukrainians” who do not know how to behave abroad and only spoil their reputation. Like, that’s why one shouldn’t help them and let them into Europe.

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

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

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

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

Manipulation Chicken “rejected” from Poland was brought to Ukraine to poison Ukrainians

Such a message was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. Reports say the Poles are trying to poison the Ukrainians. Allegedly, chicken with salmonellosis was brought from Poland to Ukraine. This is manipulation.

The experts of the VoxCheck project investigated the case and found out that the State Consumer Service did receive reports of the export of hazardous products from other countries, in particular Poland. Products were exported from Egypt through Poland to Ukraine. So, the Polish company acted only as an intermediary between companies from Egypt and Ukraine. However, as fact-checkers explain, there is no question of a deliberate attempt at poisoning since, in general, the Egyptian producer supplied meat not only to Ukraine, but also to Latvia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia and the Comoros. All recipient countries received a notification asking them to withdraw the received product from the market.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to sow panic among Ukrainians and discredit the export of goods and products to Ukraine. They say that Ukrainians are treated with disdain, and therefore they supply low-quality goods.

We recall that earlier Detector Media analyzed a manipulation that Kharkiv residents were being poisoned with foreign cookies, and explained a case about the importation of “rejected” rice from Italy.

Manipulation Kharkiv citizens are poisoned by foreign cookies

Telegram channels and social networks are circulating reports that dangerous Romanian-made cookies have been found in Kharkiv. The messages refer to information from the Kharkiv state food and consumer service. The messages say that supposedly it would not surprise anyone if such cookies were given out as humanitarian aid. They say that only spoiled foreign-made products can be received free of charge. This is manipulation.

The State food service indeed spread information about Romanian-made cookies, in which they found a high content of acrylamide. Such messages were spread throughout Ukraine, moreover, in other countries too. As the Kharkiv anti-corruption center explains, Ukraine, like other states, received a warning about a dangerous product through the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and informed people about it. The Kharkiv anti-corruption center notes that there is no information about whether this brand of cookies was sold at all in the Kharkiv region.

That is, propagandists used messages about potential danger to sow panic among Kharkiv residents. Like, humanitarian aid is either not given out, or dangerous products are offered.