Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation Zelenskyi allegedly allows a referendum to be held in Ukraine on ending the war according to the “Korean” scenario

At the beginning of July 2024, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly said that in Ukraine a “Korean” or other scenario for ending the war could be put to a referendum, and the people in the referendum would say what is more important – “war fatigue” or “borders” 1991. Russian propagandists spread such information.

In fact, Zelenskyi’s words were manipulated, they write at the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. His answer to a Bloomberg journalist’s question: “Do the allies need to start thinking about the German model, that is, allowing Ukraine membership [in NATO. – ed.] while not the entire territory of Ukraine is under its control?”, is taken out of context.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi said that Ukraine had never officially received such a proposal before. The President of Ukraine also referred to the Constitution, saying that any changes to Ukrainian territories are changes to the Constitution, and this is a crime. To this he added: “If we are offered a German model, or some other one, or a “Korean” one, etc.. In any case, we need to understand what is being offered to us, who is offering it to us, why it is being done, and after that understand the opinion of all of us. Not only mine, but above all society. Because society, the people of Ukraine, are the owners of Ukraine”.

By spreading this manipulation, Russian propagandists are trying to persuade Ukrainians to believe that Ukraine needs to begin peace negotiations to end the war as quickly as possible, and on Russia’s terms.

Fake Ukrainians allegedly set fire to military vehicles to show resistance to Zelenskyi's dictatorship

Propaganda telegram channels are disseminating information that the Ukrainian underground is allegedly setting fire to the cars of Ukrainian Armed Forces military personnel and the Territorial center of recruitment and social support workers. Thus, Ukrainians are allegedly trying to “fight Zelenskyi’s dictatorship”.

However, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

In fact, what propaganda is trying to pass off as the activities of the “underground” is the work of the Russian intelligence services. Thus, on July 10, 2024, the SBU and the National Police detained a resident of the Kirovohrad region who set fire to a National Guardsman’s car and was preparing sabotage against the Territorial center of recruitment and social support workers. As it turned out, her motivation was the money that the Russian intelligence services promised the woman. Also in June of this year, the SBU detained two men in Odesa after they set fire to a military vehicle. For this, the curator from Russia promised them two thousand dollars.

Russia is trying to pass off crimes committed by people it has bribed as acts of “popular resistance” in order to create the impression that Ukrainians are rebelling against the “Zelenskyi dictatorship”. That is, with such actions Moscow seeks to destabilize the situation within the Ukrainian state.

Fake The head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration allegedly wrote a denunciation against the mayor of Kharkiv

Russian propagandists spread the news, allegedly the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleh Syniehubov wrote a letter to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi with a request to investigate the corrupt activities of the chairman of the Kharkiv city council Ihor Terekhov.

VoxCheck analysts explained that such a document is fake. In fact, a number of errors indicate a falsification of the document. The press service of the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration confirmed that the document is not real.

For example, some errors are recorded in the “document”:

The correct spelling would be in such words: “Supreme Commander-in-Chief”,  “heads”, “criminal proceedings”, “during” etc.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly transferred 17 million hectares of Ukrainian black soil to American corporations

Russian propagandists are spreading information that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has transferred 17 million hectares of Ukrainian black soil into private ownership to several American corporations.

VoxCheck analysts determined that such information was false. But foreign companies cannot buy agricultural land in Ukraine. In total, more than 700 thousand hectares of land have been alienated in Ukraine since the lifting of the moratorium.

On July 1, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine lifted the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land. The land market opened, from that moment it was possible to freely buy, sell or bequeath agricultural land plots.

But foreigners, in turn, can only buy land for non-agricultural purposes if these areas contain real estate that belongs to them as private property.

Fake Olena Zelenska allegedly bought a Bugatti car

Propagandists began to spread information on social networks that Olena Zelenska, the wife of the President of Ukraine, allegedly purchased a luxury car. One of the messages on this topic states: “Zelenskyi’s wife bought a Bugatti Turbillon supercar for almost 4.5 million euros”. The source of information is supposedly French media, and confirmation should be the words of one of the employees of the Bugatti car dealership in Paris. However, this is fake.

Fact-checkers of the Polish project Demagog drew attention to this. They found that the primary source of information about Zelenska’s purchase of a Bugatti is the French website veritecachee.fr. At first glance, it may seem like just another news resource. However, it turned out to be a tool to promote Russian propaganda.

Analysts at cybersecurity company Recorder Future discovered a media network called CopyCop in early March 2024. It operates in the US, UK and France, using artificial intelligence to plagiarize and modify texts from other sites. The purpose of such actions is to support the Russian perspective on issues such as a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine or the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

One such site is veritecachee.fr. It was registered on June 22, 2024, shortly before the first round of the French elections. According to the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, the site presents the war in Ukraine from the Russian point of view. In addition, fact-checker David Puente and Kyle Glen, an investigator from the Center for Information Resilience, noticed that the site still contains instructions on artificial intelligence on how to write texts.

The proof in favor of buying a Bugatti is the invoice that appeared in numerous messages with this fake. However, the document contains errors that significantly reduce its reliability. According to French law, the invoice must contain specific details about the transaction. This includes, in particular, information about the transaction currency and the seller’s identification number. None of this is on what propagandists present as a Bugatti purchase invoice.

One of the users noticed that the invoice was written in English. It also shows the wrong address for a car dealership in Paris. It is located on Neuilly-sur-Seine, and not on Neuily-sur-Seine, as it is written on the “invoice”.

The car dealership where Olena Zelenska allegedly made a purchase also joined the case. According to a statement he posted on Instagram, both the transaction information and the invoice are false.

A French article about “buying” a luxury car contains not only a photo of the invoice, but also a video with commentary from “Jacques Bertin”. He is an employee of the Bugatti car dealership, who spoke about the details of the presentation of the car to the Ukrainian presidential couple.

The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation drew attention to the fact that the account of the alleged employee on which the recording appeared was created several days before the publication of the video. This profile is no longer available. In addition, as Italian fact-checker David Puente wrote on Platform X, the photo of the corresponding Instagram profile is a frame from a video in which Bertin talks about the presentation of the car by Zelenskyi. According to Puente, the video was created using artificial intelligence.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and personally the family of President Zelenskyi.

Fake Graffiti allegedly appeared in Brussels against Ukraine's admission to the EU

Pro-Russian resources are distributing a video from Brussels showing a building on the walls which allegedly depicts graffiti with a caricature of the President of Ukraine and the caption: “Please invite another bankrupt to the EU”. The voice of a man behind the scenes, who speaks Ukrainian, leads to the conclusion that supposedly Ukraine is not welcome in the EU.

In fact, such graffiti does not exist in the Belgian capital, Ukrinform journalists report. Using Google Maps, they were able to establish that opposite the graffiti allegedly with a caricature of Zelenskyi there is a pet store called Zinneke&Kats.

After Ukrinform journalists contacted this pet store, its owners confirmed that the video distributed by propagandists is fake. At the same time, it was indeed filmed in Brussels, but there is other graffiti on the house, which can be seen in the photo above.

By the way, the fake video was first uploaded to the network on June 25, 2024 - precisely on the day when the first Intergovernmental Conference on Ukraine’s accession to the EU started in Luxembourg, which gave the official start to accession negotiations. Previously, we refuted the information that in Berlin they allegedly created graffiti with Zelenskyi in the image of a maniac.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly suffered a drug overdose during an international visit

Information is being spread on social networks that the President of Ukraine allegedly overdosed on cocaine during a flight to a meeting with the leader of Singapore. As proof, propagandists add a photograph where Volodymyr Zelenskyi allegedly cannot stand on his own and is supported by two high-ranking officials. However, this is fake.

Fact-checkers from VoxCheck noticed that the photo was processed in a graphics editor. In fact, the original photo was taken in Portugal on May 28, 2024. It shows Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Souso and Prime Minister Luis Montenegro, with whom Volodymyr Zelenskyi signed a bilateral security agreement later that day. For the sake of creating a fake, the hand of Volodymyr Zelenskyi and the hands of Portuguese President Marcel Rebelo de Sousa were reflected and increased in size.

By the way, Volodymyr Zelenskyi was indeed in Singapore at a meeting with the President of this country Tharman Shanmugaratn on June 2, 2024, where the prospects for deepening Ukrainian-Singaporean relations were discussed. The President of Ukraine also took part in the Shangri-La Dialogue conference. However, the fabricated photo distributed by propagandists is not from Zelenskyi’s visit to Singapore, as we noted above.

This photo fake is part of a systematic distortion of the image of Volodymyr Zelenskyi due to his alleged drug use, discrediting him as a person who cannot represent Ukraine and is an unreliable ally. Previously, we wrote about another fake, that Zelenskyi was invited to speak at a rehabilitation center for drug addicts “as a good role model”.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly “acquired” one of the largest casino hotels in Europe

Russian telegram channels are distributing a news story from the Turkish media Oda TV. It says that in early May 2024, Zelenskyi's company Film Heritage Inc. acquired one of the largest casino hotels in Europe - Vuni Palace, the approximate price of which was 150 million pounds sterling.

VoxCheck analysts analyzed this case and concluded that the hotel did not change ownership or stop operations. And the news story itself is fake. As analysts note, this is not the first time Oda TV has spread fake news about Ukraine.

Turkish media Oda TV is one of the most visited online portals in Turkey. It was created as an “independent source of news and political analysis”, but now the media has actually become a mouthpiece for Russian propaganda in Turkey. This is not the first time the publication has spread fake news about Ukraine.

Propagandists continue to systematically discredit Zelenskyi and the first lady of Ukraine. Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to evoke a negative attitude towards them among Ukrainians. Also, by spreading their lies on behalf of fake foreign publications, Russians are trying to give them more credibility. Previously, we denied information that the foundation of the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska is allegedly connected with child trafficking.

Manipulation Zelenskyi allegedly signed a law prohibiting raising utility tariffs during martial law

Information is spreading across the network that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has allegedly introduced a moratorium on increasing utility tariffs by Law No. 2479-IX. At the same time, the authors of messages on this topic refer to the title of one of the materials of the analytical portal “Word and Deed”. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found that Law No. 2479-IX applies exclusively to natural gas distribution services, the production and transportation of thermal energy, as well as the supply of heating and hot water. However, the decision does not apply to electricity, its production and transportation.

Fake news about rising prices for electricity are spreading on social networks due to an increase in the electricity tariff to 4.32 UAH per kWh. Deputy Energy Minister Svitlana Hrinchuk reports: “The tariff increase is a forced step, the only reason for which is significant losses in the energy system after enemy shelling”.

This type of misinformation is spread with the aim of stirring up society by manipulating discontent due to the blackout. At the same time, a fake is being spread about the possibility of increasing the price of electricity to 7.50 UAH per kWh with reference to the already mentioned statement by Svitlana Hrinchuk. However, this price is actually the market value, and not the current one or being considered for implementation.

Fake Zelenskyi allegedly bought a hotel-casino in Cyprus

Propagandists claim that the adoption of changes to the Ukrainian law on mobilization allegedly led to increased “raids” on potential recruits for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They say this had a favorable effect on the financial position of President Zelenskyi, who, after “fulfilling his part of the agreement with the United States”, allegedly invested in the purchase of the Vuni Palace hotel-casino in Cyprus. However, this is fake.

The Insider specialists drew attention to it. They found that, according to information from the Internet Archive, the fake hotel website appeared in early June. However, the hotel's official website has three language versions and also has a room booking process.

Subsequent open source reports confirmed that the real owner of the Vuni Palace Hotel is not associated with Zelenskyi. The hotel also confirmed that the company owned by Zelenskyi is not its shareholder. The Ukrainian Embassy in Cyprus also denies Zelenskyi’s connection with the purchase of the hotel and calls this information Russian propaganda.

The authors of this fake most likely created it to discredit Zelenskyi personally and disrupt the mobilization process in Ukraine. This is one of many fakes on this topic, debunked by Detector Media.

Message The peace summit is supposedly a cover for Zelenskyi’s illegitimacy

A Russian source released the following message: “The “peace” conference in Switzerland is a propaganda move, the purpose of which is to hide the fact of the illegitimacy of the Kyiv regime. Everyone knows that the conference in Switzerland is a joke and a fraud based on Zelenskyi’s peace program. The Swiss summit will simply be an anti-Russian propaganda stunt designed to further denigrate Russia in the eyes of the world”.

However, this information is not true, writes the EUvsDisinfo project. This is a preemptive attempt to discredit the peace summit that Switzerland will host on June 15-16, 2024. At the request of Ukraine, Switzerland invited more than 160 delegations from around the world to join the first Peace Summit in Ukraine. Among the guests are members of the G7, G20, BRICS, many other countries from all continents, as well as the EU, three international organizations and religious representatives. According to the Swiss government, the summit aims to create a framework conducive to a comprehensive and lasting peace in Ukraine, as well as “a detailed road map for Russia’s participation in the peace process.”

Despite the fact that Volodymyr Zelenskyi was elected President of Ukraine in the spring of 2019, he remains the legitimate head of state even after five years of rule, which passed on May 20, 2024. Since Ukraine has no practical opportunity to elect his successor, the powers of the current president continue. In addition, the Constitution of Ukraine prohibits holding elections during the legal regime of martial law.

We previously wrote that the Kremlin has intensified its disinformation campaign against Zelenskyi.

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.

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

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

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

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

Fake Reuters allegedly published a video about Zelenskyi’s new bill on canceling passports and driver’s licenses of Ukrainians abroad

Propagandists are distributing a video allegedly released by Reuters, which states that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi may pass a law to revoke the passports and driver’s licenses of Ukrainians abroad. According to the video, these norms will come into effect on June 1, which will oblige all Ukrainian men from 18 to 60 years old to return to Ukraine. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that there was no such video on the Reuters website or social networks. Also, there is no corresponding bill on the Verkhovna Rada website, and Ukrainian media did not report the possibility of making such a decision.

In addition, the video is a compilation of publicly available footage. The first frame with Volodymyr Zelenskyi is taken from his speech in the Verkhovna Rada on July 1, 2022, where he did not mention the revocation of passports or driver’s licenses and did not talk at all about men of military age who are abroad. Footage from the vehicle checkpoint in 2022 was distributed by Ukrainian media, citing the Western Regional Directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Footage of Ukrainians standing in line at passport offices was published by international media and the Ukrainian military in April 2024.

The fake video also states that since April 22, about 50 men of military age have returned to Ukraine, but the source of this data is not specified, and the State Border Service did not provide such statistics. The agency reports weekly only the total number of border crossers, without indicating age and gender.

Russian resources create such fakes, releasing them through the publication of authoritative international media, in order to cause panic among Ukrainians both in Ukraine and abroad, as well as to disrupt the mobilization process. Detector Media also refuted other fakes on this topic.

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

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

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

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

Fake A restaurant in Rome allegedly introduced the “Devil Zelenskyi” pizza

A photo of a so-called advertising sign for the Roman pizzeria Locanda alla Romana is being circulated online, in which they present “Diavola Zelenskiy”  pizza stuffed with “ammunition and body parts of Ukrainian military personnel”.

VoxCheck analysts explained that there is no such advertising, and that pizza with that name simply does not exist. There is also no mention of this on the restaurant’s official social media pages. Also, checking the billboard photo using the FotoForensics tool found that the text and image of the pizza were most likely added to an existing photo.

Among other things, the restaurant department assured that they had never created such an advertising image.

Message Budanov is allegedly a competitor of Zelenskyi

Pro-Russian telegram channels promote the message that Kyrylo Budanov is a competitor of Volodymyr Zelenskyi, and for the Office of the President he is “like a bone in the throat”. The head of the Office of the President, Andrii Yermak, is allegedly so afraid of any competitor for Zelenskyi that “one should not be surprised at the poisoning of Budanov’s wife”.

In fact, this message is promoted exclusively by Russian propaganda and the anonymous telegram channels that relay it. The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, in an interview with the BBC on April 22, 2024, denied any possibility of a political career during the war.

The accusation of the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine in the poisoning of the wife of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate is an attempt to transfer the blame for this crime from Russian intelligence to internal Ukrainian civil strife, the Center adds. In the end, such messages are disseminated in order to create a picture of a conflict that in fact does not exist between Ukrainian intelligence and the political leadership.

Message The EU believes that Zelenskyi is allegedly not a legitimate president of Ukraine

Propagandists have been speculating for quite some time on the topic of holding elections in Ukraine, since the term of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s rule will supposedly expire, so his rule of the state will be illegal. They say that Western countries will soon bring this issue up for discussion.

Experts from StopFake found that this narrative intensified in the late spring of 2024, when elections would have been held if there had not been a full-scale war. Also, the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council emphasizes that this message is a construct of the Russian special services  disseminated with the help of bloggers who left Ukraine. This disinformation campaign, known as Maidan-3, is aimed at weakening Ukrainians' trust in the government and discrediting the current government, as well as strengthening distrust of Ukraine among its allies.

As for the EU's opinion in this case, there has not yet been any statement from Western politicians on this topic. However, the so-called presidential elections in Russia, held on April 15-17, were recognized by the European Parliament as a farce and adopted a resolution. “Since they were carried out in the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine and Russia, it was neither free nor fair”, the text of the resolution notes.

Russian propaganda uses this message to spread disinformation and create the impression that the Ukrainian authorities are false. This helps the Russian regime push the population towards internal strife and create conditions under which Ukraine can make concessions in the future.

Fake How Russians are recruiting people for Maidan-3 on Telegram

A recently created Telegram group invited Ukrainians to join the protest on May 21 at 12.00 in the “central square”. They say that Ukraine needs changes, and the people should no longer remain silent.

One of the messages indicates that users are willing to pay 50 hryvnia if they refer a friend to the group. This indicates an artificial attempt to protest.

Also, in the group one can find a corresponding picture with a lexical error, which suggests that it was probably created by non-native speakers.

The date chosen for the “protest” also plays into Russian propaganda. Like, on May 21, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi will become illegitimate. However, in reality, the Ukrainian Constitution guarantees the legitimacy of the president during martial law.

This group is probably part of the Maidan-3 operation, which the GUR warned about.  Detector Media has already written about how propagandists are still trying to spread the message about Zelenskyi’s “illegitimacy”. In general, the essence of the messages about the “loss of legitimacy” by Volodymyr Zelenskyi is as follows:

At some point in the first half of 2024, Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s tenure in office will expire. And he will no longer be considered the plenipotentiary leader of Ukraine.

After this, unrest may begin in Ukrainian society. It can be avoided if Volodymyr Zelenskyi leaves the post of President of Ukraine. But he, they say, will do everything to stay in power.

Therefore, the oppositionists or ex-commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii  Zaluzhnyi or the oligarchs or partners of Ukraine will remove Volodymyr Zelenskyi from office by force.

Message In the United States, doubts allegedly appeared about Zelenskyi’s legitimacy due to the cancellation of the elections

A screenshot of an alleged Politico article is being circulated online, which states that on the sidelines of the White House they are beginning to doubt the legitimacy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The reason for this is the cancellation of presidential elections. “The country lacks basic democratic procedures” - such phrases of dissatisfaction are allegedly heard in private conversations of American officials.

However, this is not true. None of Politico’s social media pages or media websites published a similar article. The same screenshot is distributed only by Russian and pro-Russian resources. Specialists from the VoxCheck project write about this.

Currently, martial law has been introduced in Ukraine, therefore, in accordance with Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”, holding elections is prohibited. This means that for the duration of the martial law, the President of Ukraine will remain in office legally, and the next elections will be held after the martial law is lifted.

The problem with holding elections in Ukraine is the safety of citizens. After all, part of the country’s territory is temporarily occupied, some cities are within reach of enemy artillery, and the entire country is under the threat of missile attacks. In addition, in wartime, the costs of holding elections are unjustified, because Ukraine is fighting for its existence and funds for holding elections can be used to purchase military equipment.

After all, Zelenskyi did not lose his legitimacy after the elections were canceled. Despite the drop in ratings, the incumbent president maintains a relatively high level of support. Data from the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) show that as of February 2024, trust in Zelenskyi was 64%. Before the full-scale Russian invasion, 37% of citizens trusted him, and immediately after February 24, 2022, Zelenskyi's level increased to 90%. Also, the KIIS study shows that in February 2024, 69% of Ukrainians supported the opinion that Zelenskyi should serve as president until the end of martial law.

Fake Western partners may accuse Zelenskyi of usurping power

Anonymous people are disseminating information, allegedly an expert on constitutional law at the Center for Political and Legal Reforms (CPLR), Andrii Mahera, told Deutsche Welle that due to the refusal to hold presidential elections in Ukraine, Western partners may accuse Zelenskyi of usurping power. It's a lie.

VoxCheck experts came to the conclusion that in comments to Deutsche Welle, Mr. Andrii Mahera does not mention Western partners and their opinions on the legality of Zelenskyi’s tenure at all.

In the material, the expert also explained that, according to Article 108 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the powers of the president do not terminate upon expiration of the term; he remains in office until the inauguration of the next head of state. It will be possible to choose a new president only after the end of the war.

Former Constitutional Court judge Mykola Melnyk pointed out that although the Constitution does not directly prohibit holding presidential elections during martial law, this norm is specified in the current law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”.

Mahera also confirmed this opinion, noting that under martial law, some constitutional rights and freedoms, such as the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, may be limited.

Fake Tucker Carlson allegedly reported that Zelenskyi was arrested

Social media users are circulating a screenshot that allegedly shows Tucker Carlson. Like, it reports the capture and imprisonment of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. However, this image is a fabrication created using existing images of both men.

Fact-checkers from Reuters drew attention to it. A spokesman for Carlson told Reuters that the posts were fake and his name and image were used without his permission.

The screenshot appeared on social media with the caption: "SENSATION! TUCKER RELEASED VIDEO OF ZELENSKYI'S ARREST... HE IS TRANSPORTED TO BLACK DOLPHIN PRISON (RUSSIA) WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF SECURITY..." The fake screenshot contains an image of Zelenskyi holding a sign with the number “003856” along with the Ukrainian text “V.P. Holoborodko”. However, this is a scene from Zelenskyi's television series “Servant of the People”, which appeared in the first episode of the third season and was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the series on April 9, 2019.

Zelenskyi then played the role of Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko from 2015 to 2019 in the series “Servant of the People”, where, according to the plot, a school teacher is elected president of the country. The logo of Zelenskyi's film company Kvartal 95 Studio is visible in the modified image in the upper right corner. The image of Carlson, located at the bottom right of the fake screenshot, was taken from a video posted by his official social media account X on June 6, 2023. This video was the first episode of Carlson's new show on X.

The President's Office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Propagandists spread such fakes in order to personally discredit Zelenskyi, using an authoritative figure among conservative circles. Detector Media has already written about how Tucker Carlson repeats the messages of Russian propaganda in his own content.

Disclosure How Trump fans discredit Volodymyr Zelenskyi in a series of programs on American television

The first episode of the Zelenskyi Unmasked project was recently released: Who is Volodymyr Zelenskyy? (“Zelenskyi without a mask: Who is Volodymyr Zelenskyi?”). It was brought to the attention of journalist Serhii Mamaiev and a detailed analysis on his YouTube channel “Special Projects of Serhii Mamaev”.

The series is hosted by Ben Swann, who calls himself an investigative journalist. But it is not so. Mamaiev found out that he was actually a television sports producer, and later a news journalist, producer and editor-in-chief of the FOX network affiliates and Russia Today America. Based on the released analysis, Detector Media presents the main messages consonant with Russian propaganda, which can be found within the first series of the project.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi did not know Ukrainian and came to power dishonestly

The authors of the film made many inaccuracies in the biography of the President of Ukraine, which indicates that the material was not carefully prepared. In particular, they also noted that Kryvyi Rih is located in the south of Ukraine, although the map that was inserted into the video refutes this. According to the creators of the project, Zelenskyi allegedly did not know Ukrainian at all before his presidency. However, in fact, he only did not use Ukrainian in everyday life.

In addition, the authors demonized both the creation of Kvartal 95, the transition of Kvartal to 1+1, and the series “Servant of the People”, the creation of the “Servant of the People” party and Zelenskyi’s participation in the presidential elections. Like, he is not who he claims to be.

The situation in Donbas is expected as it is historically a Russian region

The authors of the project repeated Russian propaganda cliches on Euromaidan and the war in Donbas from 2014. They deliberately did not mention the true reasons for the Revolution of Dignity and the shooting of students. The presenter also kept silent about the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s orchestration of the creation of the so-called LPR and DPR. The authors of the project do not talk about torture and executions of pro-Ukrainian activists in Donbas by Russians. Instead, all this is summed up with the message that Donbas is in fact a historically Russian region. However, Mamaiev notes that most of the residents of the eastern regions identified themselves as Ukrainians in the population census.

Zelensky is spreading ultranationalism in Ukraine

The presenter says that Zelenskyi allegedly betrayed his native Russian language and turned Ukrainian society towards ultra-nationalism. They say that discrimination against Russian-speaking Ukrainians is also evidenced by legislation restricting Russian music and literature. Allegedly, this was one of the reasons for the invasion. However, the authors do not mention that the Decrees on quotas on Ukrainian music and acts limiting the distribution of Russian literature came after the full-scale invasion.

Russia only wants to restore the USSR, and NATO and the USA really provoked it to attack Ukraine and sabotaged the peace process

The authors justify Russian aggression by saying that Russia simply wanted to rebuild the Soviet Union and presented this statement in a positive sense, as if what Ukraine is against looks strange. In addition, according to the presenter, it was the United States and NATO that provoked Russia into invading Ukraine, since NATO allegedly surrounded Russia on all sides. But even here the authors contradict themselves, since they show a map where NATO members indicate states that joined the Alliance after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Next, the authors tell how in the spring of 2022, Ukraine and Russia almost agreed on a peace agreement. However, according to the presenter, the peace fell apart allegedly because of the United States and Europe, which pushed Ukraine to continue the war. They say that it is because of them that Ukraine allegedly thwarted all agreements and continued repression within the country. However, in fact, the negotiations were stopped after the criminal actions of Russian troops in Bucha. And Russia calls “repression” any actions directed against violations of the law on cooperation with occupiers, deliberately dramatizing the situation.

Propagandists as project experts

A number of people who regularly play along with Russian propaganda provided their comments for the first episode. Among them is Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who was a frequent guest on Medvedchuk’s channels, where he promoted relevant narratives. At one time, according to Mamaiev, he also tried to help promote the idea of then-President Trump, who supposedly Zelenskyi was collaborating with the US Democratic Party.

Another character in the project is Gonzalo Lira, about whose history we have written more than once before. The project repeats the story about the “illegality” of his detention. Like, in fact, he is in prison because of his criticism of Zelenskyi. However, the SBU, during Lira’s imprisonment, emphasized that the main charge for this was the justification of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Zelenskyi destroys religion in Ukraine

The authors of the project repeated the Russian message, complaining that Zelenskyi is trying to usurp religion in the state for himself, trying to delegalize the UOC-MP. However, they are silent about the fact that the priests of this denomination justified the invasion of Ukraine and aimed missiles at civilians. And not a word that Ukraine has its own church. The authors create the impression that Zelenskyi bans Orthodoxy in Ukraine as a whole, although this is not the case.

The United States has already made films about Ukraine, where they disseminated messages in tune with Russian propaganda. In particular, director Oliver Stone at one time began making films about dictators. In particular, in 2016 he published the work “Ukraine on Fire”, where he interviewed Medvedchuk. A year later, he recorded an interview with Putin.

Conservative media in the United States further spread skepticism regarding Ukraine, including through the spread of conspiracy theories. All this has a special context, given that the first impeachment of then US President Donald Trump was announced due to the phone call scandal with Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Since then, Trump fans have called the topic of Ukraine “toxic” and are trying in every possible way to reconcile Ukraine with Russia. This is clearly visible on Trump’s Truth Social, where we previously found a large amount of anti-Ukrainian rhetoric. This “information bubble” does not help Ukraine, and anti-Ukrainian messages are supported by the target audience of these media - recent polls from CBS News show that 61% of US citizens who identify as Republicans oppose assistance to Ukraine.

Message Air raid sirens are allegedly used by Zelenskyi to “spin war hysteria”

The air raids in Ukraine are supposedly in vain, because “the Russians are targeting exclusively military targets”. Russian telegrams began to disseminate such information. They say that sirens are beneficial only to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi in order to sow panic around the war among the people of Ukraine. As proof of their claims, propagandists are distributing a fake, allegedly unknown persons in the Odesa region covered with foam a siren informing the civilian population about the missile danger. However, this information has already been refuted by the Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council.

The assertion of Russian propaganda about the “inexpediency” of air raids contradicts reality, because Russia daily randomly fires missiles, bombs, kamikaze drones and artillery at the territory of Ukraine.

In particular, by spreading a fake story about covering sirens with foam, propagandists are trying to justify Russian missile terror and shelling of Ukrainian civilians. Previously, we refuted information that the air raid warning in Ukraine would be activated to supposedly make it easier to issue draft notices to men in shelters.

Fake Deutsche Welle allegedly wrote about new graffiti in Berlin with the severed heads of Macron and Zelenskyi

Propagandists are disseminating information on social networks, citing the German publication Deutsche Welle, allegedly graffiti has appeared in Berlin depicting the severed heads of the presidents of Ukraine and France, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Emmanuel Macron. According to these reports, the author of the work is allegedly the famous German artist Van Ray. However, this is fake.

StopFake journalists, using a reverse image search on Google, discovered that this photo is being distributed exclusively through anonymous Russian telegram channels and websites expressing a pro-Russian position. They also found out that not a single reliable publication reported the appearance of such graffiti in Berlin.

To confirm this information, propagandists add a screenshot of news allegedly published on Deutsche Welle. However, StopFake journalists were unable to find material with that title on the publication’s website. The screenshot notes that its author is journalist Lucia Schulten, but there is no such thing among the materials she published on Deutsche Welle.

There is also no information about this graffiti on the artist Van Ray’s website or on his social networks. At the time of publication of this text, the artist’s representative had not yet responded to StopFake’s request.

By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to strengthen their message that Europe is supposedly tired of Ukraine and does not want to support it anymore. They say that the topic of Ukraine has become toxic, and all those who actively support it also suffer from public hostility.