FAKE: Zelensky commanded not to use Bayraktars on the front line
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FAKE: Zelensky commanded not to use Bayraktars on the front line

31 May 2022
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Verification within Meta`s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

Russian media and anonymous telegram-channels share scan-copy of an alleged official letter from the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine to Valery Zaluzhny, who is called the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine. The letter is asking not to use the combat drone «Bayraktar» in potentially dangerous areas so that they are not shot down. As a result russian propaganda would not be able to use photos and videos of shot down drones to discredit Turkish firm «Baykar Makina».

It is fake: This letter cannot be considered as official document as there are mistakes in the name of recipient`s position. 

Scan-copy of the letter being spread on the social media

It is stated that the letter is addressed to «the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine V. Zaluzhny». However, the position of Valeriy Zaluzhny is — Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Serhiy Shaptala occupies the position of the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine. The Law on differentiation of the positions of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine was adopted in March 2020. The Law determines the procedure for appointment to these positions, delimitation of powers and the procedure for organizing the leadership structure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The text also refers to the General Staff (“We ask the General Staff to take action…”), but the correct name of this state body is the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, so the official order should indicate the full name.

Moreover, this order is allegedly issued by the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak. However, the powers of the Head of the OP, defined by the presidential decree “On Regulations on the Office of the President of Ukraine”, do not include the possibility to issue orders to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is run by the President of Ukraine as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Military-political and administrative management of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is carried out by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

Earlier VoxCheck disproved fake on that the Polish General Staff of the Armed Forces issued an order to seize the territories of Volyn and Lviv regions.

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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