FALSE: In Chernihiv, a missile was fired at a meeting of officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO from Poland and the Baltic States

FALSE: In Chernihiv, a missile was fired at a meeting of officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO from Poland and the Baltic States

31 August 2023
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Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

Russian Telegram channels spread information that the missile attack on Chernihiv on August 19, 2023 was allegedly an attack on a meeting of officers of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO from Poland and the Baltic countries.

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The “Angry Birds” demo was held in the Chernihiv Drama Theater, not a meeting of officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO. Russian propaganda also contradicts itself: first they indicate that the goal was the exhibition, then they write about the meeting as the goal. Later, propagandists of the Russian Federation say that the meeting took place near the drama theater, then they put forward information that it was in the drama theater itself.

Let’s start with the fact that Russia struck the Chernihiv Regional Drama Theater, where a meeting of drone manufacturers and aerial reconnaissance training schools was held as part of the “Angry Birds” demo day.

Russian propagandists from RIA Novosti themselves admitted that the goal was to attack this exhibition. Therefore, this contradicts the version of the Russian telegram channels about the attack on the meeting of the officers of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO.

The propagandists also pointed out that the meeting itself took place across the street from the drama theater, although the rocket was aimed at the premises of the Chernihiv theater. And again, they contradict themselves: the meeting was near the theater and the bodies of foreign soldiers were found there, and the bodies of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the same meeting were found in the theater itself.

Telegram channels of the Russian Federation also tell about 54 dead (of which only 3 civilians) and 89 wounded. They also mention 9 dead and 11 seriously injured foreigners. In fact, 214 people were injured, of which 7 died. Among them is a 6-year-old child. One serviceman, Dmytro Maglich, who came to the exhibition, also died. He was not a member of the Special Operations Forces or the International Legion, but instead served in the 119th separate brigade of the Territorial Defense in the Chernihiv region. 15 police officers were also injured.

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