Debunking fakes in partnership with Facebook.
According to the information spread on social media russian troops allegedly “without resistance” and “without a fight” entered the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in the Zaporizhia region. Some posts refer to russia’s ministry of defense.
This is russian misinformation. On the morning of Feb. 25, russian troops entered the city, then their attack was repelled by the Ukrainian servicemen. Melitopol was surrounded, fighting around the city lasted several days.
Screenshot of the post on Facebook
On the morning of Feb. 25, russian troops fired on the SBU building, and a military convoy arrived from the north of the city. The first illogical thing in the fake: if russian troops expected to enter the city without resistance, why did they start with shelling office buildings?
The information that on Feb. 25 the battle was taking place in Melitopol, was reported by the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The chairman of the Melitopol district council Igor Sudakov on Facebook urged citizens not to publish information about the movement of the Armed Forces or Territorial Defense in Melitopol. Another confirmation was that the Ukrainian servicemen were in the city at the time and resisted.
The outskirts of Melitopol were occupied by russian soldiers who came from Crimea. But the other part was held by the Ukrainian servicemen that held the line to prevent the russian advance on Mariupol. Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the President’s Office, spoke about this at a briefing on Feb. 25.
During the day in Melitopol, urban combats for strategic objects continued. As of 10 p.m., Melitopol was surrounded, there were battles near the city, said the head of the Zaporizhia Military Administration Oleksandr Starukh.
Battle for the city between the russian occupiers and Ukrainian servicemen continued. “The most difficult situation is in Melitopol. Heavy machinery in the city. The combat continues. The column of heavy machinery passed towards Primorsk. From 8 p.m last day until 8 a.m, we have 14 wounded of our servicemen,” Oleksandr Starukh said on the morning of Feb. 26. Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Office of the President, confirmed that heavy fighting was continuing in Melitopol.
Propaganda resources began writing at midnight on Feb. 25 that “russian units, without meeting resistance, entered Melitopol.” Then, in fact, the combatting for the city continued.
At noon on March 26, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said local officials had lost control of the buildings.
On March 1, head of the Zaporizhia Military Administration Oleksandr Starukh said Ukrainian governance was in Melitopol, but “the situation is difficult.” “Some institutions are not under the control of the Ukrainian authorities. They have also located units of the national guard of the russian federation that perform tasks of seizing power and making management decisions within Melitopol,” the statement reads.
Civilians also opposed the russian occupiers. On March 2 and 3, citizens with Ukrainian flags and slogans “Orcs, go away” went to peaceful rallies. The occupiers opened fire and wounded civilians. This did not stop the citizens, and on March 4 they again went to rallies with the slogans “Melitopol is Ukraine!”, “Melitopol – get up!”.
Live broadcast on Facebook, rally in Melitopol on March 2
Protests against Russian troops in Melitopol on March 2. Source – BBC Ukraine
Instead, on social media, there were fakes that the occupiers allegedly were being met “with flowers” in Melitopol.
Screenshot of the post on Facebook
The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations