Provocation and Disinformation Overview. Part 1

Provocation and Disinformation Overview. Part 1

Photo: ua.depositphotos.com / abadesign
30 August 2023
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VoxUkraine stays on guard checking every newspiece coming in these challenging times for our country. Stay tuned.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 30

  • On August 23, Russian troops once again shelled Sumy Oblast. Propagandists claim that in the city of Romny they managed to destroy the school where the Armed Forces of Ukraine were located.
  • The Russian propaganda Telegram channel spread a post that the Ukrainian authorities are carrying out the evacuation from Sumy, allegedly in order to house the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the vacated houses.
  • Russian media are spreading the news that negotiations are underway to transfer the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Now the TRUTH:

  • According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, 4 people were killed as a result of the “Shahed” drone attack: the school principal, the deputy principal, the secretary and the librarian. Four civilians who were passing by the school during the shelling were also injured. The published photos and videos do not show any injured military personnel or any signs that the military was permanently stationed here: military vehicles, weapons, etc. According to the head of the Romny district military administration, 19 people were in the school at the time of the attack. A primary school teacher, an eyewitness to the events, confirmed in a comment for “Suspilne Sumy” that educators were at work that day. On August 24, the head of the Romny district military administration published the names and photos of the dead educators.
  • This is manipulation. Evacuation from the Sumy region is primarily carried out from the border areas, which are constantly under Russian shelling. There is no mention of any accommodation of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in vacated residences.
  • The Russian intervention appeared after the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul. During the meeting, they discussed the Ukrainian Peace Formula and the return of children deported from Ukraine to Russia. That is, there was no question of the transfer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Also, there is no announcement that would confirm the fact of such agreements on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, on the page of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and on the resource of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 28

  • Russian Telegram channels are spreading information that high-ranking American and French military personnel are being killed in Ukraine as a result of Russian missile attacks. As a result, these losses are allegedly fabricated as accidents in order to hide the presence of NATO on the territory of Ukraine.
  • Users spread information that Japan has given Ukraine 200,000 first-aid kits for the Armed Forces free of charge. The same first-aid kits were allegedly found on resale in pharmacies at a price of UAH 2,640 per set.
  • Russian media are spreading an article by The Mirror, which allegedly mentions the development of a new virus in secret laboratories in the British city of Salisbury. It is stated that a secret laboratory is allegedly producing bacteriological weapons, in particular changing the DNA of already known pathogens to make the weapon even more dangerous.

Now the TRUTH:

  • As an example, Russian propaganda cites the accident that happened to the retired French general Jean-Louis Georgelin. He died while hiking in the Pyrenees on Friday, August 18. The investigation believes that he broke off on Mount Vallee from a height of 2,650 meters. Russian propaganda, on the contrary, says that the information about his death allegedly appeared after the missile attack on Chernihiv on August 19, 2023. Another example cited by the Russian Federation is the death of US Air Force Major General Anthony Potts. They hint that he also died in Ukraine. Potts actually died on July 25 in a plane crash in the US. He was the only person in the single-engine plane that crashed in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
  • It is false. In the posts, users do not indicate any details, in particular, the place of sale of first-aid kits. In addition, there are no official reports about the transfer of 200,000 first-aid kits by Japan to Ukraine. Also, if you type the phrase resale first aid kits into Google, you can see that identical posts were published as far back as February 28, 2022.
  • The Mirror’s original article did not mention the creation of biological weapons. The authors write about a laboratory located at the Porton Down military base near the city of Salisbury in Great Britain. The article notes that Porton Down is one of the most secretive places in the world and that dangerous live viruses are probably being tested there. However, the testing is not being done to develop weapons, but to create new vaccines that can protect people from the next pandemics like COVID-19.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 27

  • Russian Telegram channels are sharing a screenshot from a Polish online bookstore, where a book with the texts of Zelenskyi’s speeches is allegedly being sold along with books about the Nazis.
  • The Russian propaganda Telegram channel spread a message that the Ukrainian authorities are carrying out the evacuation from Sumy, allegedly in order to place the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the vacated houses.
  • A Russian propaganda Telegram channel shared a post that the Kyiv authorities were allegedly preparing residents for street fights.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This image has been edited. There is an error in the text in the screenshot. Also, the actual site has a completely different selection of recommended literature and text.
  • This is manipulation. Evacuation from the Sumy region is primarily carried out from the border areas, which are constantly under Russian shelling. There is no mention of any placement in the vacated housing units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • This is manipulation. It is about basic military training, not training for battles in urban development. The propagandists failed to logically explain why the city authorities of the capital decided to start such preparations at a time when the immediate threat to Kyiv had long been eliminated.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 26

  • Russian telegram channels and media spread information allegedly from Turkish media about the destruction of the Patriot air defense system at Zhuliany Airport (Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport). This is allegedly the third destroyed battery of the American anti-aircraft missile system out of five.
  • Viktor Medvedchuk, a Russian collaborator and Putin’s personal friend at the same time, claims that the birth rate in Ukraine has fallen due to the “cult of death” imposed by the West. The idea of the “cult” is to incite hatred towards Russia in Ukrainians — the West has allegedly been “creating anti-Russia out of Ukraine” since 2014 and demanded a full-scale war with the Russian Federation.
  • Russian telegram channels and media published a photo of the alleged order of the commander of the 123rd brigade of the Territorial Defense on the creation of mobile crematoria. The reason for this order in the “document” is the large number of losses on the part of Ukraine and overcrowded morgues.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is a fake. This information is distributed only by Russian and pro-Russian sources. Ukrainian, Western or Turkish media did not publish such information. Also, according to open data, Ukraine does not have either 3 or 5 batteries of Patriot air defense systems.
  • It is false. Ukraine’s enmity towards the Russian Federation is caused by the actions of Russia itself and is not the result of Western suggestions. At the same time, the decline in the birth rate is a global trend that has been observed since the 1950s. Ukraine’s birth rate did decline significantly in 2022 and is expected to decline further in 2023, but this was mostly due to COVID-19 and Russia’s full-scale war.
  • The document is not authentic. It contains errors, the EDRPOU code on the seal does not belong to this military unit, and the “document” itself contains signs of editing. Also, the 123rd Brigade of the Territorial Defense stated on its official Facebook page that this document is yet another psychological operation of Russian propaganda.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 25

  • A photo of a banner on which the French authorities are allegedly congratulating Ukraine on Independence Day is being distributed on the Internet, showing a map of Ukraine without Crimea and with an upside-down flag.
  • Information is spreading on the Internet that 3.5 million citizens went to war in Israel, which has a population of 8 million. In Ukraine, out of 40 million, less than 2 million people defend their country.
  • Information is being spread on the Internet that the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has allegedly recognized that Ukraine is no longer a state governed by the rule of law. The authors claim that, with the support of the Ukrainian authorities, kidnappings and arrests without trial are systematically carried out, and detained citizens are subjected to torture.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This photo is fake. An analysis of the image shows that it was edited, and no credible media reported the news. There is no mention of this greeting in the world media — this news is published only by pro-Kremlin propaganda media. In addition, France did not and does not support the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
  • It is false. At a time when the population of Israel was 8 million citizens, the personnel of the Israeli Armed Forces did not exceed 200 thousand people. At the same time, as of January 1, 2023, according to various estimates, the population of Ukraine was 28-34 million, and the personnel of the armed forces numbered approximately 700,000 people. That is, the ratio of the composition of the army to the population is approximately the same.
  • This is manipulation. In the report, experts did not indicate that Ukraine is a state not governed by the rule of law, instead they indicated possible gaps in the legislation that should be corrected. The monitoring was about mass violations of human rights by the Russian side and individual cases of violations in Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 24

  • Russian Telegram channels spread information that Ukrainian families are leaving Ukraine en masse for Europe. The post notes that due to waves of migration during the war, the population of Ukraine allegedly decreased to 20 million people.
  • Russian Telegram channels are spreading information that the USA has allegedly admitted that its military is on the territory of Ukraine. This is allegedly confirmed by documents that indicate an allowance for US military personnel serving in Ukraine. 
  • Russian Telegram channels and media spread the words of ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson, which he said in an interview for the YouTube channel “Judging Freedom”. Johnson said that Ukrainian air defense was destroyed, Russian planes fly freely over the territory of Ukraine, and the information about the downing of Russian missiles is false.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is false. Propaganda media does not cite any link or source of the information presented in the posts. According to the State Statistics of Ukraine, as of February 1, 2022, more than 41.1 million people lived in Ukraine, including the territory of temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, but excluding Crimea. However, since then, the website of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine has not published up-to-date data on the number of the population. At the same time, according to the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the population as of January 1, 202, ranges from 28 million to 34 million people. 
  • News about the document was first published by the website “Army Times” on July 28, 2023. They refer to an unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page that posted the document on July 27. It does say that US military personnel serving on the territory of Ukraine can receive a $325 salary supplement. On July 29, the representative of the White House, John Kirby, denied the statement that the US military is participating in active hostilities on the territory of Ukraine. Only a small number of American servicemen guard the US embassy in Kyiv and represent the apparatus of the US military attaché in Ukraine. Auditors who monitor US aid to Ukraine can also receive an allowance
  • In fact, the Russian aviation tries not to fly into the territory of Ukraine and thus not to fall into the zone of action of Ukrainian air defense. In order not to fall into the air defense zone, Russia actively uses guided air bombs, cruise and ballistic missiles, and drones that are launched far behind the front line. The effectiveness of the defense of Ukraine’s airspace increased from 20% at the beginning of a full-scale invasion to 90% as of May 2023.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 22

  • Russian Telegram channels are distributing a video from the village of Synkivka, in the Kharkiv region, allegedly captured by Russian troops.
  • A photo of a letter allegedly from the company “Komenergo-Ternopil 1” is circulating on the Internet, which states that if the addressee does not appear at the Ternopil Territorial Recruitment Center by the specified date, the water and gas supply in the apartment will be turned off in accordance with the law “On Mobilization Preparation and Mobilization”.
  • An alleged bill from Naftogaz is circulating online, in which the company offers a discount on housing and communal services if consumers “turn on” a collaborator or evader to the authorities.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is false. In fact, the video footage shows the settlement of Voronove, located near Severodonetsk, Luhansk region. Kharkiv Regional Military Administration also stated that Synkivka is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • This is a fake. The law referred to in the letter does not contain any information about utility disconnections. Also, the text of the letter contains translation errors from Russian to Ukrainian.
  • “Naftogaz” denied this information. On the official page on Facebook, the company reported that the distributed bill was fake. “Naftogaz” does offer discounts for users, but in order to receive them, you do not need to “turn on” anyone, but only pay for utility services regularly and on time. So, consumers who pay for gas by the 15th of the current month receive a 1% discount on the tariff plan.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 18

  • A video is circulating online where it is claimed that the “NOVUS” network is selling a batch of energy drinks labeled “Ukie,” which were supposedly intended for the military.
  • Information is being circulated online, claiming that the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov, stated that in the event of a new full-scale war with Russia, the Territorial Recruitment Centers, which are a Soviet legacy, should be renamed to Administrative Service Centers. The authors suggest that the wording “in the event of a full-scale war” demonstrates the complete detachment from reality by Ukrainian officials.
  • Russian Telegram channels and media are publishing a photo of a postcard with the logo of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the inscription “How to pay off your student loans? Join the International legion for the defence of Ukraine”. Propagandists claim that the announcement was placed to recruit mercenaries among American students. Recruitment centers for the war are allegedly located at Ukrainian embassies and consulates in dozens of countries around the world.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The video’s author manipulated the situation. They didn’t show the entire text in the upper part of the beverage can. It’s mentioned there that a batch of energy drinks is provided to the military free of charge every month. Consequently, the batch intended for the military couldn’t have appeared on supermarket shelves.
  • However, this is false. He was not suggesting renaming the Territorial Recruitment Centers; instead, the discussion was about reforming the entire conscription system and creating centers modeled after Administrative Service Centers. Reznikov also noted that the current registration system is outdated and does not correspond to current living conditions. For instance, the law “On Military Duty and Military Service” states that the heads of enterprises are responsible for registering conscripts, while in Ukraine, a large number of people are private entrepreneurs. The official mentioned that the department has already begun gradually implementing changes.
  • This is a fake. In addition to the message about joining the legion, students are also promised international volunteer status, medical insurance, and monthly payments. A reverse image search on Google Images revealed that this announcement is mostly spread by Russian resources or Twitter pages that systematically promote Kremlin narratives. Additionally, the propagandists used the British spelling of the word “defence,” but in the US, it’s spelled differently as “defense.” The number — (00 1 202) 349 29 44 — provided in the announcement is indeed similar to the one used by the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, but two zeros are only used for calls outside the US. There are no foreign “mercenaries” in Ukraine; all foreigners are considered members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and serve in the International Legion.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 17

  • Information is spreading online that a bill numbered 9480 has been introduced to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament), which will restrict the travel abroad of Ukrainian teenagers aged 16 to 18. The authors state that this is being done supposedly to send teenagers to the frontlines and claim that in Ukraine, 17-year-old boys are allegedly being denied the ability to go abroad more and more often, requiring them to provide documents from territorial recruitment centers.
  • A screenshot of an article from the publication “Deutsche Welle” with the headline “Forced mobilization in the regions of Ukraine controlled by Kyiv may be a Kremlin special operation” is allegedly being circulated online.
  • Telegram channels are spreading information with reference to an interview with the head of the Lviv Regional Recruitment and Social Support Center for the Lviv publication “Leopolis,” alleging that as part of the general mobilization in Ukraine, 80% of men are being forcibly mobilized.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is false. The purpose of the bill was to harmonize the legislation of Ukraine and Europe, so that only adults could independently cross the border, while individuals aged 16 to 18 would require permission from their parents or guardians to travel abroad. Previously, this regulation applied to children under 16. The law did not involve changing the conscription age. At the age of 17, young men are supposed to receive a conscription certificate, which confirms their registration for military service. However, the possession of this document does not prohibit them from leaving the country.
  • There is no such article on the website or social media of “Deutsche Welle,” and the journalist Olesia Halkina, who is indicated as the author of the article in the screenshot, does not work for the publication. “Deutsche Welle” is a reputable source, so if such an article were published, other reliable media outlets would likely have taken notice of an article with such a headline. However, there is no news about a possible Kremlin special operation in other international media either. Image analysis tools indicate that elements have been added to the screenshot that were not present in the original.
  • This is false. The head of the Lviv Regional Recruitment Center did not speak about a general mobilization of 80% of men from all regions of Ukraine. He was explaining the necessity for further distribution of draft notices specifically in the Lviv region, due to the fact that only 20% of the required number of conscripts were coming to the center without prior notification.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 16

  • A news is being circulated online claiming that Ukraine plans to mobilize 30,000 Canadians. As purportedly indicated by the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov, there is a significant population of ethnic Ukrainians living in Canada. Despite having obtained Canadian citizenship, they are still expected to come to the defense of Ukraine.
  • Russian media constantly try to portray that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will face negative consequences. This time, propagandists are spreading a video allegedly created by members of the “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) party. The video depicts German soldiers visiting a local family and confiscating almost all of their belongings. Subsequently, the soldiers from a NATO member country force the Germans to greet them in a Nazi-like manner, glorifying Zelenskyi.
  • A clip from an interview with Mike Tyson to the American publication Reuters is being circulated online. The boxer allegedly recommended Volodymyr Zelenskyi to undergo rehabilitation for drug addiction. The post also adds that a similar message was supposedly conveyed earlier by Hollywood actor Elijah Wood.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This news is fabricated. It was published by a satirical Telegram channel. In order to find the original source of the news, we used keyword search. This helped us determine that the source of the quote is the Telegram channel “а вот мой яндекс кошелек” (“here’s my Yandex wallet”). The channel’s description indicates that the authors share parodies, satire, and “only verified fakes.”
  • This is another video of Kremlin propaganda. In reality, the video is not a social advertisement, and all the actors in the video are Russians. “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) is an ultraright party in Germany that supports Russia. The co-chair of the party, Alice Weidel, has spoken against holding Vladimir Putin accountable for war crimes. The AfD party has also urged the German government to veto the provision of weapons to Ukraine, and some of its members have visited temporarily occupied territories in Eastern Ukraine. Therefore, the Russians produced a video that is not actually a social advertisement. To bolster their propaganda and add legitimacy, they used the “Alternative for Germany” party, which supports Russia.
  • This is a fake. Mike Tyson did not make such statements; in fact, the boxer expresses support for Ukraine. The screenshot from the same video of Mike Tyson was circulated back in 2021. At that time, the media outlet Cellulari.it wrote about video greetings from celebrities that anyone could purchase on the Cameo video message website. There is indeed a separate page for Mike Tyson on the Cameo website with greetings. Although it’s currently not possible to buy a video message from him, old videos can be viewed in the archive. We found the original video, a segment of which is being circulated on the internet. In the recording, Mike Tyson thanks the employees of the organization Teddy Kids in the Netherlands, who work with children, support parents, and the community. However, Tyson doesn’t mention either Russia or Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 15

  • Zelenskyi deliberately prolongs the war because he understands he can’t win the elections. That’s why his goal is to reduce the number of potential voters by killing as many Ukrainians as possible in the war.
  • The Russian dictator is once again spreading narratives about Poland’s alleged desire to annex part of Ukraine. In his recent statement, he adds that Russia is aware of the creation of Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian units on the border with Belarus. This is supposedly signaling the beginning of the “secession of Western regions of Ukraine in favor of Poland.”
  • Russian Telegram channels are spreading the results of a survey in which supposedly 30% of Ukrainians are ready to do anything for the sake of peace. This is claimed to confirm that Ukrainians are demanding capitulation.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are no objective grounds to consider that Zelenskyi intentionally prolongs the war. Firstly, the legal norm stating that elections cannot be held under conditions of martial law existed long before Zelenskyi’s presidency, so he had no influence over these electoral process restrictions. Secondly, elections cannot be ensured in times of war, as it is impossible to determine the exact number of voters and safely organize the functioning of polling stations. Thirdly, the war started and continues solely due to Russia’s actions — Ukraine did not provoke Russia to attack. Ukraine is ready for peaceful negotiations, but only on the condition of the liberation of all Ukrainian territories from Russia and the assurance of peace by partners, to prevent Russia from later deciding to attack Ukraine again and reoccupy our territories.
  • There is no confirmation of the creation of the so-called Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian units. Poland has no intention of annexing Ukrainian territories. Poland and the Baltic countries support Ukraine’s desire to join NATO and the EU and provide military assistance. Meanwhile, through his statements, Putin is attempting to damage Polish-Ukrainian relations. To bolster its information campaign, Russia uses not only its own propagandists but also so-called “Western experts” and media under its control abroad.
  • In reality, Russian propaganda manipulated the data. On July 28, 2023, the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation indeed published an analytical report based on the results of the survey titled “War, Peace, Victory, Future.” The research was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Political Sociology and in cooperation with the Civil Network “OPORA.” The report states that “at least 30% of Ukrainians wish for the quickest possible end to the war under any conditions, but only 8% of respondents are genuinely willing to make any concessions for the sake of a swift end to the war.” In other words, Ukrainians are not ready for capitulation; rather, they desire a prompt arrival of peace. Furthermore, only a minority is prepared to make concessions for the sake of a quicker end to the war.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 14

  • Economist Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University claimed that allegedly Ukraine was rejected from negotiations with Russia due to NATO lobbyists who are interested in producing and field-testing weapons in Ukraine.
  • Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is preventing Ukraine from engaging in peaceful negotiations with Russia, which its Western partners are trying to arrange for Ukraine. Kuleba does not conceal this and openly stated it in an interview with Ukrainian media.
  • Russian media outlets claim that Americans are supposedly undermining the EU by placing the primary financial support for Ukraine in the war, which the US initiated. In this way, Americans are supposedly destabilizing the EU, provoking record inflation, and worsening the standard of living there.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Despite his impressive credentials, Jeffrey Sachs often echoes narratives from Russian propaganda. In particular, he is one of those Western experts who advocate for peace on terms favorable to Russia. Within the same narrative, Sachs presents conspiracy theory that has any confirmation. Furthermore, this assertion contradicts logic, as Ukraine must engage in lengthy negotiations and consistently demonstrate Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine in order to receive assistance from its partners.
  • In a recent live broadcast on Instagram, Dmytro Kuleba indeed mentioned that a “difficult autumn” awaits Ukraine in terms of diplomacy. In the original statement, he said, “You can see all these voices starting to resonate in different countries around the world, about ‘problems’ that need negotiations. It’s not coming from government officials, but these voices are becoming louder. We will do everything within the framework of international law and criminal legislation to make these voices fade.” In other words, Kuleba was implying that Ukraine could be pushed towards peace even under unfavorable conditions for Ukraine, and possibly under advantageous conditions for Russia. Kuleba will strive to prevent precisely that. Ukraine seeks peace, but it must be a lasting peace, not a temporary ceasefire that could lead to Ukraine losing territory and risking new violations of sovereignty by Russia.
  • The Center for Strategic Communication has identified and debunked this fake. The EU countries provided Ukraine with €20 billion in military aid, and the US provided $43 billion. These are just the funds allocated for military expenses, not including funding for humanitarian, social, economic, and other sectors. Therefore, such inventions by Russia are merely another attempt to sow discord between Ukraine and its international partners and undermine military assistance.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 13

  • Once again, a uniform for women has been presented in Ukraine, and the number of female military casualties is increasing. These facts are supposedly indicative of a covert mobilization of women into the Ukrainian army.
  • Poland is preparing for a strategic attack on Belarus: for this purpose, 10,000 Polish military personnel have already been stationed on the border with Belarus.
  • The weapons provided by Americans to the Ukrainian Armed Forces are appearing in Mexican cartels. The United States fears that the Mexicans might use it against American law enforcement personnel at the border.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no hidden mobilization of women in Ukraine; however, women can voluntarily join the army. The fact that there are women in the military who voluntarily defend the country is the reason a specialized and more comfortable military uniform is being developed for them. Additionally, there is no data indicating an increase in the number of female military personnel casualties.
  • Poland has no intentions of attacking Belarus, but it is compelled to enhance its border defenses due to the “military exercises” in Belarus. In the past, such exercises served as a platform for invading Ukraine, and furthermore, the Wagner Group is currently based in Belarus. Therefore, Poland is fortifying its borders and intensifying defensive measures there.
  • The fake was identified and refuted by the Strategic Communications Center. Russian media outlets are spreading this information, referencing an English-language site called armedforces.press. However, the site to which propagandists refer lacks credibility: in the “About Us” section, various people cannot be found using a search engine or their photos are used on other dubious “news” sites, and the content consists of conspiracy theories and fakes. The article itself lacks any evidence but includes a narrative about cartels lifted from The New York Times. Of course, the original article makes no mention of Ukraine. There are no confirmed facts about the appearance of Western weapons provided to Ukraine in other countries. If theft or transfer of weapons to third countries had occurred, such facts would have been promptly disclosed, as international partners monitor and control the situation.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 12

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that the West is ready to invest numerous resources into Ukraine to escalate the conflict with Russia.
  • Allegedly, in Enerhodar, a Ukrainian drone that was intended to attack the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant was intercepted.
  • Messages are circulating online, claiming that all Ukrainians can receive a payment of 9500 hryvnias through the “Diia” portal.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu once again repeats the narratives of Russian disinformation, which only demonstrates that Russia spreads lies and fakes even at the highest level of military-political leadership of the country. Ukraine needs to exert significant efforts to continue convincing our partners to support us, provide us with weapons, financial and humanitarian assistance, aid our refugees, and support us diplomatically. If there were no real threat to Ukraine from Russia, the West would not be offering us such substantial support. Conversely, some Western countries are cautious of escalating the war with Russia, as Russia consistently threatens with nuclear weapons.
  • Russian sources are spreading a photo allegedly of a drone and claiming that it was discovered in Enerhodar, and was intended to attack the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. However, apart from the Russians’ own words, there are no concrete facts about what actually transpired. It makes no sense for Ukraine to attack the Zaporizhzhia NPP and trigger a nuclear catastrophe, as this would primarily harm Ukrainians, Ukrainian cities, and the Ukrainian environment. Russia is employing a tactic of projection, attempting to blame Ukraine for its own crimes preemptively.
  • This is a scam, and the Center for Strategic Communications identified it. Scammers created a fake page resembling the Ukrainian government’s e-services portal and named it “DIA” (the correct official name is “Diia”). They manipulated fonts to mimic the real “Diia”, promised to distribute 9500 hryvnias to all Ukrainians, and didn’t forget to include a persuasive call to action — “Go and get it!” Some commenters even urged others to share their card PIN codes when “they ask for it” (which should definitely not be done). In reality, the “Diia” platform itself does not pay anyone anything. On the government e-services portal, users can submit electronic applications for assistance (if this option is available in their region), and decisions regarding payments are made by state authorities. Payments are exclusively processed through state financial institutions such as “PrivatBank,” “Oshchadbank,” and others. Never disclose your personal information or card details (PIN codes, CVV, secret questions) to anyone, especially online. Rely only on information from official communication channels.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 11

  • Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson for the YouTube channel “Judging Freedom”: “… Ukraine’s endless claims of shooting down a huge number of Russian missiles, from hypersonic to regular ones, is complete nonsense… Recently, specifically in the last four months, it has been revealed that the Ukrainian air defense system has been almost completely destroyed, and Russian aviation can fly almost unobstructed over the entire enemy territory.”
  • Near the village of Mykolaivka, allegedly a burial site with around 10 human remains has been discovered. These could be the remains of individuals who disappeared from the village in October 2022, when the 59th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was stationed there. Russian media outlets claim this, attaching photos of the skeletons.
  • Russian channels are spreading information that after the end of the war in Ukraine, there will be 4 million combat veterans. According to them, this indirectly confirms the scale of mobilization and losses in Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine identified the fake. Firstly, the so-called ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson consistently disseminates narratives of Kremlin propaganda. This thesis of his is also part of the Russian disinformation campaign, the goal of which is to portray fake victories for Russia and a supposed defeat for Ukraine. Similar fakes have been spread by Russia almost from the first hours of the full-scale invasion, yet Russia has not managed to destroy the Ukrainian air defense system. The Ukrainian air defense system has not been destroyed because Ukraine continues to shoot down almost all drones and missiles that Russia uses to attack Ukraine.
  • This news is entirely fabricated. No reliable source has spread information about mass burials near Mykolaivka. Instead, it was published by the Telegram channel “Mikolaev live,” which regularly shares Russian fakes and spreads panic-inducing sentiments. The photograph of the skeletons, which propagandists used to illustrate their fake, was taken in Greece back in 2016.
  • This is manipulation. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs did indeed mention the figure of 4 million veterans after the war, but this number includes not only military personnel but also the relatives of servicemen and civilian casualties. Yuliia Laputina has commented several times on the approximate number of people who will require assistance from the ministry after the war. For instance, on May 8, 2023, in an interview with “Interfax-Ukraine,” she stated: “As of February 24, we had around 500,000 people who are directly participants of the Anti-Terrorist Operation and the Joint Forces Operation. If we add to this the family members of the fallen Heroes, including the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, the participants who suffered during the Revolution of Dignity, and all other categories, such as World War II veterans or those equated to them, as well as everyone who participated in peacekeeping missions, it’s approximately 1.2 million people. We already understand that after the war, this number will be significantly larger. Currently, many people have joined the ranks of the Territorial Defense, including volunteer territorial community formations, and there are also family members of the fallen. Therefore, I believe that this number could reach 4-5 million people.” In an interview with “Radio Svoboda” on May 22, she made a similar statement: “These are combatants or participants in combat who have gained combat experience defending our independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty in battles. It also includes, of course, people who were wounded and disabled due to the war, as well as the family members of our fallen soldiers and heroes. And, of course, it encompasses the family members of all those who defended Ukraine on the frontlines. We estimate that this will be around 4-5 million people.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 9

  • The propaganda outlet “RIA Novosti” reported that Ukrainian military allegedly attempted to attack the storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • The explosion in the grain silos at the port of Derince was provoked by weapons that were planned to be handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Such statements were spread by Russian sources citing Turkish and foreign media.
  • On social media and messengers, there is a spread of news claiming that a state program called “Accessible Car” has been launched in Ukraine since August 1st: every Ukrainian will be able to buy a car at 50-70% cheaper, as the state compensates for the rest of the cost. Readers are encouraged to subscribe to the “official channel” to learn more details.

Now the TRUTH:

  • A fake has been identified by the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. There is no basis to believe that the Armed Forces of Ukraine attempted to attack the spent nuclear fuel storage at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The potential sabotage at the Zaporizhzhia NPP could be carried out by Russia itself, as repeatedly stated by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Office of the President of Ukraine, and the Main Intelligence Directorate. Various scenarios are being considered, ranging from possible blowing up of the power units to provocations leading to a radiation release.
  • The fake was identified and debunked by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The most likely cause of the grain silos explosion is a combustible concentration of grain dust, stated Turkish chemical engineer Emre Ergün in a comment to Hurriyet newspaper: “Grain arrives on ships and is transported to elevators using mechanical carriers. Meanwhile, it gets fragmented. Every organic substance easily ignites, and when it becomes dust-like, it becomes explosive… a mechanical spark can ignite the airborne dust-like mixture.” However, commenting on this incident, Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, İbrahim Yumaklı, stated that at present, the prevailing version is that the explosion occurred due to technical consequences caused by compressed dust. Therefore, neither Turkish nor foreign media reported the discovery of weapons or military equipment at the explosion site. The version involving weapons was fabricated by Russian propagandists who initiated this false narrative.
  • In reality, such a program does not exist; the fabricated news is being used to promote Telegram channels. The program is referred to as a state program, but there is no information about it on any of the government websites. Ukrainian media also did not publish such news. Instead, on August 1st, they reported about the expansion of the state program “yeOselia,” which offers preferential mortgage lending. The Telegram channel where they encourage subscribing does not provide any details about “Accessible Car.” Therefore, the fake news was used for promoting Telegram channels.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 7

  • Russian Telegram channels claim that Ukraine supposedly agreed to peace talks with Russia during negotiations in Saudi Arabia until the complete deoccupation of all Ukrainian territory. Allegedly, this information was reported by The Wall Street Journal in an article summarizing the results of Saturday’s negotiations. However, there is no such statement in the article itself.
  • During the war, Ukraine supplies raw titanium to Russia to produce airplanes and missiles. Journalists at RBC-Ukraine published an investigation under this headline.
  • Russian channels have spread an excerpt from the speech of Jen Psaki, former White House Press Secretary, on February 28, 2022. In the video, she refers to the Russians using cluster munitions as a war crime. Russians accuse American politicians of hypocrisy: if they previously condemned the use of cluster munitions, now they have agreed to supply them to Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This fake has been debunked by the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council. According to the outcomes of the conference in Jeddah, Ukraine did not abandon any point of its Peace Formula, and most countries supported all 10 points.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security has debunked the fake. PJSC “United Mining and Chemical Company” (PJSC “UMCC”) does not cooperate with the aggressor state. Since February 2023, the company has intensified its control over export procedures and changed its approaches to cooperation with buyers, as stated in an official announcement by UMCC Titanium: “The supply chain, end consumers, and the control of product usage are strictly and rigorously monitored not only by company employees but also by representatives of law enforcement agencies.” “UMCC” emphasizes that all potential titanium buyers undergo a series of preliminary checks by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that Ukrainian products do not fall into the hands of the enemy.
  • In reality, the quote from Jen Psaki was taken out of context. She was talking about the use of cluster munitions against civilians. However, the use of these munitions against Russian military personnel is not prohibited. By February 28, 2022, when the journalist asked Jen Psaki the question, there were already several pieces of evidence of using cluster munitions on civilian targets. For instance, Bellingcat investigators reported such incidents in Kharkiv and Sumy regions. Moreover, Russians have been using cluster munitions against Ukrainian civilians since 2014. This is a war crime, as civilians are not combatants and are protected under international humanitarian law. In contrast, Ukraine requested cluster munitions from the U.S. to use against military targets. Ukraine has not ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, so there are no restrictions on using these munitions against occupiers, considered legitimate targets.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 5

  • Ukrainians supposedly have begun to demand more strongly from the government the end of the war and the establishment of peace, even on terms presented by Russia. To support this, alleged mass comments from Ukrainians on social media are showcased.
  • Against the backdrop of negotiations in Saudi Arabia regarding a peace formula, Russia has begun to spread the assertion that the West is preventing Ukraine from sitting at the negotiating table, as supposedly the West is interested in prolonging the war against Russia with the efforts of Ukrainians.
  • According to another version, the Ukrainian government is not pursuing peace with Russia because it wants to annihilate all Ukrainians and profit from the war.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Screenshots of comments are not a reliable source to assert what Ukrainians truly want. First, a few screenshots constitute a not representative sample, and second, it is impossible to ascertain whether real individuals or fake social media accounts left these comments. Russia has intensified its information campaign, claiming that Ukrainians supposedly desire peace under any conditions, even Russia’s conditions, against the backdrop of recent negotiations in Saudi Arabia. Although 40 countries there supported Zelenskyi’s peace formula, Russian media insist that Ukraine’s proposed peace terms are either impossible or not supported by anyone.
  • The West does not influence the Ukrainian government’s decisions regarding peace negotiations with Russia. By propagating such claims, Russia attempts to portray itself as not being at war with Ukraine but rather with the entire collective West — whether it be NATO, the EU, or the US. All this is done to avoid admitting defeat on the battlefield, as the confrontation with the entire Western alliance is supposedly much more complex than just with Ukraine alone. Russia also seeks to prove that peace is only possible on its terms, but that’s not the case. Ukraine continues to insist on its own conditions for peace negotiations. However, as long as Russia terrorizes Ukrainian cities with shelling, tortures and kills civilians, and keeps a part of Ukraine under occupation, peace with Russia remains impossible.
  • Russian propaganda manipulates the phrase “to the last Ukrainian,” which means that every Ukrainian is ready to fight and resist the enemy. Russia, however, tries to portray this phrase as if it signifies that the government wants to eradicate the population of Ukraine — no matter how absurd and illogical this may sound. As for the claim that the government profits from the war, Russian propagandists do not provide any factual evidence or sources, so this statement cannot be considered credible.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 3

  • Zelenskyi’s actions have led to the EU revoking visa-free status for Ukraine. Now, Ukrainians who wish to enter Europe must obtain a special permit called ETIAS, although even this does not guarantee entry into the EU.
  • The Polish media “Mysl Polska” debunked the myth that Ukraine is fighting for the entire democratic world. According to the authors of the Polish newspaper, Poland should stop supporting Zelenskyi’s government, as they believe he is lying to the West, glorifying Bandera, and holding Polish lands under Ukrainian occupation.
  • Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson stated that Kyiv is under the control of Western countries that demand quick results on the battlefield, so Ukrainian soldiers are often sent into battle with little preparation.

Now the TRUTH:

  • First, the transition to the ETIAS permit system will only take place in 2024. Second, Zelenskyi has no connection to the alleged removal of visa-free status in Ukraine: the mechanism for suspending visa-free travel was introduced together with the visa-free regime in 2017. Additionally, the same system of special ETIAS permits applies to other non-EU countries, such as the USA or the UK. Third, ETIAS does not mean a return to a complicated and lengthy visa application process: the permit can be obtained online for the first time no later than 96 hours before crossing the border and will be valid for three years. Lastly, neither visa-free travel nor ETIAS guarantees the right to enter the EU: border authorities can refuse entry for various reasons, including past violations of stay laws, lack of confirmation of the necessity to travel, document issues, and more.
  • There are no objective grounds to believe that Zelenskyi systematically lies to the West. Also, there is no glorification of Bandera as part of national policy in Ukraine. Furthermore, the statement that historically Polish lands are under occupation in Ukraine is absurd, as Poland recognizes Ukraine’s borders and sovereignty and has never claimed that any part of Ukraine should become part of Poland. Such assertions have appeared in the media “Mysl Polska,” a pro-Russian Polish media outlet that systematically spreads Kremlin propaganda.
  • Larry Johnson is a pseudo-expert who regularly disseminates pro-Russian narratives to Western audiences. He doesn’t provide any facts that would indicate the Ukrainian government’s subordination to the West, and that’s not surprising — such facts simply do not exist. His statements are baseless and serve only one purpose — to discredit Ukraine and its government in the eyes of Western society to undermine aid and support for Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of August 1

  • Russian channels are spreading a statement by British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly that the world cannot allow the continuation of the war in Ukraine for another 500 days as the entire world strives for peace. According to the authors of the pro-Russian channel’s perspective, this is a signal to Zelenskyi: allegedly, Britain is not prepared to support Ukraine indefinitely, and now its rhetoric contradicts previous statements of unwavering support.
  • Olga Kovitidi, a Member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, stated that supposedly in the fall of 2023, the elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will not take place due to the suspension of the Constitution’s effect on the territory of Ukraine.
  • The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, stated that Ukraine’s existence and the Ukrainian army’s effectiveness are sustained solely by Western money — the country’s sovereignty has already been lost.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In reality, James Cleverly’s words were taken out of context. Further in his speech, the head of the Foreign Ministry supports Zelenskyi’s peace plan. Cleverly spoke at the UN Security Council on July 17, 2023. In his speech, he specifically endorsed Zelenskyi’s 10-point peace plan. The minister also emphasized the accountability of Russians who deported the Ukrainian population to Russia and called on Russia to withdraw its occupying forces from Ukraine. Furthermore, the United Kingdom has repeatedly emphasized its unwavering support for Ukraine.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security has debunked the fake. In Ukraine, a state of war is in effect. According to the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,” if the term of the Verkhovna Rada’s powers ends during the state of war, its powers are extended until the first session of the newly elected Verkhovna Rada convened after the cancellation of the martial law. The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, explained in an interview with “Ukrainska Pravda” that during the martial law in Ukraine, there is no mechanism for secure expression of the will. Therefore, the elections cannot take place not because the Constitution supposedly ceased to be in effect but, on the contrary, because it is in effect in Ukraine and laws are being enforced.
  • The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, regularly echoes Kremlin narratives. Firstly, although Western countries indeed provide significant military, financial, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are supported by both the Ukrainian budget and volunteers, as well as ordinary Ukrainians who make regular donations to various funds and campaigns. Secondly, Ukraine has not lost its sovereignty. However, the real threat to its sovereignty comes not from the West and its assistance but from Russia itself, which violated Ukraine’s sovereignty by annexing Crimea and occupying part of Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and initiating a full-scale invasion in 2022.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 15:00 July 31

  • With reference to The New York Times article, information is being spread online that Ukraine allegedly lost up to 20% of its armored vehicles at the beginning of the summer counteroffensive.
  • Russian media, citing Western publications, claim that the President of Ukraine has decided to call up three thousand reserve soldiers of the American army due to significant losses suffered by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • On July 28th in Dnipro, a rocket from the Ukrainian air defense system struck a residential building and the Security Service of Ukraine building, in addition to the Russian Iskander missile.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In the article dated July 15 from The New York Times, which is referred to in the posts, it is noted: “In the first two weeks of Ukraine’s grueling counteroffensive, as much as 20 percent of the weaponry it sent to the battlefield was damaged or destroyed.” Ukrainian and Western politicians and media have repeatedly stated that Ukraine did not deploy all brigades and equipment during the counteroffensive. For example, on June 15, Reuters reported that during the first week of the counteroffensive, only 3 out of 12 assault brigades were deployed. On July 7, the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council reported that 70% of assault brigades and most of the equipment Ukraine received from partners had not yet been deployed in the counteroffensive.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security debunked the fake. The news that propagandists present as entirely serious is a fabrication from the satirical publication “The Babylon Bee.” This website publishes fake news as a response to global events. For example, the satire about Zelenskyi is linked to U.S. President Biden’s executive order allowing the military to call up to three thousand reserve servicemen to reinforce their European forces.
  • There is no basis to claim that the destruction of the residential building and the Security Service of Ukraine building in Dnipro was caused by a missile from the Ukrainian air defense system. On the contrary, according to preliminary information, Russian occupiers launched a missile strike on Dnipro using two “Iskander” missiles – this was reported by the head of the regional military administration, Sergii Lysak.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 17:00 July 30

  • Information is being spread online claiming that according to the results of a survey, 47% of residents of Odesa are against Ukraine’s NATO membership.
  • Russian media, citing an article on Wikipedia, write that Ukraine allegedly knew about the cathedral’s destruction in Odesa even before the Russian missile attack because it had planned the strike itself.
  • Amid the Russia-Africa summit, Russian Telegram channels spread the thesis that Russia has always assisted and supported Africa while the so-called “collective West” has only exploited Africa.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true. In response to the question, “If a referendum on Ukraine’s NATO membership were held today, how would you vote?” only 18% of Odesa residents answered that they are against joining. Meanwhile, 53% of Odesa residents supported Ukraine’s NATO membership. This is the highest approval rate for NATO membership in the city since 2015. For comparison, in 2021, only 28% of Odesa residents would have voted in favor of joining NATO.
  • This is untrue; the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security has debunked this fake. In the editing history, it’s evident that the first edit regarding the strike on the cathedral appeared in the Wikipedia article on July 22 at 22:59 UTC. However, this doesn’t imply that Ukraine was aware of the attack; it’s much simpler. Wikipedia’s change list displays times in UTC, which is currently three hours behind Kyiv time. In reality, information about the attack was added to the article at 01:59 on July 23 — after it was already known where the enemy missiles hit.
  • Since the Cold War, the Soviet Union supported communist movements in Angola, Algeria, and the territory of the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo, thereby slowing their democratic development and contributing to instability on the continent. However, the Soviet Union lacked sufficient information about the history, political systems, and needs of the countries it supported, leading to a weakening of its influence. During the Cold War confrontations, the Soviet Union often backed controversial leaders and dictators, including Bokassa and Gaddafi. In the present day, Russia is engaged in activities such as diamond extraction in Zimbabwe, gold mining in Sudan, and gas extraction in Mozambique, exchanging them for various preferences and “assistance” for these countries — from debt repayment to providing weaponry and military aid. As reported by the Financial Times, Russia lacks the “economic muscle” to directly compete with China or the US in terms of trade and investment in Africa. Therefore, Russia adopts a “spoiler” strategy, enhancing Russian influence by intervening in internal politics. Local instabilities and violent conflicts serve as opportunities for Russia to sell weapons and mercenary services to African armed groups. For instance, the private military company (PMC) “Wagner” provides military support to governments of impoverished countries, in exchange for which it receives concessions for extracting valuable resources (including oil, gold, diamonds, bauxite, lithium, and chrome), allowing Russia to extract wealth from the continent. Currently, Russia supports authoritarian regimes in the Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali, and Libya. This exploitation of Africa’s natural resources does not contribute to its economic development.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 19:00 July 29

  • Russian Telegram channels are spreading the news that NATO wanted to deploy the “Azov” and “Kraken” battalions to suppress protests in France. This information supposedly appeared on the official website of the alliance.
  • A video is gaining popularity on social media, in which the author claims that the government plans to raise the retirement age to 72. In his address, he provides no evidence or facts to support the truthfulness of these statements.
  • During the press conference following the Russia-Africa summit, Putin claimed that Ukraine is supposedly seeking its identity and uniqueness based on neo-Nazism.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is a fake. For the “news,” a fake NATO website was created that completely replicates its official version. The link being spread by Russian propagandists is not valid, even though the official NATO website is operational. The mentioned news is not present on the official NATO site. The site with the fabricated news entirely mimics the official NATO website. However, there is a difference in the domain: the official version uses “nato.int,” while the fake version uses “nato.ws.” “Azov” and “Kraken” are not battalions. “Kraken” is a special unit of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. “Azov” was a battalion only in 2014; currently, it’s a brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine.
  • The fake was debunked by the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council. Currently, no such bills are registered in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). The video’s author resorted to manipulation by using an interview from 2020 with a Ukrainian Member of Parliament in which she discussed the necessity of raising the retirement age, falsely presenting it as something new.
  • This is not true; Ukrainian identity and uniqueness have nothing to do with neo-Nazism. To demonstrate that Ukraine has a problem with Nazism and neo-Nazism, pro-Russian resources referred to manipulative reports about the identification of movements with Nazi ideology in Ukraine. Additionally, to confirm the existence of Nazism, they spread fake news about Nazi symbolism within Ukrainian military or representatives of the military-political leadership of Ukraine. Employing the narrative about manifestations of Nazism in Ukraine helps Russia conceal its own war crimes, such as strikes on civilian infrastructure. Russia has repeatedly claimed that these buildings were actually “Nazi bases.” By using the narrative of Nazism in Ukraine, Russian propagandists also attempt to discredit Western assistance to Ukraine, suggesting that by financing weapon supplies to Ukrainian “military formations,” Europe is not combating Nazism but sponsoring it.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 12:00 July 28

  • A video is circulated online in which a Ukrainian soldier states that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are clearing minefields with their feet. In the post accompanying the video, the authors claim that this supposedly proves that the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is sending elite units into the slaughter without sparing lives.
  • On Facebook, users are massively tagging public pages or sending spam messages to other users with the text: “Look who died in a car accident, I think you know him, so sad…”.
  • The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to destroy the devastated city of Bakhmut, despite the fact that there is no one left in the city.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is manipulation. The post only showed a part of the “Radio Svoboda” story. In the video, the soldiers explained that over a year of full-scale Russian invasion, the Russians conducted extensive mining of the territories. As a result, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have to break through well-fortified enemy defense lines. At the same time, the strong armor of Western equipment protects the soldiers from injuries when hit by projectiles or anti-tank mines.
  • The Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council explains that the purpose of such messages is to prompt users to click on the link in order to gain access to the pages of the owners on social media. Under no circumstances should you click on links of a suspicious nature. If you receive such a message, you should report the post and block the source of its distribution. If you have fallen victim to scammers and lost access to your social media page, contact the cyber police or other relevant authorities.
  • Fighting near Bakhmut is ongoing, so to claim that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are intentionally destroying the city is baseless. Specifically, the report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) at the end of July mentioned that Ukrainian forces were conducting counteroffensive operations on at least 3 segments of the front and advancing near Bakhmut. Around the same time, Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar stated that the Ukrainian Armed Forces continued to advance on the southern flank around Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 13:00 July 27

  • The Polish media “Mysl Polska” has published an article titled “7 Critical Mistakes of Zelenskyi,” where one of the mistakes pointed out by the media is that Zelenskyi allegedly does not accept the peaceful agreements proposed by Russia. Additionally, the publication states that supposedly Zelenskyi lacks understanding of politics and is entirely guided by the instructions of the West, particularly from Washington.
  • Pro-Russian Western expert Scott Ritter has stated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Polish President Andrzej Duda are engaged in negotiations about Ukraine’s accession to Poland.
  • The Russians claim that they have never used cluster munitions against Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • “Mysl Polska” is a pro-Russian Polish media that systematically spreads Kremlin narratives. Accepting Russia’s terms for Ukraine would mean losing sovereignty, permanently surrendering occupied territories, and abandoning the path of civilized development and direction toward the EU and NATO. In essence, under Russia’s peace terms, Ukraine would have to capitulate and return to the orbit of Russian control. Such conditions are unacceptable for Ukraine, as they would in fact result in Ukraine coming under full Russian control.
  • There are no facts indicating any attempts by Poland to annex Ukraine or any of its parts. Every similar assertion from Russian propaganda usually lacks any supporting evidence and is based solely on statements from dubious experts about alleged secret negotiations or agreements (of which no one besides these experts seems to be aware). Scott Ritter is not new to spreading narratives favorable to the Kremlin. He regularly writes for the Russian state-owned English-language media company “Russia Today” and is also a welcomed guest on propagandist Solovyov’s show “Solovyov Live.” He has repeatedly predicted Ukraine’s war defeat and blamed Ukraine and the West for all of Russia’s troubles.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security debunked the fake. According to the analysis by the organization Truth Hounds, the Russians used unconventional indiscriminate weaponry in various cities of Ukraine from the early days of the full-scale war. The most common projectiles hitting the witnesses’ sights during the shelling were multiple rocket launchers BM-30 “Smerch” shells. Additionally, in the report by the international human rights organization Amnesty International dated June 13, it is stated that hundreds of civilians died in Kharkiv as a result of the Russian army’s use of cluster munitions. By the end of March 2022, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, stated that, based on verified information, Russia had used cluster munitions at least 24 times.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on July 26

  • Images are circulating online, allegedly showing the Ukrainian air defense missiles causing numerous destruction to civilian buildings. For example, mention is made of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, attacked on July 23, an apartment building in Zaporizhzhia, hit on March 2, and an apartment building in Dnipro, struck on January 14.
  • Russian Telegram channels are circulating a photo of the book “War and the Bible” that allegedly has the chapter “Why killing Russians is not a sin” on page 67.
  • A recent article by putin about “close” and “strong” partnerships with African countries says that russia allegedly never tried to colonize African countries; on the contrary, it helped them get rid of “colonial oppression.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to believe the Ukrainian air defense caused these destructions. The Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa and a residential building in Dnipro were destroyed by Kh-22 missiles, and a residential building in Zaporizhzhia was hit by the russian S-300.
  • This photo is fake. In the actual book, on page 67, there is a chapter titled “Who will win in the future war.” This fake news is part of a narrative about religious institutions in Ukraine supposedly supporting unjust aggression against russians. However, in reality, the russian orthodox church “blessed” the so-called “SMO,” which is the genocide of Ukrainians.
  • This is manipulation. Russia indeed did not have colonies in African states, but there is documented evidence of attempts to establish them. In 1889, a russian settlement led by explorer Nikolay Ashinov occupied the village of Sagallo in what is now Djibouti, naming it “New Moscow.” However, French forces, who had previously taken control of the Djibouti area, displaced the russian settlement the same year, and the Russian Empire denied any connection with Ashinov. During Africa’s decolonization period in the 1950s and 1960s, the USSR sought to expand its influence on the continent and supported communist movements in Angola, Algeria, and the territory of the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the Soviet Union had poor knowledge of these countries’ history, political systems, and needs, leading to a weakening of its influence.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on July 25

  • Putin wrote an article about “close” and “strong” partnership relations with African countries for the 2nd Russia-Africa summit to be held in St. Petersburg on July 27-28 and for the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum. However, the article contained numerous manipulations and outright lies. For instance, expanding on one of his ideas, putin writes that the EU and the US use the “grain deal” for their own enrichment, and grain is not exported to low-income countries.
  • In other parts of the same article, putin writes that the “grain deal” did not live up to its humanitarian purpose. Neither was the russian condition of the “grain deal” fulfilled, in particular, removing russian grain exports from sanctions.
  • In his article, putin also states that russia seeks to act within the framework of international law and recognizes the UN’s “central coordinating role.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is a lie. According to the United Nations, as of July 25, 57% of the grain was exported to developing countries as part of the export initiative, with China being the leader in importing Ukrainian grain. In his article, putin also refers to UN information, but in reality, he cites data from the World Bank regarding commercial contracts. In addition, Ukraine also supplies grain under the World Food Program. Specifically, 725 thousand tons of food were sent to Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and other countries participating in this program. Thanks to the “grain deal,” global food prices began to decrease after a significant increase caused by russian aggression against Ukraine.
  • This is also a lie. The published text of the “grain deal” states that it will help the UN implement its humanitarian mission. Over the course of a year, Ukrainian grain was supplied to countries participating in the World Food Program. Such a condition was not part of the agreement, and the West did not impose sanctions on the russian food sector.
  • This is also a lie. Only since 2014, russia has violated nearly 400 international agreements, including the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and more. Since 2004, russia has committed systematic war crimes in Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and the Chechen Republic. These crimes include killings, torture, terrorism, deportation or forced displacement, abduction, rape, looting, unlawful imprisonment, illegal airstrikes, and attacks on civilian objects. As a result, Western countries imposed significant sanctions on russian officials twice (in 2014 and 2022), and in April 2022, the UN General Assembly officially suspended russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council. In March 2023, the International Criminal Court judges issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the illegal deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to russia. This warrant applies to all countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute, including African states. In connection with this, russia has already threatened war against South Africa if putin is arrested during his visit to the country.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on July 24

  • The russian and pro-russian Telegram channels disseminate information about a Ukrainian air defense missile destroying the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa on the night of July 23.
  • Russian channels claim that massive attacks on Ukrainian cities could have been avoided had Zelensky not drawn Ukraine into the US war against russia.
  • According to another version, the attacks on Odesa were revenge for the tragedy of May 2, 2014.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In his evening address, Volodymyr Zelensky stated that it was the Kh-22 missile that hit the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa. Investigative community InformNapalm explains that the missiles used by russia to attack Ukraine are inaccurate. Specifically, the Kh-22 missile can have a deviation of 500-600 meters, but during the attacks on Ukraine, the deviation reached up to 2 km. The new Kalibr missiles that russia is currently manufacturing in emergency mode also have a deviation of at least 100-150 meters. UNESCO has condemned the russian missile attack on the historical center of Odesa on the night of July 23 and will send a mission to Odesa in the coming days to conduct a preliminary damage assessment.
  • By attacking Odesa, russia seeks to destroy grain warehouses and the logistical capabilities of grain transportation by sea to other countries. Thus, russia’s goal in these attacks is to exacerbate global hunger and propose russian grain as a replacement for Ukrainian grain, selling it at higher prices. In essence, russia is terrorizing not only Odesa but the entire world. Of course, Zelensky did not involve Ukraine in a war against the US or russia, as it was russia that invaded Ukraine. On the other hand, the US is only acting as a partner to Ukraine, providing weapons and financial aid, but it is not directly or indirectly engaging in a war against russia. Furthermore, the so-called “US war against russia” is a term invented by russian propaganda to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The attacks by russia on Odesa in July 2023 have no connection to the events of May 2014. On May 2, 2014, due to clashes between supporters of Euromaidan and participants of the “Antimaidan” movement, as well as a fire at the Trade Union Building, 48 people were killed, and over 200 were injured. The investigation determined that the mass disturbances in Odesa were organized and deliberately planned. The events in Odesa on May 2, 2014, have been used by the kremlin for nine years to justify the aggression against Ukraine. The main suspects in the May 2, 2014 tragedy in Odesa are the former head of the public security police, Dmytro Fuchedzhi, and the head of the local State Emergency Service, Volodymyr Bodelan. Both fled and are currently hiding in the temporarily occupied Crimea by russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on July 22

  • The authorities of the warring country will now charge for the use of water wells in private homes.
  • Collaborator volodymyr rohov said Ukraine is preparing a terrorist attack on the ZNPP at the end of July.
  • Ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson stated that Poland is allegedly planning to launch an operation against belarus in order to draw NATO into the war.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On July 11, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made amendments to Resolution No. 963 of October 8, 2012, “On Approval of the Procedure for the State Registration of Artesian Wells and the Installation of Devices for Measuring the Volume of Extracted Groundwater.” This resolution, among other things, regulates the installation of meters on wells. However, it does not address the establishment of tariffs or fees for artesian waters. Ukraine’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Ruslan Strilets, explained that this decision aims to provide transparent access to information about artesian wells for the public and businesses while minimizing corruption risks. Water users will be able to enter data about their wells through the E-cabinet of a subsoil user without the need for direct contact or intervention from officials.
  • There are no facts indicating that Ukraine plans a terrorist attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). On the contrary, the statement by rohov emerged after the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine reported that the occupiers were planning further provocations at ZNPP using heavy weaponry. Therefore, russia, through a network of controlled propagandists, is attempting to preemptively shift blame for any potential attack on ZNPP onto Ukraine.
  • There is no basis to believe that Poland plans to enter into war against belarus or russia, thereby dragging NATO into the fight. Poland is indeed increasing its defense capabilities, but it is in response to threats the country perceives from belarus. The so-called “Western expert” Larry Johnson has pro-russian rhetoric and has been known to promote narratives that align with the kremlin’s interests. For instance, he previously appeared on the russian channel Russia Today, where he stated that Ukraine’s refusal to engage in any talks with russia turns the “armed conflict into a war to the last Ukrainian.” In an interview with the YouTube channel Judging Freedom, he also suggested that Zelensky, who accuses russia of aggressiveness, should refrain from using drugs as it negatively impacts his mental abilities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on July 17

  • The Armed Forces of Ukraine allegedly struck Luhansk on the morning of July 16, using long-range cluster munitions. According to another version, the missile attack on Luhansk by the AFU hit a mining warehouse storing explosives used in mining operations.
  • Russian media outlets report that Bulgaria allegedly refused to provide weapons to Ukraine after the visit of Volodymyr Zelensky. Propagandists add that since Ukraine did not receive weapons from Bulgaria, Zelensky went on to “beg” for them in the Czech Republic.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg allegedly stated that Kyiv has problems with the counteroffensive, which has not yielded the expected results. This information is disseminated by the russian mass media citing Stoltenberg’s interview with Politico.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Ukrainian Armed Forces explained that on the morning of July 16, they struck a missile arsenal in the temporarily occupied village of Yuvileine in the Luhansk region.
  • This is manipulation. The President of Bulgaria has limited powers, while the government announced providing military aid to Ukraine. On July 6, 2023, Volodymyr Zelensky visited Bulgaria and met with the country’s President, Rumen Radev. During the negotiations, the Bulgarian President expressed support for Ukraine but did not endorse providing weapons. Radev explained that his primary role is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, ensuring that Bulgaria’s defense capabilities do not weaken. Bulgaria first supplied military aid to Ukraine in December 2022, primarily supplying light weapons and ammunition. On July 14, 2023, the Bulgarian government announced allocating the largest one-time military aid package. This includes providing Ukraine with 100 armored vehicles from the Bulgarian police reserves.
  • The fake news has been debunked by the Center for Strategic Communications. NATO Secretary-General positively assessed the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The words about disappointment in the counteroffensive were fabricated by russian disinformation agents. “The Ukrainians have made progress, but they face fierce fighting… They face tough terrain and dug-in Russian resistance… a lot of pre-prepared defensive lines. So, of course, this has impacted the pace of the progress… Ukrainians continue to push; they continue to make some progress,” Stoltenberg actually said in an interview with Politico.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on July 16

  • Putin stated that russia never used cluster munitions during the war against Ukraine. However, it will engage them if Ukraine uses the cluster munitions handed over by the USA.
  • Allegedly, the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine will provoke a new level of conflict.
  • Russian Telegram channels are circulating an excerpt of a video interview with the alleged former observer of the OSCE monitoring mission, vira vaiiman, in which she talks about trading in children’s organs in Ukraine. According to Vaiiman, the children were allegedly killed by “Nazi battalions,” after which special doctors cut out their organs, placed them in containers, and transported them from Ukraine to Europe under the export code of grain.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true; russia has repeatedly used cluster munitions in the war against Ukraine. For instance, on February 24, 2022, human rights defenders documented a strike by russian forces near a hospital in Vuhledar in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region. On February 28, 2022, russian troops launched rockets with cluster munitions 9M55K Smerch in three districts of Kharkiv, as confirmed by Human Rights Watch. Each of these rockets typically contains 72 submunitions 9N235. As a result of these strikes on the city, nine civilians were killed, and 37 others were injured, according to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A video shared on Twitter by Amnesty International shows the shelling of Kharkiv on February 28. The rockets fired on the city contained numerous submunitions.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications explains that propagandists criticize the decision of the United States to provide cluster munitions to the Ukrainian Armed Forces while appealing to “international conventions” that they themselves do not adhere to.
  • The Center for Countering Disinformation explains that this individual is not associated with the OSCE, and their real name is vira nikulina. She is originally from vladivostok, russia, holds a russian order of courage, and is connected to putin’s party, “united russia.” Additionally, she has visited the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, including Crimea and Donetsk.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on July 15

  • Before the offensive, the Ukrainian military allegedly drive russian captives forward for territory “demining.” As supporting evidence, propagandists are disseminating a video interview of a russian soldier who “escaped” from Ukrainian captivity.
  • It was the Anglo-Saxons and the collective West who turned Ukrainians against all russian speakers.
  • During the air raid on the night of the 12th to the 13th of July, a residential building located in the Darnytskyi district of Kyiv was hit by Ukrainian air defense.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Center for Countering Disinformation explains that this is another fake news from russian propaganda aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Every russian military personnel released as part of the exchange says what russian propaganda demands of them, making such enemy information campaigns quite popular and primitive. Unlike russia, Ukraine adheres to the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners of war and operates within the framework of international law, as repeatedly confirmed by international missions and organizations.
  • The West has never encouraged or incited Ukrainians against russian speakers. The decision of Ukrainians to switch to the Ukrainian language is connected with their realization of their own identity, while russia attempts to deprive us of this identity. Additionally, Ukrainians do not wish to communicate in the language of a country acting as a terrorist and occupier.
  • According to reports from the Kyiv City Military Administration, the building was damaged due to the debris from the russian UAV Shahed-136/131, which led to two people sustaining shrapnel injuries. The Center for Countering Disinformation explains that in this way, the kremlin is attempting to absolve itself of responsibility for yet another act of terrorism against the civilian population of Ukraine and disseminate a narrative that the russian armed forces do not harm civilians.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on July 14

  • Ukraine calls on NATO to carry out a “preemptive nuclear strike” on russia. Such a message was disseminated by russian Telegram channels on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
  • Based on the Summit’s results, many media outlets stated that nobody in NATO expects Ukraine to join this Alliance.
  • Zelensky’s participation in the NATO Summit means Ukraine was begging for NATO membership.

Now the TRUTH:

  • President Zelensky did not request anyone to launch a preemptive strike on russia, as propagandists claim. Instead, russia is blackmailing the entire world with its nuclear weapons. Putin and other representatives of the russian government have repeatedly threatened atomic strikes.
  • Last year, Ukraine applied for an accelerated entry into NATO. The Alliance has currently agreed to cancel the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine – a program of actions for candidates. Previously, Finland and Sweden received NATO invitations without a MAP. Therefore, the Ukrainian authorities insisted on canceling the MAP for Ukraine. Moreover, formally, Ukraine’s accession to NATO is already supported by at least 23 Alliance members.
  •  Ukraine cannot beg for NATO membership. Ukraine’s entry into the Alliance will only be possible when it fulfills the necessary package of requirements and reforms. Moreover, President Zelensky’s participation in the NATO Summit precisely confirms the Alliance’s readiness to cooperate with Ukraine even when we are only on the path to membership.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on July 13

  • During the NATO Summit in Vilnius, propagandists spread old and new myths about NATO and its influence on Ukraine’s war with russia. In particular, they talked again about NATO already placing bases in Ukraine.
  • Fake news was also circulated about NATO allegedly fighting russia “with the hands of Ukrainians.”
  • In addition, they circulate the myth that NATO allegedly promised russia not to expand its presence to the East.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Constitution prohibits the placement of foreign military bases on the territory of Ukraine. NATO has been cooperating with Ukraine since the 1990s, especially after the russian aggression in 2014. Ukraine built new military bases in the East in 2020-2021 in line with NATO standards. However, NATO is not involved in these bases’ construction; it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
  • Russia is trying to create an illusion of a formidable enemy in the form of NATO, but it is solely responsible for the war in Ukraine. The Alliance is not expanding its borders to Ukraine or sending its troops to the Ukrainian front. At the same time, NATO supports Ukraine by providing it with weapons, as the security of the entire democratic world depends on Ukraine’s victory.In reality, NATO had no legal obligations to russia regarding non-expansion in Eastern Europe. The “open door” policy of NATO has remained unchanged throughout the entire period of the organization’s existence.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on July 12

  • Information about a Ukrainian service member is being circulated online, quoted as allegedly saying that after the liberation of Crimea, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are planning to carry out a genocide of the local population: “These are socially dangerous people for the Ukrainian state in Crimea. Pack up your suitcase, off to a train station, and then to Russia! I think a lot will head for the mainland of Russia. This will make the situation a little easier for us in working with the civilian population.”
  • “Opening up the borders for Ukrainian refugees was a fatal mistake. It’s like lifting the gate leading to hell, with demons coming out of it: The Polish magazine Niezalezny Dziennik Polityczny writes that Ukrainian refugees were paid to participate in mass riots in France.
  • Enlistment offices are now “packing up” men at parking lots near their houses. Ukrainian service members surrender to russians en masse. The praised offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has only led to enormous losses within their ranks and their “Western masters'” outrage.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The serviceman’s words are taken out of context. When asked by the interviewer what to do with those Crimeans who burned their Ukrainian passports and now possess russian ones, Ruliak responded: “deportation.” He acknowledged such individuals as socially dangerous but did not suggest killing or annihilating people with russian passports. Regarding Crimeans in general, the soldier responded that he treats them in a normal way, and when asked if something needs to be done with them, he answered: “nothing.”
  • The publication Niezalezny Dziennik Polityczny regularly spreads russian narratives, as it does in this case. This headline is emotional and fails to explain the problem with Ukrainian refugees in Europe. Russia consistently demonizes Ukrainian refugees to convince Europeans to refuse assistance to Ukrainians. Typically, russian propaganda generalizes the image of Ukrainian refugees as a nuisance to Europe, even though there is usually a lack of objective facts to support such claims.
  • Pro-russian resources regularly disseminate photos and videos that supposedly illustrate lawlessness by military authorities. However, it is often unknown with certainty what is happening in these photos and videos since all we see are men in military uniforms, some in civilian attire, and possibly police officers. Russia extrapolates the desired conclusions from these images to advance Kremlin narratives. The purpose of such reports is to discredit the Ukrainian army and its leadership to turn Ukrainians against supporting the AFU.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on July 11

  • Russian media are spreading the words of Oleh Soskin, former advisor to ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. He allegedly talks about the “usurpation” of power by Zelensky since he expends martial law and is unwilling to conduct elections.
  • Belarusian president Oleksandr Lukashenka said belarus might join the war if Poland enters the West of Ukraine.
  • With unprecedented corruption in Ukraine despite the long list of anticorruption bodies, the authorities have decided to combat Ukrainians and control all of their spending and income. Starting from August 1, to replenish a payment card via a terminal, it will be necessary to enter one’s phone number.

Now the TRUTH:

  • According to Ukrainian legislation, elections within the territory of Ukraine are prohibited during martial law. According to Article 83 of the Constitution of Ukraine, if the term of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (VRU) expires during martial law or emergency, it continues to function until the newly elected Verkhovna Rada begins its work after the end of martial law or emergency. Decisions on the elections to the VRU are made within 90 days of martial law’s end. After that, Parliament appoints presidential elections in accordance with the Law “On Presidential Elections in Ukraine.” According to Article 19 of the Law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,” elections for the President of Ukraine, local self-government bodies, and amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine are also prohibited during martial law. Volodymyr Zelensky does not independently extend martial law. A law is submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine proposing the approval of the Decree of the President of Ukraine, “On the Extension of the Period of Martial Law in Ukraine.” If it were not for the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, there would be no need to implement martial law or postpone elections.
  • This statement is absurd for at least two reasons. Firstly, Belarus has already been involved in the war since it allowed the presence of russian military forces on its territory. As a result, missile strikes from Belarusian territory have been carried out against Ukraine, facilitating Russia’s invasion of northern Ukraine. Secondly, Poland has no intentions of invading western Ukraine. This is a complete fabrication of russian propaganda as another attempt to justify aggression against Ukraine by claiming that the West is involved in the war.
  • The new initiative by the National Bank of Ukraine is not related to controlling the income and expenses of Ukrainians. It aims to increase control over service providers involved in cash transactions and card top-ups. Additionally, the new measure will not apply to various transactions such as payment for public transportation, railway tickets, utility bills, or fines.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on July 10

  • Information is being circulated online about all prices going down after the earthquake in Turkey in February of this year, while the authorities steal from people during wartime in Ukraine.
  • During this quarter, Ukrainians have felt the IMF’s care on their own skin: energy and water supply fees have gone up, a 20% excise on fuel is being introduced, social payments are being reduced, cannabis is being legalized, all enterprises are to become joint-stock companies (which means privatization a la the 90s), with taxes and inspections restored.
  • British intelligence Mi-6 has allegedly reported that China and russia have been working on developing space nuclear weapons.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In the months following the disaster, Turkish media repeatedly reported on price hikes for essential goods and housing. The statement from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara also mentioned that some bus companies took advantage of the situation and increased ticket prices by 2-3 times. The Office of the Chief Prosecutor in Ankara launched an investigation into such incidents. Even in June 2023, real estate prices in cities hosting people from affected regions remained inflated.
  • These statements inaccurately and manipulatively portray the content of reforms that Ukraine is implementing to receive funding from the IMF. The IMF expects Ukraine to undertake reforms to reduce the budget deficit and combat corruption. Tax reform may be part of the steps to reduce the budget deficit, but tariff increases on electricity or the legalization of cannabis are not IMF requirements for Ukraine. As for other claims, for example, the privatization of state-owned enterprises is not synonymous with privatization in the 1990s. Privatization is aimed at divesting the state of assets that are draining funds from the budget and are non-profitable due to the state’s ineffective management. At the same time, private owners may be more efficient in managing them. Social payments in Ukraine are being optimized to ensure that assistance is provided to those who genuinely need it rather than being available to everyone indiscriminately.
  • This news was published in the Daily Star, which is essentially a tabloid press that regularly publishes fake news. This particular piece is also fake because there is no evidence of the development of such a weapon. British intelligence has also not made any reports regarding the development of so-called space nuclear weapons by China or russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on July 9

  • Russian Telegram channels are disseminating a picture of military personnel wearing protective masks and white uniforms, claiming the photos were taken at Poland’s border. According to the post, such innovations were introduced after higher radiation levels in the West of Ukraine.
  • Another version of why Ukraine needed a terrorist act at the ZNPP is that it had to conceal its frontline losses and divert the public’s attention.
  • Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian publication, published an article by Elena Basile: “If Ukraine had statesmen who cared about the destiny of their country, it would not be what it is today: a bankrupt country, artificially supported by the West, with destroyed cities and infrastructure that has sent 250,000 very young people to their deaths and is about to kill others, obeying the will of NATO. <…> The ruling elites of the USA and Europe sacrifice children, youth, women, and other citizens, pretending to encourage the pursuit of freedom.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The photo was taken during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 at the border crossing between Poland and Germany. The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Communication Department explained that military personnel at the border do not carry out checks in white suits. Anna Michalska, the spokesperson for the Polish Border Guard, also confirmed that there are no military personnel in protective masks and uniforms at the border.
  • The terrorist attack at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was planned by Russia. According to reports from the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), russia placed explosive devices on the roof of the ZNPP. Russia itself would have been interested in the terrorist attack to cause irreparable damage to the Ukrainian economy, military, and civilians living in the country’s southern regions. Furthermore, the consequences of the terrorist attack at the ZNPP could have been significant for Ukraine and Europe as a whole.
  • This article repeats the narratives of Kremlin propaganda and justifies russia’s invasion. Ukraine has suffered not from the actions of the West or cooperation with the EU, USA, or NATO but solely from russian aggression. Moreover, Ukraine is not bankrupt as it has not declared a default. However, Ukraine is indeed heavily reliant on assistance from the West. Again, it is due to russia’s attack, daily attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, and the exhaustion of our economy. The author, Elena Basile, regularly promotes Kremlin narratives aimed at discrediting Ukraine, as the Center for Countering Disinformation explains. Specifically, Basile accuses the Ukrainian government of exploiting its people and refers to Ukraine as an “undemocratic state” where dissent is supposedly “suppressed.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on July 8

  • On July 6, a residential building in Lviv was destroyed due to the work of Ukrainian air defense systems. If Ukraine did not try to shoot down the missiles, only military facilities or critical infrastructure would be damaged.
  • Russia has been spreading rumors of Ukraine “reselling” weapons the West supplied since the beginning. This time, propaganda outlets claim, the protesters in France reportedly used weapons previously delivered to the AFU. An article screenshot is provided as evidence.
  • Information is being circulated online about Azov Brigade service members’ relatives allegedly rallying in Kyiv on July 1 and demanding that the number of cemeteries be increased in Ukraine. The authors supposedly cite one of the organizers, Vira Lytvynenko, as saying: “The lack of places at cemeteries is becoming a nationwide problem pushing people to organize rallies. Why not allocate proper land plots for burying those who have sacrificed the dearest and given their lives for our country?”

Now the TRUTH:

  • During the night of July 6, russia attacked Lviv with Kalibr missiles. As a result of the attack, ten people were killed, and around 40 others were injured. There is no basis to believe that the work of Ukrainian air defense systems caused the destruction of the building. After such attacks, russian sources often claim that any civilian casualties result from Ukrainian air defense systems. Additionally, there is no sense in not shooting down russian missiles. Russian attacks are aimed at destroying Ukrainian cities, so Ukraine must defend itself against them.
  • Such reports are unfounded. Propagandists refer to a non-existent article, the photo of which was circulated by russian sources. A reverse image search on Google Images revealed that the picture of the weapon was initially shared by a russian publication in 2012, taken during a shooting competition in russia. Most likely, propagandists used this photo to further discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There is no mention of alleged Ukrainian weapons at protests in French or other foreign media.
  • That is not true. Relatives of the military personnel did not demand an increase in the number of cemeteries; they requested the establishment of a National Military Cemetery in Kyiv, whose construction was approved by the Verkhovna Rada in 2022. In particular, the head of the NGO Heart Outside for the families of fallen Ukrainian defenders, Vira Lytvynenko, insisted on the speedy construction of the National Military Cemetery, installation of video surveillance cameras there, arrangement of graves by military units, and inclusion of visits to the cemetery in the itinerary of foreign delegations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on July 7

  • Information about Great Britain giving Ukraine fighter jets equipped with crews is being circulated online. This is accounted for by the fact that training Ukrainian pilots would take many months, which Ukraine reportedly cannot do due to a challenging situation on the front lines. The editor-in-chief of the Avia.ru portal, Roman Gusarov, stated this.
  • Russian Telegram channels disseminated the version of the multi-story residential building in the Dniprovskyi district of Kyiv, which exploded on June 22, being hit by the Ukrainian air defense systems during the night air-raid alert. On June 24, a house in the Solomianskyi district of Kyiv was also hit by an air defense projectile.
  • On the internet, there is information about Ukrainian authorities preparing to surrender Sumy and Kharkiv. News of the alleged mass evacuation of enterprises from these cities is cited as proof.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian propaganda outlets spread such fake news to falsely prove the direct involvement of the West in the war. However, this is not true. On February 8, 2023, Rishi Sunak announced that British military personnel would train Ukrainian pilots on fighter jets. At the time, the UK government did not specify which exact aircraft the Ukrainian pilots would be trained on, but it is known that the country possesses F-35 and Typhoon fighters. On May 15, 2023, the UK government stated that the training of Ukrainian pilots would commence in the summer. Specifically, the government announced, “This training goes hand in hand with UK efforts to work with other countries on providing F16 jets – Ukraine’s fighter jets of choice.”
  • When russia strikes civilian targets such as schools, kindergartens, residential buildings, and hospitals, they claim that Ukraine is shelling itself or it is due to failed air defense systems. The purpose of russia’s statements is to falsely portray that Russia does not harm civilians and is only fighting against the Ukrainian government and military, suggesting that the danger to Ukrainians comes solely from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is not true. Russia regularly targets civilian buildings in Ukraine intentionally. In the case of the explosion in a high-rise building in the Dniprovskyi district of Kyiv on June 22, propagandists completely lied – a gas explosion in the building caused the blast.
  • There is no objective basis to believe that Sumy and Kharkiv are preparing to surrender. The authorities, industry, and population of these cities remain in place. There have been no official reports of evacuation, only dissemination by russian propaganda outlets. The likely purpose of such information is to intimidate residents of border cities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on July 6

  • The events around the so-called Prigozhin and his PMC Wagner’s uprising have had no impact on Russia’s position in the world or the russian authorities’ position within Russia.
  • Several new versions of Ukraine preparing a terrorist act at the ZNPP emerged online. According to them, the AFU has to drop a bomb stuffed with radioactive substances from a plane or launch a Tochka-U missile carrying the same radioactive projectile. The radioactive waste used in the shell was reportedly taken from the South Ukraine NPP several days before.
  • General mobilization will be allegedly announced in Kyiv. It was earlier reported in the Chernihiv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, explained that the failed coup attempt by Prigozhin vividly demonstrated the unpreparedness of Russian security forces and officials of various ranks to publicly defend putin’s regime. The Institute for the Study of War highlights that the uprising revealed the weakness of Russian security structures and demonstrated Putin’s inability to timely utilize his forces to repel internal threats, further undermining his monopoly on power.
  • These are yet another set of versions propagated by russian propaganda, which may only indicate potential plans of the enemy. Russia intends to sabotage the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), as repeatedly emphasized by intelligence reports and the President of Ukraine. Russia’s goal is to lay the groundwork for accusing Ukraine of a terrorist attack when it occurs. It is crucial to remember that ZNPP has been under occupation since March 2022. Russia has consistently shelled the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and deployed weapons and equipment on its premises. Nuclear blackmail and terrorism are methods employed by Russia that pose a threat not only to Ukraine but to the entire world.
  • This statement is not even logical because general mobilization in Ukraine was declared on February 24, 2022. Periodically, announcements may appear in cities in Ukraine requesting men of draft age to appear at the military enlistment office to update their registration data. However, this is not an indication of increased mobilization but simply a reminder of the obligation during martial law.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 30

  • A commentary for the russian publication RIA Novosti by Pavlos Christu, a retired LieutenantGeneral of Greece’s Air Force, is being circulated online, in which he allegedly stated that the Ukrainian authorities had committed a war crime by transferring war into cities.
  • Russian Telegram channels and mass media are disseminating a photo of an article in Politico claiming that 20 million Ukrainian lives are required to return all occupied territories to Ukraine. It would take 16 years to win back the occupied areas on condition that Russian troops refrain from counterattacking.
  • Information about Chinese leader Xi Jinping is being circulated online as saying: “Stop blaming China. China is not helping russia, but if it decides to do so, God won’t help you. The entire world is helping Ukraine. But if we see a threat of a third world war, we’ll assist russia. For the time being, relax and observe how Russia alone is beating more than 50 world countries.

Now the TRUTH:

  • These statements are untrue. Russia has been committing war crimes since 2014, shelling peaceful cities and terrorizing civilians. Following the start of the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian authorities have been organizing evacuations from the frontline territories on an ongoing basis. Pavlos Christou is the Secretary-General of the Greek-russian Association and the President of the Greek Association of Friends of Crimea. He visited the occupied peninsula in 2019, advocated against supplying weapons to Ukraine, and supported lifting sanctions against russia. Russian media often quote the ex-military’s statements.
  • The screenshot was indeed fabricated. The media published no such article. Additionally, Politico does not have a section called “Research,” and there are errors in the text. The term “counter-offence” was used instead of “counteroffensive,” which is the correct variant in English. There are also errors in the mentioned amount of liberated territories (50 square kilometers). According to the latest information from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, as of June 26, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already liberated 130 square kilometers during the summer offensive. The UK Minister of Defense, Ben Wallace, stated in Parliament on June 26 that the figure was even higher at 300 square kilometers. The fake news also mentions the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces casualties during the summer offensive as 16,000. However, Ukrainian or Western government authorities, media outlets, and analytical centers have not reported such losses.
  • This is fake. The quote is fabricated, and Xi Jinping did not make such statements. A search query using keywords about the support of russia by the Chinese President yielded no results. There have been no mentions of russia and a third world war by Xi Jinping. No reputable media outlets have reported on such statements. It should be noted that China avoids referring to the russian-Ukrainian war as a war and instead uses the term “Ukrainian crisis.” While Xi Jinping visited moscow for meetings with putin, he has not mentioned supporting Russia in the event of a third world war.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 28

  • Zelensky is allegedly preparing pregnant women for mobilization. For this, a special uniform has even been designed.
  • There is supposedly a lack of skilled workers in the Volyn and Kharkiv regions. They are even sounding the alarm because of it, with respective publications emerging in local media. This is because all specialists have either been mobilized for the counteroffensive or gone abroad.
  • There has been widespread dissemination of information about the consequences of striking the center of Kyiv with tactical nuclear weapons to prevent Kyiv residents from protesting against removing the city mayor Volodymyr Klitschko from power.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In reality, women are not being prepared for mobilization. Propagandists used a story from TSN (Television Service of News) and a news article from UNIAN about military uniforms for female servicemembers to create this fake. The TSN story was about the social initiative “ArmWomenNow,” which has provided free uniforms to women on the front lines for a year. The new uniform set also includes attire for pregnant female servicemembers. However, this does not indicate the preparation of women for mobilization. Women can choose to enlist in the military voluntarily.
  • Similar news is not a signal that an alarm is being raised in the regions due to a shortage of specialists. Such news would appear in local media even before the start of the full-scale invasion. Typically, these announcements mention vacancies for skilled workers.
  • First of all, such publications were not spread by official government channels but rather by anonymous local Kyiv-based media, which most likely did it to gain more views and, consequently, increase the audience of their Telegram channels amidst panic and fear. The threat of Russia using nuclear weapons will persist as long as they possess them. However, recent reports were primarily related to the risk of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant being mined rather than the use of strategic nuclear weapons. The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Russia had planted mines at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 22

  • Russian propaganda outlets widely report about the AFU preparing provocations at the ZNPP if they manage to get to it.
  • According to other versions, Ukraine can arrange a catastrophe at the ZNPP as grounds for peace negotiations or vice versa – to ask its Western partners for more weapons.
  • Smuggled NLAW anti-tank weapons were allegedly spotted at the Israeli border, allegedly passed to Palestinians by the AFU. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supposedly stated this.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are no objective grounds to believe that Ukraine is preparing provocations after regaining control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. According to the Main Intelligence Directorate, russia has replaced personnel at the plant and is prepared to carry out a terrorist attack there. The GUR specifically reported that employees of Rosatom have already started leaving the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant territory, as they were instructed to depart from the station by July 5.
  • russia is distorting the causes and consequences of Ukraine’s actions. Ukraine has no intention of orchestrating a terrorist attack at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to push for peaceful negotiations or acquire weapons. On the contrary, Ukraine is calling on the international community to prevent a technogenic nuclear catastrophe seeking diplomatic measures and additional weaponry to enhance the defense and security of our country.
  • russian propaganda distorted the quote by Benjamin Netanyahu. In the original article for The Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that one of the reasons for not providing Ukraine with weapons is the concern that they could become trophies for the russians on the battlefield and later be transferred into the hands of Iran, which would seek to use these weapons against Israel itself. Thus, the reference was specifically made to russian forces smuggling weapons and trophy weapons rather than weapons received from the West or the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 21

  • russian media and Telegram channels are disseminating a photo of Olena Zelenska’s Israeli passport that she allegedly obtained while visiting this country.
  • russian channels cite the Telegram channel “Heroes. The 35th AFU Brigade” to write about the AFU calling for exterminating everyone on the occupied territories since any resident might be a traitor there. This channel’s messages allegedly confirm the AFU’s intentions.
  • russian Telegram channels are circulating a photo of damaged shells allegedly used by Ukraine. Using them might damage the AFU’s military equipment.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The document presented by russian propaganda as Olena Zelenska’s Israeli passport contains an error related to the date of issue and expiration. The date of issue is stated as 19/06/2023, while the date of expiration is listed as 18/06/2023. This is contradictory because issuing a passport after its expiration is impossible.
  • The 35th Separate Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has an official Facebook and Instagram page. There is also a Telegram channel called “35th Separate Marine Brigade.” However, according to the brigade’s representatives on Facebook, the military unit does not have an official presence on that messaging platform. In September 2022, the brigade’s press service announced that the channel “ Heroes. 35th Brigade of the AFU” is not affiliated with the unit and spreads disinformation.
  • Actually, these photos were previously used by Ukrainian media. From their articles, we identified the State Special Transport Service as the source of these photos. On June 19, 2023, the State Special Transport Service reported they had found a russian ammunition depot of various calibers in one of the settlements in the Kharkiv region. The sappers of the State Special Transport Service conducted sorting of the ammunition: serviceable shells were handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, while damaged ones were safely neutralized.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on June 19

  • At the beginning of June, a statement was circulated online which the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, allegedly made on June 1, 2023: “The occupiers are celebrating today because we haven’t kept our word of entering Crimea by the end of spring. But there’s such a thing as a psychological counteroffensive — to make the enemy believe in inevitable defeat. I think we’ve succeeded in this completely. Psychologically speaking, we took Crimea.
  • Information is also being circulated online about the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, falling into a coma after being injured and dying without coming to. This was allegedly reported by the German publication Stern.
  • Russian media are disseminating a photo of a banner allegedly saying, “This is not our war” in the Polish city of Czestochowa.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is a fabricated news story published in a satirical Telegram channel. The “news” was first published on May 31, 2023, in the Telegram channel “Here’s my Yandex wallet. The channel’s description indicates it is “a parody and satire of political reality, featuring only verified fake news.”
  • There is no such publication in Stern, and representatives of the magazine have stated that it does not exist and never existed. According to journalists from Stern, “This story is nothing more than an outright fake, another false news from Russian propagandists.” The last material about Budanov in Stern was published on February 28, 2023, which featured the opinion of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine regarding China’s supply of weapons to moscow.
  • The images were edited, and such a banner never existed in Poland. Russia uses these types of fakes to sow hostile sentiments among Ukrainians and Poles. However, it is primarily pro-Russian forces that spread anti-Ukrainian sentiments in Poland. For example, in February 2023, representatives of the Polish Anti-War Movement in the city of Gliwice, accused of fueling Russian propaganda, put up two billboards calling for an end to support for Ukraine. However, a few days later, unknown individuals defaced the messages on the anti-Ukrainian billboards.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 16

  • Since June 1, 2023, the news has been circulated online about Maia Sandu stating being ready to allow the AFU to enter Moldova’s territory to remove the Russian threat. The President of Moldova supposedly said, “If the Ukrainian army needs it, we are ready to allow it to enter our territory to sort things out with warehouses, weapons, and personnel. It’s a gesture of alliance.”
  • russian telegram channels are disseminating a photo of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s meeting in Moldova. The propaganda outlets claim that a personal bomb shelter was built for the President of Ukraine in Moldova, with the negotiation being held underground.
  • russian media and Telegram channels are disseminating information about Ukraine’s Embassy in Tallinn, allegedly informing Ukrainians about their duty to join the Estonian army. If a Ukrainian refuses, he can be deported back to Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is a fabricated news story, and Maia Sandu did not make such statements. The earliest mention of this news that we could find was a post published on June 1 at 13:30 on the Telegram channel “The Empire is Very Evil.” The channel’s author often publishes fictional satirical news. The channel description states: “Caution, possible fake and harsh satire. The content is a work of fiction, and any coincidences are accidental. On June 2, in another post, the author confirmed that the story was entirely fabricated. The news appeared during the European Political Community Summit in Moldova. However, neither during nor before the summit did Maia Sandu make such statements. On June 1, the Office of the President of the Republic of Moldova refuted the fake news. On the same day, Volodymyr Zelensky announced that no official request for assistance in resolving the Transnistria issue had been received from Moldova.
  • This photo with Volodymyr Zelensky was taken during his visit to Moldova on June 1, 2023. The President of Ukraine participated in the European Political Community Summit. Specifically, he attended the second session of the European Political Community, where the heads of 45 states and governments participated. On the website of the European Council, you can see a general photo of the leaders who attended the summit. The meeting occurred at the Mimi castle, an old winery near Chisinau. Therefore, it is most likely that Volodymyr Zelensky’s engagement with the leaders took place in one of the castle’s rooms. The claim that the negotiations took place underground is false. In the photo circulated by propagandists, you can see natural light falling on the walls. Other images also show windows in the room. By spreading messages about a personal bomb shelter, propaganda outlets are once again attempting to discredit the President of Ukraine.
  • The Embassy of Ukraine in Estonia has refuted the information about mobilization. Moreover, according to the law of Estonia, “On National Defense,” foreigners are exempt from the obligation to join the military.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 15

  • Russian Telegram channels are circulating a photo of the CIA Memorial Wall. According to the propaganda outlets, the wall currently has 140 stars with the names of this agency’s employees. The last one was allegedly added after an attack against the MoD’s GUR Headquarters in Kyiv.
  • Russian defense ministry announced on May 30, 2023, the attack on the “decision-making centers,” preparing strikes on Russian territory.
  • Information about the EU providing monetary assistance and accommodation to all refugees from Ukraine because of the russians’ blowing up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) is being circulated online. The authors provide links to Telegram channels supposedly containing step-by-step instructions on receiving assistance in eight European countries: Romania, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Italy, and Austria.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The new 140th star on the CIA Memorial Wall appeared on May 23, 2023, a week before the alleged attack by Russian missiles on the Ukrainian MoD building. On May 23, 2023, the CIA held its annual memorial ceremony, during which a new star was added in honor of John Evans. He was a doctor who died in an aviation accident in Southeast Asia in 1969, not in Ukraine.
  • On May 31, the Ukrainian MoD’s Main Intelligence Directorate spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, called Putin’s statements about strikes on the GUR headquarters fake. He responded, “We don’t comment on the fake news of military criminals and old lunatics. Everything is fine, and GUR continues to effectively destroy the Ruscists.” As evidence of the alleged strike on the GUR headquarters, the Russians posted a video of a missile supposedly hitting Rybalskyi Island, where the military intelligence building is located. They also released photos showing alleged traces of missile impact and subsequent fire. Apart from this “evidence” and claims of damage to the Ukrainian MoD’s GUR headquarters, no other images or videos would show the building’s deterioration.
  • This is fake. EU leaders did not make such statements. Similar posts are created and widely circulated on social media platforms to increase the number of subscribers to anonymous Telegram channels. Typically, these channels later spread unreliable and unverified information, so it is advisable to avoid subscribing to them.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on June 14

  • On the night of June 9, a residential building in Odesa was reportedly hit by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile.
  • A video is circulating online, purportedly showing Zelensky’s motorcade maneuvering between residential buildings, allegedly as a measure to shield themselves from russian missiles.
  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces are trying to break through to the nuclear power plant in order to cause a nuclear disaster.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Whenever russia commits a war crime, particularly by targeting civilian buildings with missiles or drones, propaganda channels often attribute the blame to Ukrainian air defense. However, russian propaganda fails to provide any credible evidence to support these claims, relying instead on peremptory statements or inconclusive videos that make it impossible to determine the actual source of the attack. According to the Operational Command South, fragments of a russian drone struck a high-rise building in Odesa on June 9, causing damage to educational institutions and resulting in three deaths and 26 injuries.
  • Firstly, the video footage does not provide conclusive evidence to determine whether it was indeed Zelensky’s movement. Secondly, the fact that Zelensky is seen moving around the city during the day does not automatically imply he is seeking shelter from rockets within residential buildings. It is important to note that Russian missiles and drones have repeatedly targeted civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and residential buildings, regardless of Zelensky’s movements.
  • No specific details regarding the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces have been disclosed, making it uncertain if their objective is to break through to the ZNPP. However, claims about Ukraine attempting to cause a nuclear catastrophe are baseless. It is important to note that in the event of nuclear contamination, the primary victims would be Ukrainians and Ukrainian territory, not just the russian army in the temporarily occupied areas. Ukraine maintains a nuclear-free status and does not violate it in any manner. Conversely, russia consistently issues threats regarding the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons, including plans for their deployment in Belarus.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 13

  • New versions of what caused the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) have started to emerge online. Russian Telegram channels are now suggesting that while the dam may have collapsed due to natural causes, it was triggered by HIMARS strikes on the HPP.
  • Pro-Russian Telegram channels are spreading another version, suggesting that the supposed flooding of the Kherson region was intended to compel the Russian army to vacate their current positions in the area. This strategy would enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to launch a counteroffensive once the water receded, aiming to strike before the enemy could establish a new line of defense
  • According to certain claims, further evidence of the potential involvement of Ukrainian authorities in the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP is the reported mass release of water by the Dnipro HPP, supposedly ordered by the President’s Office.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On February 24, 2022, russian troops seized the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), holding the staff hostage and deliberately destroying structures of the North Crimean Canal. They repurposed the station as a military facility and intentionally discharged water from the reservoir. The gradual decrease in water levels has resulted in restricted access to drinking water and the failure of the cooling system at the ZNPP. As the russians retreated in the autumn of 2022, they booby-trapped the station and also caused destruction to specific sections of the dam and locks. Presently, no evidence suggests that the dam collapsed due to natural causes or systematic shelling by the Armed Forces. The international community also recognizes the act of blowing up the Kakhovka HPP as a war crime committed by the russian federation.
  • Russian propaganda has generated numerous versions of the events at the Kakhovka HPP, all of which conveniently omit russia’s indirect involvement in undermining the dam. However, there is no valid reason to assert that the Ukrainian authorities or the Ukrainian Armed Forces were responsible for destroying the Kakhovka HPP. It is important to note that the dam has been under occupation by the russian federation since the start of the full-scale invasion, and it has been mined over the past year by russian forces.
  • There are no official reports confirming that the authorities initiated the release of water from the Dnipro HPP shortly before the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP. The most recent notification regarding water discharge from the Dnipro HPP was May 17. Local media in Zaporizhzhia reported that the dam’s water would be drained that day. According to the Zaporizhzhia RMA, the draining of water was a planned technological procedure, as the reservoirs had reached their capacity, and it was necessary to release the required amount of water.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 12

  • In a recent video on Twitter, former American TV host Tucker Carlson said: “The Kakhovka Dam was effectively russian. It was built by the russian government. It currently sits in russian-controlled territory. The dam’s reservoir supplies water to Crimea, which has been for the last 240 years home of the russian Black Sea fleet. Blowing up the dam may be bad for Ukraine, but it hurts russia more. And for precisely that reason, the Ukrainian government has considered destroying it.
  • In the same video, Tucker Carlson said: “The media lie, they do, but mostly they just ignore the stories that matter. What’s happened to the hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars we’ve sent to Ukraine? No clue.”
  • Talking about supporting Ukraine, Tucker Carlson said: “See, it’s very easy to understand. It is vitally important for you to support Ukraine because it’s necessary for Ukraine to be supported by you. Your support is mandatory until it’s finished, whatever it is and whatever that means. So shut up and support Ukraine, or else you’re in trouble.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • The dam’s destruction has had catastrophic consequences for the Ukrainian side. Approximately 600 square kilometers in the Kherson region have been flooded as a result of the explosion at the Kakhovka HPP. The average level of flooding has reached 5.6 meters, leading to the evacuation of nearly 2,412 people. Currently, 32 settlements have been flooded, affecting at least 16,000 people in the critical zone. The detonation of the engine room from within has resulted in the complete destruction of the Kakhovka HPP, rendering it irreparable. The estimated cost of constructing a new hydroelectric power station ranges from $800 million to $1 billion. The fishing industry has suffered losses of approximately UAH 4 billion due to the death of adult fish, and the loss of all biological resources amounts to UAH 10.5 billion. The destruction of the dam also poses a risk of creating a desert-like situation in the south of Ukraine. Additionally, it has caused problems with the drinking water supply for settlements and left 94% of irrigation systems in the Kherson region and 74% and 30% in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions, respectively, without a water source.
  • During various periods, US representatives have conducted multiple inspections to verify the appropriate use of military aid in Ukraine. These inspections consistently found no evidence of misappropriation of American aid. On November 3, 2022, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, the Department of Defense Press Secretary, confirmed that numerous American military aid supply inspections were carried out in Ukraine, revealing no signs of diversion. Similarly, on February 28, 2023, Robert Storch, the Inspector General in the US Department of Defense, stated that there were no recorded violations in the utilization of American military assistance. Additionally, during a US Congressional hearing on March 30, 2023, government inspectors affirmed that no significant violations were found regarding the use of US aid in Ukraine.
  • The call to “stop providing support to Ukraine!” often accompanies information attacks against Ukraine. However, it is essential to recognize that russian aggression extends beyond Ukraine and directly impacts the interests of the United States. American officials themselves acknowledge this fact. John Kirby, the coordinator of the National Security Council at the White House, has emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine and assisting in its efforts to win the war. The invasion by Russia has had global economic consequences, leading to food and energy crises that have also affected the American economy. Furthermore, if putin succeeded in seizing Ukraine, he would not stop there. Russia would pose a threat to US allies and partners in Europe, thereby amplifying the challenges faced by the United States.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on June 10

  • Ukraine blew up the Kakhovka HPP to continue creating hybrid hunger. Zelensky started this last year when he exported all grain from Ukraine.
  • Ukraine is again trying to undermine the Istanbul Agreements. In March 2022, fake news of the so-called “Bucha tragedy” was spread, and now, the HPP has been blown up.
  • Ukraine committed a terrorist attack at the Kakhovka HPP to garner media attention toward the so-called “Ukrainian crisis.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • The authorities of Ukraine are not responsible for creating a hybrid famine. In 2022, Ukraine sold only its surplus grain, ensuring the population did not face starvation. It was russia that caused the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP. Furthermore, videos circulating on the internet provide further evidence of russia’s attacks on agricultural machinery in Ukraine. In 2022, russia targeted granaries with shelling. The mining activities carried out by russia in the Black Sea, as well as its Black Sea fleet, pose a threat to the export of grain by sea.
  • The tragedies in Bucha and the russian terrorist attack at the Kakhovka HPP are not fabricated incidents. Ukraine has no intention of undermining the Istanbul Agreements. The sale of surplus grain is crucial for Ukraine as it ensures a continuous flow of foreign exchange into the country, enabling agricultural producers to sustain their livelihoods and, therefore, contribute to feeding not only Ukraine but also the global population.
  • No credible evidence suggests that Ukraine carried out the terrorist attack at the Kakhovka HPP. The international community acknowledges russia’s direct involvement in blowing up the Kakhovka HPP. Additionally, the term “Ukrainian crisis” is a product of russian propaganda aimed at diverting attention from Russia’s role in the ongoing conflict. It is essential to recognize that russia initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, following its earlier occupation of parts of eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 9

  • There is not a single country in the world that would be helped by IMF reforms.
  • Ukraine will stop the transit of russian gas in 2024, meaning there will be no gas in Ukraine.
  • Information has been circulating online about Mykhailo Podoliak allegedly saying Ukraine has a legitimate right to destroy everything on the territory of Crimea and the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions.The authors of the posts claim Ukraine is apparently going to attack both military and civilian objects in these territories due to the impossibility of liberating them.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true. For example, like Ukraine, the Czech Republic experienced planned economy management and, in the 1990s, began implementing market reforms and cooperating with the IMF. The Czech Republic started its cooperation with the IMF in 1990 when it was still part of Czechoslovakia. IMF loans at the beginning of the 1990s helped stabilize its economy. By the mid-1990s, the Czech Republic no longer needed financial assistance from the Fund. However, the country continued cooperating with the IMF as a consultant and expert on economic reforms. During the cooperation, the Czech Republic’s GDP and GDP per capita almost doubled. Inflation decreased almost tenfold. Throughout the years of partnership, the country never even came close to its economic situation before receiving assistance from the IMF. During the cooperation with the IMF, the Czech people gained almost a decade of additional life expectancy and improved education, with the overall standard of living (Human Development Index) increasing by nearly 21%. Another country from the former socialist camp, Poland, also turned to the IMF for financial assistance. In addition, it implemented a series of reforms recommended by the Fund. Poland began cooperating with the IMF earlier than the Czech Republic in 1986. Interestingly, it was even one of the founding countries of the Fund, joining in 1945. However, it was forced to leave the IMF after just five years under pressure from the USSR. Like the Czech Republic, the 1990s were a period of significant market transformations for the Polish economy. The country received its first IMF loan in 1990. Prior to that, the Fund and the Polish government worked on coordinating market reforms. Compared to the Czech Republic, Poland faced more challenges in its relations with the Fund. Some Polish politicians had a strongly negative attitude towards such cooperation. Nevertheless, Poland was able to carry out the necessary reforms. The changes affected tax policy and the acceleration of privatization. In 1994, Poland received its last IMF loan in the 1990s, which marked the stabilization of its economy. IMF tranches also helped Poland overcome the consequences of the 2008 global financial crisis and increase its foreign exchange reserves. When the country’s economy stabilized in 2017, it decided to forego further financial assistance from the Fund. Lithuania joined the IMF in 1992, just like Ukraine, and took its first loan at the end of that year. Therefore, it had the closest “starting conditions” to us. However, its success can be attributed to the fact that the government became the “owner” of the reforms proposed by the IMF and sincerely implemented them. During the voucher privatization, Lithuanians were able to exchange their vouchers for shares of enterprises, and privatization auctions were conducted transparently, with the participation of foreign investors. Particularly important were the reforms in monetary and fiscal policies. The implemented changes helped Lithuania stabilize its economy already in the 1990s. The financial crisis in Russia in 1998, despite causing damage to Lithuania, only accelerated its further cooperation with Western countries. In 2015, the country joined the eurozone. The years of collaboration with the IMF became a period of dynamic growth for Lithuania: GDP almost tripled, and GDP per capita increased nearly fourfold. Inflation decreased by a factor of nine. Indicators reflecting the population’s standard of living improved.
  • This manipulation emerged on pro-russian platforms based on a statement made by former “GTS Operator” company head Serhii Makohon. According to him, Ukraine should prepare to halt the transit of Russian gas through its territory in 2024 when the contract with russia expires, or possibly even earlier. However, these intentions have not been officially confirmed by Ukrainian state sources. It’s important to note that Ukraine has not purchased gas from Russia since 2015. Consequently, even if gas transit were to cease, it would not impact gas availability within Ukraine.
  • During the special “Social News” broadcast on April 25, 2023, Mykhailo Podoliak commented on an article in The Washington Post titled “At US behest, Ukraine held off anniversary attacks on Russia.” The article claims that Ukrainian intelligence had allegedly planned to strike Moscow on February 24, the anniversary of the full-scale invasion, but abandoned the plan at the request of the United States. According to Mykhailo Podoliak, the article refers to anonymous sources and supposedly “leaked” documents that are not actually genuine, and the information in these documents is mere speculation. Podoliak specifically noted that an attack on moscow would only provide grounds for russian propaganda to claim that Ukraine is targeting the civilian population in russia. Mykhailo Podoliak stated that Ukraine has the right to destroy all illegal Russian occupation groups, objects, and targets located in the territories of Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions in order to liberate these territories from aggressors. Ukraine recognizes international humanitarian law and strives to distinguish between military and civilian objects, planning strikes based on military logic.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 8

  • In one of his recent speeches, putin once again claimed that russia employs only high-precision weapons, which are reportedly solely used against Ukraine’s military facilities.
  • In addition, putin stated that citizens of Ukraine suffer from restrictions on freedom of speech and cannot freely express their opinion.
  • Russian Telegram channels decided to summarize the four years of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s term in office. Russian propagandists have concluded that during this time, his “achievements” are economic decline, ongoing conflict, damaged infrastructure, and an uncontrolled flow of migrants from Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • So-called russian high-precision weapons have been reported to cause damage to civilian buildings such as residential buildings, schools, and hospitals. One incident occurred on May 30 when debris from a Russian rocket hit a residential building in Kyiv, and on June 1, a children’s clinic was also hit. Another incident occurred on June 4 when Russia targeted residential buildings in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
  • In Ukraine, there is no total restriction on freedom of speech. Everyone can express their opinions in personal communication without fearing persecution or punishment, as well as on social media. Similarly, in Ukraine, citizens have tools to influence the government, such as petitions or protests, and the Ukrainian authorities usually respond to them. Additionally, according to World Press Freedom in 2023, Ukraine ranked 79th, while it was 106th the previous year. For comparison, Russia ranks 164th out of 180 countries in the same index.
  • From 2019 to 2022, the GDP of Ukraine both grew and fell: +3.2% (2019); -3.8% (2020);+3.4% (2021); -29.1% (2022). In 2020, the decline in GDP occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The GDP contraction was not only experienced by Ukraine but also by many countries worldwide. In 2022, the Ukrainian GDP was significantly impacted by the full-scale invasion by russia. In 2021, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) forecasted growth of the Ukrainian economy by 3.4% in 2022, with a projected acceleration of real GDP growth to around 4% per year in 2023-2024. This indicates that the Ukrainian economy would have been growing if it hadn’t been for the full-scale invasion by russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on June 7

  • In his recent speech, the president of the russian federation vladimir putin claimed that the entire leadership of Ukraine allegedly turned Ukraine into the so-called “anti-russia” after the collapse of the USSR.
  • Additionally, putin once again said Ukraine started the war in Donbas in 2014.
  • On the morning of June 1, a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile struck a children’s polyclinic in the Desnianskyi district of Kyiv.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The so-called “anti-russia” is a fabrication of putin’s propaganda. In the Kremlin’s imagination, “anti-russia” refers to any attempts by countries that were part of the USSR to build their own independent, democratic future and become part of Europe. The School of Political Analysis explained that the concept of “anti-russia” is directly related to the so-called “putin’s doctrine,” which limits the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries within the “russian sphere of influence.” It began to take shape after putin’s speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. The war in Georgia in 2008 was the first consequence of this shift in foreign policy principles. The subsequent events, such as the occupation of Crimea and the war in Donbas since 2014, followed the logic of this concept. The full-scale war by russia against Ukraine demonstrates that opposing the imaginary “anti-russia” means denying Ukrainians as a separate nation and undermining Ukrainian statehood.
  • After Yanukovych fled in 2014, pro-russian movements intensified in Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions. Demands for federalization and separation from Ukraine were voiced during these protests, often with the participation of russian citizens. On April 6, 2014, unidentified armed individuals seized the Donetsk Regional State Administration. On April 7, a group of citizens from the region declared the creation of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” in the session hall of the Donetsk Regional Council. On the same day, a similar announcement was made for the “Kharkiv People’s Republic” during a rally in Kharkiv. On April 12, armed “little green men” appeared in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast. They captured government buildings and police stations and raised Russian flags on the buildings. Over the following weeks, armed individuals continued to seize control of institutions in the Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions. On April 13, an anti-terrorist operation was launched in Donbas. The war’s first battle in Donbas took place near Sloviansk on the same day. On April 21, the “Odesa People’s Republic” was declared in Odesa, and on April 27, the “LPR” was proclaimed in Luhansk.
  • Every time russian missiles or their fragments hit civilian objects, russian propagandists claim that it was the result of Ukrainian air defense systems. These Kremlin propagandists try to prove that the alleged danger to Ukrainians comes solely from the Ukrainian air defense systems and not from russian missiles. They attempt to scare and quickly push Ukrainians towards negotiations on terms that are only advantageous for russia. Therefore, it is crucial to adhere to safety rules during air alerts: seek shelter or at least follow the “two-wall rule” to minimize the risks.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 6

  • Russian propagandists accuse the Armed Forces of blowing up the Kakhovka HPP. However, the versions are presented differently: it was reportedly done either with the help of HIMARS MLRS or the Vilkha MLRS.
  • According to yet another version spread by pro-russian channels, Ukraine’s Armed Forces blew up the Kakhovka HPP at the behest of NATO in order to escalate the conflict.
  • Additionally, a video is circulating online allegedly proving that Ukrainian weapons were used in the attack on the Kakhovka HPP.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no factual basis to support the notion that the attack on the Kakhovka HPP was carried out by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The dissemination of various conflicting versions of the incident indicates Russian attempts to create confusion, overwhelm the audience with information, and shift blame onto the AFU. However, at the international level, it has been widely acknowledged that the russian federation was responsible for the attack. Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, condemned the act as a war crime, highlighting its direct targeting of civilian infrastructure.
  • There is no justification to believe that the Armed Forces orchestrated the attack on the Kakhovka HPP under NATO’s command. Neither Ukraine nor the international community has any incentive to cause an environmental catastrophe. The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP poses risks such as accidents at the ZNPP, the flooding of nature reserves, the loss of countless animal lives, and ultimately, the endangerment of human lives and ecological disruption in the region. The act has already been condemned as a war crime by European authorities.
  • The footage has nothing to do with the russian federation’s attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station on the night of June 6. It also in no way proves the involvement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this strike. In fact, the video shows how russia blew up the bridge at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station back in November 2022.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on June 5

  • The increased electricity prices contradict the presidential decree imposing a moratorium on increasing utility tariffs during martial law.
  • Theories propagated by some russian Telegram channels suggest that the Ukrainian authorities deliberately orchestrate shelling of peaceful cities and tragedies during President Zelensky’s foreign visits, aiming to elicit sympathy from Ukraine’s international partners and obtain additional financial support.
  • Information has been circulating online regarding draft law No. 7114, which was registered on February 24, 2022, and declared a state of war. It has reportedly disappeared from the website of the Verkhovna Rada. According to the authors, if this is indeed the case, it would render the activities of territorial recruitment and social support centers, as well as mobilization efforts, illegal.

Now the TRUTH:

  • During martial law and six months after its conclusion, Ukraine implements a law that specifically addresses the regulation of natural gas market relations and heat supply. This legislation includes a moratorium on increasing tariffs for communal services, but it solely pertains to gas, heat, and hot water tariffs. It does not encompass electricity tariffs.
  • This is a conspiracy theory. There is no logical basis to support the claim that the Ukrainian authorities would deliberately harm their own population to receive aid from Western partners. Such an assumption lacks credibility, as assistance from Western allies is crucial in enhancing defense against the common adversary, russia. Additionally, it is essential to note that not every foreign trip by the President is accompanied by mass attacks. Pro-russian sources may selectively emphasize such coincidences in an attempt to falsely portray Ukraine as engaging in self-inflicted harm.
  • The draft law “On declaring martial law” was indeed submitted to the Verkhovna Rada by the President on February 24, 2022, but it was not approved. However, according to Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar, a special law or decree declaring martial law was unnecessary. She referred to Article 3 of the UN Resolution “On Aggression” of 1974, which defines acts such as invasion, attack, bombing, or blockade as acts of aggression. In Ukraine, the President has the authority to decide on general or partial mobilization and the introduction of martial law in the event of armed aggression, as stated in Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 4 of the Law “On the Defense of Ukraine.” The Law “On Mobilization Preparation and Mobilization” does not specify that declaring a state of war is a prerequisite for mobilization.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on June 4

  • The SBU punishes the bloggers showing that Ukrainian air defense missiles hit civilian objects and the civilian population.
  • Russian Telegram channels are citing the Polish publication Myśl Polska, which allegedly states that Poles are seemingly accusing Ukrainian refugees of displaying manifestations of Nazism. The outlet also claims that anti-Ukrainian billboards are appearing in Polish cities, and rallies against Poland’s involvement in the war in Ukraine are becoming more frequent in Warsaw.
  • According to reports in russian mass media, citing the Red Pilled TV journalist Morris, it is claimed that the economic sanctions imposed on russia did not significantly impact the country but had a detrimental effect on the economy of Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true. In Ukraine, it is constantly emphasized that photographing and publishing the work of air defense systems online means adjusting enemy fire. Such publications help the enemy see where our air defense forces can detect aerial objects and where they cannot. Consequently, the enemy can study the coverage of our radar field of air defense. This is dangerous because then they can improve the flight routes of their objects to bypass our air defense systems.
  • Firstly, the publication Myśl Polska, which is frequently cited by pro-Russian media, consistently spreads Kremlin propaganda. In their articles, the authors of Myśl Polska shift the blame from Russia to the West for initiating the war in Ukraine. They also discuss the alleged “repression” of the UOC MP and highlight the supposed “crimes” committed by the Ukrainian military against the civilian population in Donbas. Secondly, the article in Myśl Polska makes reference to the events of the Volhynia tragedy in 1943, which involved the mass murder of Poles and Ukrainians during the Second World War. However, the publication conveniently omits any mention of Poles expressing concerns about manifestations of “Nazism” among Ukrainian refugees. The claim about the presence of anti-Ukrainian billboards in Polish cities is unfounded, as there is no evidence to support it. The author fails to mention any instances of anti-Ukrainian billboards or anti-Ukraine rallies in Warsaw. Furthermore, Polish media outlets have not reported on the existence of billboards displaying anti-Ukrainian messages. Contrary to the claims made in the article, Poland has been supportive of Ukraine in its conflict with russia. For example, in April 2022, Poland launched an advertising campaign in favor of imposing sanctions on russia. The billboards featured images of devastated Ukrainian cities with the caption, “Bloody oil finances the russian genocide in Ukraine.” This campaign aimed to draw attention to the actual crimes committed by russia and condemn Western countries’ continued purchase of russian oil. According to a survey conducted in February 2023, over 80% of Poles expressed their support for providing assistance to Ukraine.
  • This false information was refuted by the Center for Strategic Communications. Ex-presenter Fox News, Morris, cited by the russians, has repeatedly spread Kremlin fakes and continues to do so now. His statements that anti-russian sanctions did not cause any negative impact on the Russian Federation and destroyed the economy of Ukraine are yet another misinformation. The Council of the EU and the US State Department believe that sanctions and export controls have “serious and long-term consequences for the russian defense and industrial base.” Russia’s GDP shrank by 2.1% in 2022, and the russian economy is also forecast to shrink in 2023. Sanctions on the import of oil also led to the limitation of the russian federation’s income. The cited ex-Fox News presenter, Morris, has been known to disseminate false information aligned with Kremlin narratives, and this pattern persists today. His claims that anti-russian sanctions had no negative impact on the russian federation and caused the destruction of Ukraine’s economy are another example of misinformation. The Council of the European Union and the US State Department acknowledge that sanctions and export controls have had severe and enduring consequences for russia’s defense and industrial sectors. Notably, russia’s GDP contracted by 2.1% in 2022, and there are predictions of further economic decline in 2023. Furthermore, sanctions on oil imports have also constrained russia’s revenue.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on June 1

  • The Ukrainian authorities are committing genocide against their own people, allotting land in the West of Ukraine to Poles.
  • The Italian mass media confirmed information about a radioactive cloud moving from Khmelnytskyi to Poland and then toward Italy.
  • The European integration results in an increase in electricity prices. Due to the increase in electricity tariffs, Zelensky seems to be hinting that the east of Ukraine should join russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • No official reports confirm the transfer of Ukrainian lands to Poland. Such statements are part of the grand narrative of russian propaganda that suggests Ukraine cannot exist as an independent state, along with reports aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian government. However, there is no factual confirmation of these statements.
  • Both local authorities and scientists in the city have denied reports of radiation in the Khmelnytskyi region. No authoritative source has reported any radiation in the city. Furthermore, it would be nearly impossible to conceal radiation contamination in today’s age, as was done by the authorities of the USSR in 1986. With the presence of numerous independent media outlets, organizations, and concerned citizens, any such threat would undoubtedly be widely reported. Instead, the reports of radiation have only originated from Kremlin-controlled russian media and anonymous Telegram channels.
  • The Ukrainian government is currently exploring various options for establishing new electricity tariffs for household consumers. According to Kostiantyn Ushchapovskyi, the head of the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities, the potential increase in fees for the population is directly linked to the high expenses involved in restoring the energy infrastructure. Ushchapovskyi further clarified, “After enemy shelling of energy facilities, temporary electricity supply schemes were used to restore electricity to consumers. Therefore, such schemes aren’t viable to ensure a successful heating season. Hence, the government is actively considering the matter of revising electricity tariffs for household consumers.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on May 31

  • High school students in Ukraine began to be recruited into the Army for the summer, with schools already distributing the respective questionnaires.
  • Ukrainians are again expected to experience scheduled power outages during the summer because the government sells electricity abroad.
  • The SBU demonstratively punishes bloggers for publishing air defense work, although such videos do nothing for the enemy.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to consider this questionnaire as genuine. Firstly, it is essential to note that schoolchildren cannot be employed for part-time work in the Armed Forces, and serving in the Armed Forces is only possible from age 18, and part-time positions do not exist within the Armed Forces. Furthermore, the questionnaire includes numerous errors and non-existent functions within the Armed Forces.
  • Oleksandr Kharchenko, director of the Energy Research Center, has provided an explanation stating that a shortage of electricity is anticipated in the energy system of Ukraine during the period of July-August 2023. This shortage is expected due to the necessary maintenance and repair work temporarily taking several nuclear units out of operation. Consequently, there is a possibility of power outages occurring in Ukraine. However, he also mentioned that the generation deficit could be mitigated by importing around one GW of capacity and by commissioning additional units of gas-fired thermal power plants. Fan blackouts may be reintroduced in Ukraine starting in the autumn of 2023. This situation arises due to the potential inability of specialists to fully complete repairs within the country’s energy system. Additionally, there is a concern that the russian army may resume missile strikes on energy facilities during the fall.
  • This is not true. Publishing photos of air defense operations online can aid the enemy in adjusting their fire. Such public disclosures provide the enemy with valuable information about areas where air objects can be captured and areas that may not be adequately covered. Consequently, this enables the enemy to study the extent of our air-defense radar field coverage. This poses a significant risk as it allows the enemy to enhance their flight routes, ensuring they can circumvent our air defense equipment.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on May 30

  • Political scientist Ruslan Bortnik said Ukraine had better become a part of other states than live in ruins.
  • Ukraine’s joining Govtech4all means entering a European digital concentration camp.
  • Poland is moving troops to the border with Belarus to attack the country.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Before the full-scale invasion by the russian federation, Ruslan Bortnik had been a regular guest on political talk shows aired on pro-russian channels, where he consistently propagated pro-Russian narratives. This statement is consistent with that pattern. The narrative of Ukraine’s division between russia and neighboring European countries is continuously disseminated by propaganda resources, aiming to portray Ukraine as a failed and ineffectual state. However, it is important to note that Ukraine possesses sovereignty and independence, and there is no basis to conclude that its future lies solely in division among neighboring nations.
  • Ukraine joined the Govtech4all association of the European Union to enhance the efficiency of state processes through digitalization. Referring to this association as a “digital concentration camp” is unfounded. On the contrary, Govtech4all aims to develop and provide citizens with more user-friendly and streamlined government services, reducing the need for long queues and excessive bureaucracy.
  • Poland has not made any declarations indicating intentions to attack Belarus. Russian propaganda may have distorted the words of Waldemar Skrzypczak, a Polish general and former deputy defense minister of Poland. Skrzypczak’s statement suggested that Poland was preparing to support an uprising in Belarus rather than launching an attack on this country. Furthermore, Minister Coordinator of Poland’s Special Services, Stanislav Zaryn, reported increased attacks on Polish patrols along the border with Belarus. According to him, these attacks were carried out by foreigners suspected of being under the control of russian and belarusian special services.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on May 29

  • During the shelling on the morning of May 29, a Patriot air defense missile fell in the Obolon district. Russian Telegram channels add that if it weren’t for Zelensky’s desire to kill Ukrainians, the rockets would have hit only military targets leaving civilians unharmed.
  • The air alert is announced in all regions at once because Ukraine’s Air Force is unable to figure out the missiles’ course.
  • On the night of May 28, an earthquake occurred in Kyiv, resulting from russia’s strike on the underground bunkers of the Kyiv authorities.

Now the TRUTH:

  • According to the report from Mayor Vitalii Klitschko of Kyiv, a fragment of an enemy missile fell in the Obolon district. The Kyiv City Military Administration has stated that anti-aircraft missiles successfully shot down all targets flying toward Kyiv. It is worth noting that pro-Russian resources are once again attempting to divert attention by suggesting that the real threat originates from the Ukrainian Air Force allegedly trying to destroy Ukrainians. Such claims lack logical consistency because if russia had not attacked Ukraine, there would have been no need for Ukraine to defend itself. In order to protect the civilian population in the event of rocket or drone attacks, an air alert is typically announced, and people are urged to seek shelter or, at the very least, adhere to the “two walls” safety guidelines.
  • As has been explained by Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, an air alert is issued throughout Ukraine in the event of the presence of strategic aircraft or missile carriers in the sky or upon receiving data regarding potential missile use from the sea. The purpose of the air alert is to prevent any possible consequences resulting from a strike mission. It is important to note that an air alert does not necessarily mean that missiles or aircraft are directly approaching a specific area or city. The warning is issued upon takeoff when the general direction of the rocket is known, but the exact impact location may be challenging to determine. Missiles have the capability to alter their course deviate to the left or right, or disappear from radar altogether. Therefore, the warning system is activated in stages, taking into account the missile’s projected course and neighboring regions.
  • During the national telethon, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko of Kyiv provided an explanation for the “vibrations” felt by residents on the morning of May 28. He suggested that these vibrations were likely connected to the transportation of heavy weapons. No other official explanations were put forward, and seismologists did not report any seismic activity in the region. Therefore, the versions speculating about an earthquake or likely impacts on underground bunkers are unsubstantiated.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on May 28

  • Instead of Zaluzhnyi, his “body double” appeared in public because the “new” Zaluzhnyi eyes have the wrong color.
  • Ukrainian air defense began operating more poorly because missiles and drones began to fly deep into Ukrainian cities more frequently.
  • The authorities report on downing all targets over Ukrainian cities to write off ammunition and sell it on the black market.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In the new video featuring Valerii Zaluzhnyi, it may indeed appear that his eye color is brown rather than blue, as seen in previous photos. However, it is crucial to consider that this can be attributed to factors like lighting conditions or video recording quality. For instance, in older photos from 2021, it looks as if Zaluzhnyi has brown eyes, not blue.
  • According to Forbes Ukraine’s calculations, the effectiveness of the Ukrainian air defense reached 20% system from February to September 2022 but has remained at a high level of 90% since the fall of that year. This notable increase in air defense effectiveness can be attributed to delivering advanced air defense systems such as IRIS-T, NASAMS, and Aspide to Ukraine, significantly enhancing its overall effectiveness.
  • The claim that Ukraine resells weapons to black markets is part of a hostile narrative. These allegations are groundless since there are no official announcements from authoritative international sources or foreign partners regarding the smuggling of Western weapons from Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on May 26

  • During the air raid alert on the night of May 25-26, numerous anonymous Telegram channels once again wrote about the danger of air defense operations over the cities of Ukraine
  • Ukraine’s choice to move toward Europe has made Ukrainians so impoverished they cannot afford cherries.
  • The IMF demand that Ukraine reduce subsidies to a minimum, halve medical expenses, and reduce pension payments.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In any situation, an air alarm should never be ignored. However, it is crucial to recognize that russian propaganda shifts the accents and emphasizes the role of air defense as the primary threat to Ukrainians, which is not the case. The primary threat comes from the shelling and attacks by russia. During the night from May 25 to 26, russia launched 17 missiles and 31 attack drones over Ukraine. Reportedly, ten cruise missiles, 23 kamikaze drones, and two reconnaissance UAVs were intercepted.
  • The increase in prices for seasonal products in Ukraine can solely be attributed to russia’s invasion and occupation of part of Ukrainian territories. For instance, the temporary occupation of the Zaporizhzhia region has led to a scarcity of Melitopol-grown cherries on the market. Additionally, there is a rise in fuel prices, with russians exporting food from non-government-controlled territories and selling it in Crimea. Farmers have been facing pressures and threats from occupiers to give away their crops, which further exacerbates the thousands-of-tons supply shortage of grain and vegetables, preventing the products from reaching the parts controlled by Ukraine. Moreover, the enemy’s shelling of agricultural enterprises and the blockading of Ukrainian seaports causes significant damage to the farming sector.
  • Such statements do not reflect what the IMF actually requests Ukraine to do. Firstly, the IMF has never stated that Ukraine should simply cut costs and therefore harm the population. Secondly, the IMF indeed requires optimization of state budget expenditures, suggesting they should be used as intended instead of providing subsidies to those who can afford to pay utilities or funding empty hospitals from the budget of the healthcare system.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on May 23

  • Sanctions have been hurting Europe more than russia: in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, a sharp drop in production is observed.
  • Poles accuse Ukrainian refugees of manifestations of Nazism, as written by the Polish publication Myśl Polska.
  • Ukrainians sold French Caesar installations and American 777 howitzers to russia, which helped russia to produce its artillery analogs.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Propaganda outlets confuse cause and effect and manipulate facts. Firstly, the economies of many countries worldwide collapsed not because of sanctions but due to the russian invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions did have a partially negative impact on the economies of European countries, but the most significant damage was inflicted on the russian federation’s economy. The purpose of the sanctions is to isolate russia from the civilized world and sever numerous chains of international trade, supplies, and financial flows to and from russia. Consequently, the russian economy is weakened, and the production potential, especially in the field of weapons, is expected to decline. This is not an immediate process, so tangible changes will only become noticeable over time.
  • Firstly, it is essential to note that the Myśl Polska publication consistently disseminates pro-Kremlin narratives, making its information unreliable. Secondly, the dehumanization of Ukrainian refugees is a standard narrative employed by russian propaganda. Russia frequently utilizes images of Nazis or shares negative stories about Ukrainian refugees without substantiating these claims with evidence. Lastly, Poland continues to support Ukraine in its confrontation with russia. This support includes providing shelter and certain social guarantees to Ukrainian refugees.
  • Russian platforms continue to spread the unfounded claim that Ukraine sells Western weapons to black markets or even to the occupiers. However, these propaganda assertions lack evidence. Since at least April of last year, russia has claimed that Ukraine sold 777 and Caesar howitzers to the black market. Nevertheless, no authoritative sources such as the Pentagon, Interpol, Europol, or other organizations focused on combating illegal arms trafficking have confirmed these allegations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on May 22

  • Ukraine can be provided with the Iron Dome system to protect the US Patriot air defense system.
  • Belarusian President Lukashenko called the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ counteroffensive disinformation. According to him, there is and can be no counteroffensive.
  • Due to radiation contamination in Khmelnytskyi, Poland has run out of iodine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • News headlines suggesting that the USA is prepared to supply Ukraine with the Israeli “Iron Dome” air defense system have indeed circulated online. However, it concerns the Ukrainian military’s training on an early warning system designed to predict missile flight paths. It remains unclear whether this training is directly linked to the potential deployment of the Israeli air defense system. Furthermore, none of these news reports mention that the Iron Dome is specifically required to protect the Patriot air defense system.
  • Lukashenko is a puppet in the hands of the Kremlin, especially when it comes to propaganda. While the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine does not disclose all the details of the counteroffensive and generally maintains informational silence regarding the topic, it is not appropriate to label it as disinformation. The secrecy surrounding the counteroffensive is needed to ensure the successful liberation of Ukrainian territories rather than to deceive the Ukrainian population or foreign partners or hide something. It is crucial to differentiate between the need for operational security and the deliberate dissemination of false information.
  • Firstly, it has been confirmed by local authorities that there was no radiation contamination resulting from the recent attacks in the Khmelnytskyi region. Secondly, there is no credible evidence to support the claim of iodine deficiency in Polish pharmacies. Such news originated predominantly from pro-russian sources or media outlets with questionable fact-checking standards.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on May 19

  • Supporters of George Soros in Georgia organized protests against resuming air traffic with the russian federation.
  • Commander-in-Chief V. Zaluzhnyi has disappeared from the information space because he is wounded and in grave condition. According to another version, he is vacationing in Cyprus
  • The authorities continue to hide the consequences of radioactive contamination in Khmelnytskyi resulting from a strike on a warehouse with depleted uranium ammunition.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On May 19, an airplane from russia arrived in Georgia, marking the resumption of air traffic between the two countries after a four-year period. However, it is essential to note that the protests against this resumption were not linked to Soros or any  Sorosists, as some may call the grant recipients. Georgians protested to make it clear that planes from russia were not welcomed and would not be greeted with applause.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications has debunked this piece of fake news. Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, H. Maliar, confirmed that the Commander-in-Chief was busy fulfilling his duties. AFU Colonel Stefan also confirmed that he spoke with General Zaluzhnyi the day before, ensuring he was alive and well. Furthermore, on May 19, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces held a telephone conversation with General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States. They discussed the effective operation of the Patriot complexes in Ukraine. The photo used by the propagators to illustrate the news about Zaluzhnyi’s alleged absence was actually taken back in 2018. These misleading tactics employed by the russians aim to sow panic among Ukrainians and undermine their confidence in the Defense Forces. Therefore, we urge everyone to be vigilant and not rely on information spread by the enemy.
  • Local authorities have refuted the information regarding the ammunition explosions with depleted uranium. During a briefing on May 15, Volodymyr Trush, the head of the Ternopil OMA, stated that no ammunition, whether depleted or not, had exploded in the area. He emphasized that there were no environmental issues or concerns regarding the situation in the city. Similarly, the Khmelnytskyi City Council has also denied the widespread rumors about radiation danger. The local authorities emphasized that there have been no deviations from the norms in terms of radiation levels or the presence of other life-threatening substances in the region.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on May 18

  • Information is being circulated online about the article in an Italian newspaper titled “Bahmut, fight to the last man.” The Russians are reportedly advancing deep into the city, and members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine expect that the command will order to hold up the western districts of Bakhmut to buy time to prepare for a counteroffensive.
  • Information is being disseminated online about a Ukrainian court’s decision to demolish the Church of the Tithes, a historical monument erected at the end of the 10th century. The authors note that throughout its history, the church had been destroyed several times and was finally rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century.
  • Information is being shared online about the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, allegedly attending a pro-russian rally on April 5, 2014. At the rally, people demanded a referendum and the Zaporizhzhia region’s joining russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On April 8, 2023, the Italian publication Corriere Della Sera released an article titled Bakhmut, lotta all’ultimo uomo,” which means in Ukrainian, “Bakhmut, fight to the last man.” The article included a statement from a Ukrainian service member acknowledging the russian advancement and discussing future plans. However, propagandists have selectively disseminated fragments of quotes taken out of context. The complete quote from the Ukrainian military officer is as follows: “It’s true what the media reports citing NATO intelligence services about the russians making significant progress in the central part of Bakhmut in recent days and our supply routes becoming more vulnerable. However, the General Staff keeps doing its job. We anticipate that the soldiers will be instructed to hold their ground in the western urban area, eliminating the maximum number of russian soldiers and diverting their attention while we prepare for our next offensive. But if the situation becomes too difficult and our forces risk being encircled, they will receive orders to withdraw.”
  • This is not true. The court did not issue an order to demolish the Church of the Tithes. The decision specifically pertained to the chapel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UPC MP), constructed within the premises of the Church of the Tithes historical and archaeological complex. This complex is under the protection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Using keywords, we found a video of the rally in Melitopol on March 2, 2014, where Ivan Fedorov can indeed be seen in the crowd. However, it is essential to note that the rally cannot be solely characterized as pro-russian. Serhiy Minko, the then secretary of the Melitopol City Council, also spoke at the rally, and Ivan Fedorov served as his deputy responsible for the activities of executive authorities. In the video, Minko’s statements indicate that two separate official rallies were taking place at the same location: one with a pro-russian sentiment and another with a pro-Ukrainian sentiment. Consequently, the crowd can be heard chanting, “Glory to Ukraine!” It is noticeable that some individuals remain silent during others chanting “russia.” Serhii Minko attended the rally as a representative of the official authorities and urged the citizens to maintain a peaceful demonstration.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 5 p.m. on May 17

  • Russian Telegram channels and media outlets are sharing a photo of a document purportedly requiring Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) personnel to sign. Once signed, the document supposedly prohibits service members from challenging/questioning orders given by their superiors. These propagandists argue that if a service member speaks out against the command’s illegal actions, it implies that they are aware of their own criminal involvement.
  • Russian media outlets are actively engaged in discrediting the Ukrainian Armed Forces by employing various means. One such method involves circulating a video in which it appears that soldiers from the “Georgian Legion” are making threats of killing and torturing civilians as well as prisoners of war.
  • Information is being disseminated online based on an article published in a Ukrainian publication titled “Ukrainians in Poland are divided into groups: why the Ukrainian phenomenon worries the Poles.” This information claims that Professor Maciej Duszczyk has categorized Ukrainians into different groups based on their degree of Polonization.

Now the TRUTH:

  • As per Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine titled “On the Charter of Internal Service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” subordinates are obligated to strictly follow the orders of their superiors, except when the order is evidently criminal. Additionally, they are required to show respect towards their superiors. In cases where a superior exceeds their official powers by employing violence against a subordinate, the military command may face criminal liability, as outlined in Articles 426-427 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Furthermore, according to paragraph 110 of the Disciplinary Charter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, service members possess the right to submit written complaints and statements or personally approach the appropriate officials and bodies. Such actions are permissible when unlawful decisions are made, actions are taken against them, and their rights, legitimate interests, and freedoms are violated. Complaints can also be lodged if there is unlawful imposition of military duties or unjustified prosecution.
  • This is fake. The authenticity of the video depicting threats by soldiers of the “Georgian Legion” has been refuted by Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the “Georgian Legion.” In a statement on his Facebook page, Mamulashvili dismissed the video as another russian provocation. He emphasized that the military individuals shown in the video have no affiliation with the “Georgian Legion.” The Twitter page of the “Georgian Legion” also confirmed the video’s inauthenticity, asserting that its purpose is to discredit the legion. Independent fact-checkers, such as Myth Detector, also pointed out that the individuals in the video do not speak Georgian fluently. Russian media outlets have once again raised the so-called “mercenaries” issue in Ukraine. However, there are no “mercenaries” in Ukraine, and foreigners who participate in hostilities there are actually serving as members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • This is not true. The article dated February 27, 2023, and titled “Professor Duszczyk points to the paradox with Ukrainians: I don’t understand it at all,” quoted by Ukrainian media, contains an interview with Professor Maciej Duszczyk from the Center of Migration Research at the University of Warsaw but mentions nothing about Polish employers paying attention to the region where the refugees came from. When asked about the number of Ukrainian refugees in Poland, the expert identified three subgroups of Ukrainians residing in the country: those who arrived in Poland before February 24, 2022, those who came as refugees or had Polish acquaintances, and those who had no prior connections to Poland before the full-scale war. Professor Duszczyk estimated that the total number of these subgroups amounts to around 2 million people.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on May 16

  • Russian Kinzhal missiles destroyed the American Patriot air defense system during the missile attack on Kyiv on the night of May 16.
  • On the night of May 17, a military facility in Mykolaiv was allegedly destroyed due to a missile attack.
  • The so-called American economist Jeffrey Sachs said the USA allegedly helped organize the Revolution of Dignity in 2014.

Now the TRUTH:

  • According to CNN, citing American officials, it was reported that the russians likely caused damage to one of the Patriot systems during the night attack, but it was not wholly destroyed. However, the White House, through John Kirby, a representative of the White House National Security Council, stated that they could not confirm the information regarding the Patriot system being damaged in Ukraine. Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, explained that it is not possible to destroy the Patriot air defense system with Kinzhal missiles. The division consists of a radar and up to 8 launchers strategically located separately from each other to ensure operational effectiveness.
  • Following a rocket attack on Mykolaiv, a shopping center and a car showroom sustained partial destruction. The blast wave also caused damage to private houses, shops, and an industrial infrastructure facility. As of the morning of May 17, there was one reported injured person.
  • The Revolution of Dignity lacks any characteristics of a coup d’état. The primary objective of a coup d’état is for conspirators to seize power for their own benefit. The Revolution of Dignity originated with actions in support of the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union, known as Euromaidan. It later evolved into widespread protests aimed at safeguarding the rights, freedoms, and democratic values of the people and citizens. The pursuit of power and personal gain was never its inherent goal. The Revolution resulted in ratifying the Agreement with the EU and conducting fair presidential and parliamentary elections. It should be noted that Jeffrey Sachs has been consistently echoing narratives aligned with the Kremlin, and he made multiple appearances on the talk show hosted by russian propagandist solovyov in 2022.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on May 15

  • George Soros, who has sponsored color revolutions worldwide, has died.
  • The Ukrainian counteroffensive is doomed to failure because even Zelensky’s so-called European tour did not help to get additional weapons and support for the offensive.
  • The authorities hide the fact that after the missile attack on Khmelnytskyi on May 13, ammunition with depleted uranium was struck, resulting in increased radioactive presence in the city and chemical contamination.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is fake. No official reports are confirming the death of George Soros. George Soros is frequently accused of financing the so-called color revolutions; however, these accusations lack solid evidence. The Open Society Foundations, founded by Soros, provide financial support to events, organizations, and activities that aim to promote democracy. The goal is to foster a system based on the rule of law, freedom, non-discrimination principles, and a robust civil society.
  • Firstly, Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent visits to European countries cannot be considered unproductive. Germany and France have already announced the allocation of new military aid packages to Ukraine, indicating continued support for the country. Secondly, statements suggesting that President Zelensky’s visits and the lack of support from European countries are attempts by Russian propagandists to undermine the morale of Ukrainians and discourage them from seeking victory by claiming that even the President’s visits to EU country’s heads do not help anymore as no one wants to support Ukraine. However, this narrative is untrue. The support for Ukraine remains steadfast, and the russian army is experiencing demoralization and intimidation in the face of Ukraine’s potential counteroffensive.
  • This is fake and has already been refuted by Detector Media. The press service of the Khmelnytskyi city council clarified that there was no chemical leakage, and there have been no reports of an increase in radiation levels. On May 13, Khmelnytskyi was targeted by the Russian military, resulting in significant damage to critical infrastructure such as educational and medical institutions, administrative buildings, industrial facilities, high-rise buildings, and private residences. Propagandists are attempting to conceal the truth from the public, drawing parallels to the Chornobyl disaster. However, it is important to note that russia inherited Soviet propaganda methods, disinformation, and concealing the truth. Additionally, freedom of speech is now at a much higher level compared to the Soviet era, particularly in Ukraine, though not in Russia. Consequently, it would be impossible to hide the magnitude of such a disaster in today’s context.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on May 12

  • The attack of the Ukrainian drone on the Kremlin, the attempt on the Russian propagandist prilepin’s life, and the murder of the propagandist tatarsky were allegedly arranged by the Brits. They did it to disrupt peace talks, continue the war, and profit from it.
  • The occupation authorities are allegedly evacuating the population of the Zaporizhzhia region in connection with threats of a counteroffensive by the Armed Forces.
  • The United Marathon allegedly loses to anonymous Telegram channels because it reports news two months later.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Numerous propaganda outlets present various theories regarding who benefits from Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine and why. One recent example is the accusation made by propagandists, suggesting that Great Britain is responsible for terrorist attacks intended to provoke russia into prolonging the conflict. However, it is crucial to note that there is no evidence supporting the involvement of Great Britain in these incidents, nor is there any basis to believe that the war was instigated or is being prolonged due to the actions of Ukraine’s Western allies. Such statements are part of a narrative asserting that the West is exploiting Ukraine solely for its own interests.
  • Typically, the occupying power does not conduct evacuations but rather forcibly displaces Ukrainians to other temporarily occupied areas or to Russian territory. The alleged justification for such actions may be the perceived threat of a counteroffensive, which is seen as a potential reason for altering the demographic makeup of the Zaporizhzhia region.
  • The United Marathon was established to promptly deliver trustworthy information, especially during times of war and information warfare. There is no justification to assume that Marathon provides outdated information. On the contrary, various anonymous Telegram channels (including the one through which this message was circulated) attempt to advance pro-russian narratives and undermine reliable sources of information under the pretense of insiders, rumors, or predictions.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on May 11

  • Information about the EU government launching a project targeting individuals approaching retirement age or already retired is being circulated. The claim suggests that participants in the program can receive up to 200 euros per day. It is further asserted that these funds are allocated from the “Provision Fund,” which was established to support various population groups.
  • Russian media outlets are extensively disseminating statements attributed to US General Christopher Cavoli, who allegedly claims that russia is prevailing over Ukraine in the ongoing conflict. Furthermore, russian media distorted Cavoli’s remarks by misrepresenting his statement that the russian military “did not suffer” from the war. Additionally, the General reportedly suggested that Western media distorted information regarding the supposed “degradation” of russian troops.
  • A video is being shared online that depicts two military personnel carrying a boy out of a building by his arms. The video also includes the caption “Ukrainian Mobilization at a University.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Provision Fund is an American non-governmental organization that aims to provide additional funding for residents of Sheridan County, Wyoming. It is unrelated to Ukraine, and there is no program offering daily payments of up to 200 euros for individuals approaching retirement or already retired. The Facebook community where the post was shared was created shortly before publishing the misleading post about financial assistance. It appears that fraudsters spread false information in order to attract more followers. In the future, this community might change its profile picture, delete all previous posts regarding monetary gifts, and potentially be utilized for promoting brands, stores, or public pages.
  • The claim that General Christopher Cavoli discussed the superiority of the russians in the war or the distortion of information by the Western media is unfounded. It should be noted that in a specific out-of-context passage, Christopher Cavoli’s remarks focused on Russian activity in the Atlantic Ocean rather than making any statements about superiority on the battlefield.
  • This is not true. The video was made back in September 2022 when a Ukrainian student tried to cross the border with Poland several times. According to the State Border Service, the guy in the online video attempted to cross the Ukrainian border nine times. In a comment to the publication ZAXID.NET, the press service of the Lviv border detachment reported that the student was not beaten but only escorted out of the service point.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on May 10

  • Zelensky’s government increases tariffs, reduces subsidies, and cuts salaries, scholarships, and other social benefits while raising taxes.
  • Ukraine cannot launch a counteroffensive because russia is using climate weapons to create an abnormally rainy spring.
  • The authorities deliberately extend martial law to avoid holding elections against the backdrop of failures on the front lines and tyrannical Western loans.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The narrative being spread by pro-Russian Telegram channels aims to divert the attention of Ukrainians from the real enemy, Russia, and instead sow discord among Ukrainians, including against their own government. While discussions about increasing electricity tariffs are taking place, no final decision has been made yet. It is important to note that the increase in tariffs is a direct consequence of Russia’s actions, specifically the extensive shelling of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which requires substantial funds for repairs. Additionally, the current electricity tariffs in Ukraine are non-market and relatively low, and the planned tariff increase was initially scheduled for after April 30, 2023, but was postponed due to the ongoing war. Regarding subsidies, it is true that their amount may be lower in the coming months, but this is primarily due to the end of the heating season. Since there is no need for heating, the overall cost of communal services decreases, resulting in a lower subsidy amount. There have been no official announcements regarding salary reductions for state employees or reductions in scholarship amounts. It is worth mentioning that specific industries, such as iron ore mining and certain agricultural activities, have experienced tax increases. There are also discussions about reinstating excise duty on fuel and addressing the issue of “salaried FOP,” although the latter was a topic of debate even prior to the war. However, there are no indications of an overall increase in the tax burden on the entire population.
  • The manipulation of weather conditions for military purposes is indeed prohibited under the relevant UN convention adopted in 1976. It is true that in russia, measures are sometimes taken to create favorable weather conditions before major public events or holidays, such as preventing rain or dispersing clouds. However, no known evidence exists of using weather manipulation for military purposes. Therefore, the notion of a “climate weapon” in relation to russia can be considered a conspiracy theory.
  • There are indeed objective reasons (and not just the desire or reluctance of the current leadership of the country) why holding elections during martial law can be challenging. Firstly, there have been mass displacements of millions of Ukrainians within and outside the country. Secondly, the infrastructure may be partially or entirely destroyed, including election commissions and voting facilities. Thirdly, proper registration of citizens and the formation of accurate voter lists are essential for a fair electoral process. Additionally, ensuring the safety of voters is crucial. Therefore, elections are not feasible until active hostilities cease and infrastructure is restored.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on May 9

  • The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, said that peace between Russia and Ukraine would come under the condition that Donald Trump returns to power in the United States.
  • The russian mass media write that the Ukrainian air defense forces should let Russian missiles pass for the sake of economy. According to the fake news makers, the British analyst Michael Clarke allegedly stated this.
  • Russian Telegram channels claim that the Bayraktar UAV shot down over Kyiv probably fell under Russian radio-electronic control.

Now the TRUTH:

  • One of the propaganda narratives spread by russia is the accusation that the West is responsible for the war and supports Ukraine. Therefore, russia accuses the West of “inciting war” and establishing complete control over Ukraine. By promoting this narrative in Ukraine’s information space, pro-Russian fake news makers aim to portray Ukraine as a “puppet state” under the control of Western countries.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security denied the fake news regarding Michael Clarke’s statements. In reality, Michael Clarke only mentioned that the Ukrainian missile stocks for the S-300 system might be running low. There was no mention of saving missiles specifically for air defense purposes.
  • On May 4, at approximately 8 p.m. in the Kyiv region, a Bayraktar TB2 UAV lost control during a scheduled flight. Recognizing the potential risks associated with the uncontrolled presence of UAVs in the capital’s airspace, the decision was made to deploy mobile fire units, as reported by the command of the Air Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The incident is believed to result from a technical malfunction, and investigations are underway to determine the exact cause.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on May 8

  • russia’s security council secretary, patrushev, stated that the preservation of Ukraine is not part of the US plans. The Americans allegedly need Ukraine only because of its natural resources, and they need the country without its traditional population. Therefore, the West’s war with russia continues until the last Ukrainian.
  • The US Embassy in Ukraine warned of an increased risk of missile attacks after a drone strike on the Kremlin.
  • Russian mass media spread the news of a Ukrainian expert allegedly admitting to the Armed Forces’ inability to counter russian missiles.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russia is actively promoting the narrative of Western control in order to justify its invasion. By spreading statements that russia is “not to blame” for the conflict and suggesting that it was provoked by the West, the USA, and NATO, russian propaganda aims to discredit Western and Ukrainian leaders and sow resistance among Ukrainians. It is worth mentioning fictitious claims, such as Ukraine being occupied by NATO or its inability to “last a day” without US assistance.
  • Indeed, the events are not directly related to each other because the US Embassy routinely issues warnings on its website for US citizens about the increased risk of missile attacks in light of the ongoing conflict and russian aggression.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security refuted the fake news and clarified that Valerii Romanenko, the alleged source of the statement, did not make any such remarks.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on May 5

  • The conflict between Ukraine and Russia exists because of Western Ukraine. Therefore, it should be given to Europe, as stated by Scott Ritter, an ex-intelligence officer of the US Marine Corps.
  • In case of failure of the counteroffensive, Russian troops will capture Odesa.
  • In Ukraine, they want to introduce an order of Stepan Bandera for heroism (petition only)

Now the TRUTH:

  • Scott Ritter is a mouthpiece of the Kremlin despite presenting himself as a former intelligence officer. Ukraine, as a whole, or any of its regions, should not be held responsible for the Russian attack. The division of Ukraine between russia and Europe is an unlikely scenario (although very much desired by russia), as Ukraine is determined to fight for the full return of its territories. It is the official stance of the Ukrainian government.
  • There are no objective reasons to believe that russian troops can capture Odesa in the event of a failed counteroffensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Such claims are likely part of a russian propaganda campaign aimed at intimidating and demoralizing Ukrainians.
  • In reality, there are currently no plans to introduce such an order. While there may be proposals on the President of Ukraine’s website, they have not received the necessary votes or official consideration. Therefore, it is essential to note that these proposals represent the ideas of individual citizens rather than the official plans of the Ukrainian authorities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on May 4

  • The russian defense ministry claims that NATO is escalating the conflict between Ukraine and russia by deploying nuclear weapons in non-nuclear countries.
  • According to kirill vyshinsky, a member of the council under the president of russia for the development of civil society and human rights, Ukraine has been pursuing a Russophobic policy since 2014.
  • Russian mass media report that Ukraine is allegedly planning provocations in Transnistria on May 9-15.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russia has been accusing the Western collective, specifically NATO, of escalating the conflict. One of the recent claims is about the alleged presence of nuclear weapons in non-nuclear states. The exact target of these accusations by the russian ministry of defense is unclear. It could refer to the alleged nuclear weapons placement in Ukraine or new NATO members such as Sweden and Finland. However, it is important to note that there is currently no confirmed information regarding the deployment of nuclear weapons in any of these countries. On the contrary, Russia has been engaged in nuclear escalation by threatening to potentially place nuclear weapons in Belarus.
  • The euphemistic term “Russophobia” is commonly used by russian propagandists. Ukraine’s policy aims to significantly reduce or sever various ties with Russia, including economic, diplomatic, cultural, and historical relations.
  • There is no substantial evidence to support the claim that Ukraine is preparing provocations in Transnistria, and it is nothing more than another invention of Russian propaganda. It is worth noting that Russia has used similar narratives in recent months, which may indicate the preparation of an operation under a foreign flag in order to once again accuse Ukraine of terrorism carried out by Russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on May 3

  • This week, the russian media revisited the “russian spring” events in 2014, particularly the protests that occurred in Kharkiv during that time. According to the media, these protests demonstrate that Kharkiv’s residents opposed the European path and desired to return to russia.
  • In addition, they revisited the tragic events in Odesa on May 2, 2014. Russian media traditionally call this date the “Odesa Khatyn.”
  • Ukraine already has a dirty nuclear bomb and will be ready to use it on the instructions of curators from the USA to shift the blame onto russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The protests that took place during the so-called “russian spring” in Kharkiv in 2014 were orchestrated by pro-russian separatist groups. Some of the participants were reportedly brought in from Bedgorod via electric trains. During the protests, the separatists hoisted the russian flag over the OSA building and even declared the so-called “KhRN” on a separate occasion. These demonstrations were not representative of the will of the people of Kharkiv but rather a pro-russian movement aimed at undermining the gains of the Revolution of Dignity.
  • Drawing a comparison between the tragedies of Khatyn and the events that occurred in Odesa in 2014 is unjustifiable. Khatyn, a Belarusian village burned down by German troops during World War II, became a symbol of Nazi war crimes and the brutal destruction of civilians. On the other hand, the fire in the House of Trade Unions in Odesa in 2014 was not pre-planned, according to the conclusions of court experts. The clashes between the opposing groups involved using incendiary mixtures like “Molotov cocktails” by both sides and the culprits could not be identified. While criminal proceedings were initiated, they were ultimately terminated during the pre-trial investigation and trial. However, some of those who organized pro-russian protests in Odesa are still being sought, as evidenced by the SBU’s uncovering of an organizer of the “Antimaidan” movement in 2020, who was also revealed to be the chief manager of a russian special service agent network that aimed to destabilize the situation in Ukraine through Telegram channels.
  • Recently, pro-russian Telegram channels have been circulating stories about the USA providing Ukraine with sensors to detect nuclear damage zones. While the article mentions that Ukraine would need these sensors in case of a potential attack by russia, it does not suggest that Ukraine is developing a “dirty” nuclear bomb. Russian propaganda made false claims about Ukraine’s supposed production of such a bomb even before the start of the full-scale invasion, despite the fact that this is impossible, being prohibited by international agreements that Ukraine has signed.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on May 2

  • Videos purporting to show the reconstruction of Mariupol are circulating on the Internet once again. Russian Telegram channels claim that while Zelensky poses for pictures amidst the ruins of Borodianka, the russian federation is actively rebuilding Mariupol.
  • There are supposedly fewer and fewer Orthodox churches in Ukraine. For instance, 22 land plots were recently taken from the UOC MP in Chernivtsi.
  • A house in Uman, Cherkasy region, was destroyed on April 28 due to the actions of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian propagandists have been using selective reporting to manipulate the narrative around reconstructing cities like Mariupol and other temporarily occupied cities. Typically, russian journalists will take a selective picture showing only the reconstruction efforts while leaving out the fact that the Russian occupation forces initially destroyed the city.
  • The ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the moscow patriarchate (UOC MP) does not entail the closure of Orthodox churches or a general ban on the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The UOC MP has long promoted Kremlin narratives and interests in Ukraine, and some of its churches were found to be harboring FSB agents. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the Orthodox Church, and these changes aim to eliminate russian influence over religious life in Ukraine.
  • A russian missile (not a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile) hit a multi-story residential building in Uman, causing the deaths of 23 people, including five children. This false narrative is being used to portray the Ukrainian military as incompetent and Ukrainian as shooting at themselves every time civilian targets are struck.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on May 1

  • According to reports, the adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, reportedly stated during the Telethon broadcast that Ukraine has the right to destroy everything on the territories of Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk, as well as parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. https://t.me/readovkanews/57549
  • Reports are circulating on pro-russian Telegram channels that fuel tanks caught fire in Pavlohrad on the night of May 1, allegedly as a result of a russian attack. Other channels claim that russia targeted the Pavlohrad Chemical Plant, causing a chemical hazard for the population.
  • Some russian telegram channels have made assumptions that if British weapons containing depleted uranium are stored in Pavlohrad, the people of the Dnipropetrovsk region may soon experience the consequences of radiation contamination.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Mykhailo Podoliak’s statement was taken out of context. During the United Marathon broadcast on April 25, he stated that Ukraine has the right to target groups of russian occupation troops in temporarily occupied territories. His statement was limited to the destruction of the russian army and did not mention the complete destruction of the regions or their population.
  • On the night of May 1, an industrial plant in Pavlohrad was damaged due to an attack on the Dnipropetrovsk region with seven rockets. The attack caused damage to 19 high-rise buildings, 25 private houses, six schools and preschool institutions, and five shops in the residential area. Earlier reports indicated that 25 people were injured, including three children.
  • Immediately at night, the executive committee of the Pavlohrad community said there was no chemical hazard. The head of the Dnipropetrovsk OMA reported that the fire resulting from the attack had been put out by morning. However, dozens of buildings, including high-rise buildings, private houses, and educational institutions, were damaged as a result of the attack.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on April 28

  • During the attack on russia’s Black Sea fleet near Sevastopol, Ukraine violated the mode of operation of the humanitarian corridor under the grain agreement, as announced by russia’s defense ministry.
  • According to russian minister for foreign affairs sergey lavrov, NATO allegedly made a promise to former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, not to expand to the East. The inclusion of Finland and Sweden into NATO violates this promise.
  • According to an interview with CNN, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba claimed that Ukraine would continue fighting until the very last Ukrainian and had no intention of entering into any negotiations, as they were relying on the success of their counteroffensive.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The spokesperson for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Andrii Yusov, refuted the russian defense ministry’s claim that Ukraine violated the grain corridor and attacked civilian infrastructure in Crimea, labeling it as a “false manipulation by the aggressor state.” He emphasized that the recent incidents in Crimea were solely related to military targets and had no connection to the grain agreement, which includes the use of Ukrainian ports and civilian ports within the territory controlled by Ukraine.
  • At the end of the Cold War, in February 1990, US Secretary of State James Baker and the last General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, discussed the future of NATO in the aftermath of the Cold War. During the discussion, Baker posed a hypothetical question to Gorbachev, asking if the Soviet Union would be willing to give up its portion of Germany in exchange for a promise that NATO would not expand its influence further eastward. No official agreement was made as a result of the discussion. However, if NATO had remained stagnant, it would have resulted in a divided Germany, with one half under NATO’s influence. Baker later promptly clarified that his remarks were purely hypothetical and caused confusion. Today, russian propaganda cites the hypothetical discussion as a justification for its actions in Ukraine, claiming that the “not an inch east” promise was violated by the event.
  • According to the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in an interview with CNN: “We’re open to discussing any peace plan that does not involve freezing the conflict or Ukraine handing over its territory to Russia.” This means that Ukraine is not advocating for war until the last Ukrainian, contrary to what Russian propaganda might suggest. Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine is only prepared to negotiate once all of its territories have been liberated rather than agreeing to a ceasefire that would freeze the conflict.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 27

  • In a speech delivered at the UN Security Council, russian foreign minister sergey lavrov argued that the West recognized the independence of Kosovo without holding a referendum. Yet, Crimea, despite holding a referendum, has not been recognized.
  • In addition, lavrov claimed that russia launched a special operation in Ukraine to protect people from destruction by the Kyiv regime and to eliminate the perceived threat from NATO.
  • Lavrov also accused the West of failing to prevent Ukrainian Presidents Poroshenko and Zelensky from attempting to destroy the russian language and culture, despite the provisions of the Convention on National Minorities.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The pseudo-referendum in Crimea was not a legitimate exercise in democratic processes. The referendum’s outcome was seen as a result of the forceful seizure of Crimea and the establishment of an occupying power there rather than a manifestation of the genuine will of the Crimean people. Furthermore, the referendum was not observed by international observers, except russia, casting doubt on the authenticity of the entire process. As a result, the international community does not recognize Crimea as part of russia, and its capture is widely viewed as an act of annexation.
  • In an attempt to justify its ongoing military failures against Ukraine, russia has resorted to claiming that it is not fighting Ukraine directly but rather the “collective West.” Russia argues that Ukraine lacks the military capacity to fight against the russian federation, so it is actually fighting against Germany, Britain, the USA, or the entire NATO, both as a proxy war and in direct confrontation. According to this line of reasoning, Ukraine is merely a testing ground for weapons and military tactics.
  • The use of the russian language in Ukraine is not restricted to domestic purposes. However, civil servants and education workers are required to communicate in Ukrainian, and education must be conducted in Ukrainian as well. Additionally, there are restrictions on the use of the russian language in mass media due to the Ukrainian law on the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on April 26

  • Russian Telegram channels and Ukrainian media are circulating information about draft law No. 9223, which purportedly introduces a prison sentence of five to seven years for criticizing the government during martial law in Ukraine.
  • Information is circulating online that russia has repaired a road that Ukraine has allegedly neglected for 30 years. The road in question is a section of the international highway E-58, which is over 150 km long.
  • Information is being shared online that the Azov brigade is a terrorist organization. In particular, to prove this, users claim that the members are assigned numbers being forbidden to use their names during the Azov young fighter training course. Also, their training allegedly ends with torture and beatings inflicted upon their fellow brethren.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The draft law proposes imprisonment for 5 to 7 years with property confiscation only in cases where actions on social media accounts pose a threat to Ukraine’s national security during martial law. The dissemination of this information by russian propaganda aims to create the impression that Ukraine’s freedom of speech is being restricted, and consequently, Ukraine is not a democratic state.
  • The section of the Odesa-Melitopol-Novoazovsk highway was reportedly undergoing repairs even before the start of the full-scale invasion. In 2022, further expansion of repair works was planned. The russian propaganda media are using such reports to promote the false narrative that russia is rebuilding Ukraine and that the Ukrainian authorities are responsible for the decline of Ukrainian territories.
  • Firstly, Azov is not known for using terror tactics, being a brigade (not a non-state entity) within the National Guard of Ukraine. Secondly, claims that recruits are subjected to torture and beatings during their training have no credible evidence. The only source of such statements is anonymous Russian Telegram channels. Both before the full-scale invasion and today, Azov recruits could not use names or nicknames and must wear a number on their uniform during the 5-week military training course (until 2022, the course sometimes lasted nine weeks). After successfully completing the course, recruits are given a unit emblem and allowed to choose a nickname.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on April 25

  • The binding agreement with the IMF, or the so-called “economic Bucha,” and the sale of state-owned enterprises is not a necessity but a move by Bankova aiming to involve new interested parties in the conflict.
  • Polish Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the relations between Warsaw and Budapest “have changed a lot” due to the position of the Hungarian side regarding the Ukrainian conflict, with close cooperation between the two countries changing to rivalry for the “pieces” claimed by these states in the rapid division of Ukraine.
  • The leader of the PMC Wagner, Evgeny Prigozhyn, reported that in Chasovyi Yar and Kostiantynivka in the Donetsk region, riots had broken out among the Armed Forces in Ukraine, resulting in the soldiers throwing down their weapons and departing. According to the propagandist collaborator volodymyr rohov, a significant number of soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Zaporizhzhia region were also defecting to the russian side.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The agreement made with the IMF is not detrimental to Ukraine, and it certainly does not equate to an “economic Bucha,” as it has been cynically referred to by pro-Russian sources. It is noteworthy that pro-russian sources and politicians had already discredited our cooperation with the I<F even before Russia launched its full-scale invasion. In reality, the IMF is providing loans to Ukraine based on the government’s commitment to implementing a series of reforms to strengthen Ukraine, create a stable economy, and establish effective institutions. To achieve these objectives, Ukraine is undertaking anti-corruption and judicial reforms, streamlining budget expenditures through medical, pension, and gas reforms and decentralization.
  • In the original piece, Morawiecki did not mention any rivalry between the countries for “pieces” of Ukraine. Instead, he only discussed the discrepancies between Hungary and Poland regarding events taking place in Ukraine. The article in TVN24 also notes that the governments of Poland and Hungary were previously close allies until russia’s invasion last February, after which they began to drift apart, with Warsaw one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters and Budapest criticizing Europe’s involvement in the conflict.
  • It is worth noting that these two statements were released nearly simultaneously, suggesting possible coordination by the Kremlin. As a matter of fact, there is no other evidence or testimony, apart from that of propagandists, regarding the supposed massive defection of the Armed Forces to the russian side. This wave of messages could be related to the propagandists’ attempt to undermine the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces and demoralize the Ukrainian army.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on April 24

  • Warsaw is gathering the “army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth” to march on the lands of Western Ukraine.
  • Independent Polish journalist Petro Szlachtowicz wrote on Twitter that according to his data, infected grain from Ukraine was imported starting from August/September last year,  meaning the Poles had been eating poisoned bread for a long time, and the government knew about it and continued to play the fool. According to him, Poles were consuming poison as it was estimated that 1 in 5 loaves of bread was made from bad grain.
  • Robert Kennedy Jr. questioned why they were in Ukraine and cited Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s statement that they were there to wear down the russians and President Biden’s statement that they were there to bring down Vladimir Putin. He expressed concern that if those were the reasons for their involvement, it meant they were using Ukrainian lives as pawns in a war between two major powers. He further added that no one talked about the fact that 300,000 Ukrainian servicemen had already died, and with Russians reportedly killing Ukrainians at a ratio of seven to one or eight to one, they could not stand against them.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Amidst the commencement of military training for civilians in Poland who can join the reserve of the Polish Army upon completion, Russia fabricated this news, alleging that Poland is preparing an army to attack Ukraine and occupy its western region. However, it should be noted that Poland has not made any such declaration. Russia spreads such misinformation weekly to create an image of Ukraine having one more adversary and validate its claims of rescuing Ukraine from the collective West.
  • The official and credible sources from Poland did not confirm the mass entry of contaminated Ukrainian grain into the country. An individual who identified as an independent journalist claimed to have received this information from undisclosed sources, which could potentially be a made-up story concealed by the anonymity of these sources. Interestingly, this news surfaced almost concurrently with reports about suspending Ukrainian grain exports to Poland and other European nations. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the suspension of Ukrainian grain exports is not related to any safety hazards of the Ukrainian products but rather due to increased competition faced by the local producers who could not sell their grain as a result of the Ukrainian exports.
  • Since Robert Kennedy Jr. announced his candidacy for the upcoming US presidential elections, it is unsurprising that he is promoting populist ideas. He made his remarks on Fox News, a channel that frequently disseminates opposition views and provides a platform for numerous manipulations, particularly if such views conflict with the position of current US President Joe Biden. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Kennedy Jr.’s claim that Ukraine lost 300,000 soldiers is unfounded, and his assertion about the alleged conflict between the US and russia, which is resulting in the deaths of ordinary Ukrainians, echoes the narratives of Russian propaganda, which seeks to justify its losses in Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on April 23

  • OCU forcibly instills a schismatic faith in the Armed Forces, sending black chaplains to the ranks of the Armed Forces.
  • British politician David Kurten wrote on Twitter: “The Ukraine conflict would never have happened were it not for the escalation by warmongers in Western governments. The collective West should end it immediately to save the lives of young Ukrainian men with no military experience who are now being sent to die for nothing.”
  • The Ukrainian authorities are deliberately mobilizing Odesa residents to populate this region with Westerners and form an electorate supporting Zelenskyi in the next elections.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to believe that the OCU is imposing its faith on the AFU. The alleged “black chaplains” are merely a fabrication of russian propaganda, much like the mythical “black transplant specialists.” They simply do not exist. Russia propagated this hoax ahead of Easter to once again accuse Ukraine of dividing churches and promoting different faiths. However, Ukraine’s struggle against the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate is not about promoting a different faith. The OCU is also an Orthodox Church, just like the UOC but without russian agents promoting Kremlin narratives through the church and conducting intelligence operations against Ukraine.
  • The statement clearly reflects several Kremlin narratives. Firstly, the commencement of a full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine has no association with the West, and neither Ukraine nor the West provoked russia. Secondly, the West is unable to influence the war’s conclusion as Russia has been carrying out large-scale attacks on Ukrainian territory for over a year. Russia initiated the war in 2014, capturing Crimea and a portion of Donbas and annexing Crimea unlawfully. Additionally, the notion that Ukrainians are not “dying for nothing” is part of Russia’s rhetoric since Ukrainians are safeguarding their land and liberating it from the invaders.
  • The notion that authorities are intentionally mobilizing only Odesa residents and populating the region with Western Ukrainians lacks objective evidence. This idea is part of Russia’s narrative, which includes several components. Firstly, it falsely accuses the authorities of discriminating against Odesa residents, who are allegedly more Russified than other parts of Ukraine. However, mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, and its pace and size are based on the army’s needs rather than any demographic composition. Secondly, by perpetuating this message, Russia seeks to divide Ukrainians into different “types”: a more Russified population and so-called Westerners who purportedly support the government more. These statements aim to create division within society and turn Ukrainians against each other. In fact, changing the demographic composition of a region is a common tactic of russia rather than Ukraine. Russia has a history of accusing Ukraine of actions it has itself taken. For example, during Soviet times and after 2014, russia altered the demographic makeup of Crimea by deporting the local population to russia and settling the region with russians. Similarly, russia is now using the same tactic in other occupied territories, forcibly deporting Ukrainians, including children, to the most disadvantaged areas of russia and replacing them with russians.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 22

  • At a meeting with Andrzej Duda, Volodymyr Zelensky agreed on the format of the Warsaw Union between Ukraine and Poland. It will be in the form of a confederation of two countries. The President’s office approved several drafts of the future union and, most importantly, the new state’s unified political/military mechanism.
  • On April 21, Russian forces surrounded the Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut, as reported by the adviser to the head of the so-called “DPR,” Yan Hahin.
  • On April 21, Ukrainians used chemical weapons in the Zaporizhzhia region, as reported by propagandist collaborator volodymyr rohov. Because of this, chemical defense kits were allegedly delivered to the frontline in case of a repeated attack.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Once again, russian propaganda is circulating a false narrative that Poland plans to partition and occupy part of Ukraine, forming a new state in the form of a confederation. However, this information is unverified and lacks evidence. Poland has consistently supported Ukraine with weapons, refugee asylum, and diplomatic and humanitarian aid and has never expressed any intention to annex Ukraine. The purpose of spreading this Russian propaganda narrative is to create another perceived enemy for Ukrainians and divert attention away from Russia being the only current threat to Ukraine.
  • There is no evidence to support this information. Reports from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 21 and 22 indicate that the fighting for Bakhmut was still ongoing. It is worth noting that Russian sources later contradicted this information.
  • Ukraine does not use chemical weapons as it has ratified international conventions prohibiting their use. In contrast, over a year ago, the USA warned that russia might use chemical weapons in Ukraine or carry out an operation using them under a foreign flag. Furthermore, Russia has been found to be using chemical weapons, with at least three cases being confirmed: the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergey Skripal and russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev with Novichok. These attacks on Skripal and Navalny occurred after 2017, when russia claimed to have eliminated all chemical weapons, leading to the imposition of sanctions against russian officials and organizations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on April 21

  • Pieces about the possible change of educational subjects in schools were circulated online. Comments identical to the headlines were added to the articles: “No more mathematics or physics in schools: the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has decided to cancel the study of unnecessary subjects.” Or they comment so the screenshot of the post of the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Oksen Lisovyi.
  • Information is being spread online that an art object dedicated to Volodymyr Zelensky was allegedly created in the Paris City Museum of Modern Art. It is a nose that sniffs white powder.
  • Pro-russian Telegram channels published a video showing an advertising stand allegedly located in Milan. It shows Zelensky “sniffing up” the money of Europeans. In this way, the Europeans seem to show that they know about the drug addiction of the Ukrainian President.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On April 14, the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Oksen Lisovyi, expressed concern over the number of subjects that Ukrainian schoolchildren are required to study. He pointed out that children in grades 7-9 are currently studying around 20 subjects, which he believes is excessive and warrants a need to optimize educational programs. The Minister also reminded that starting in 2027, high school students will be given the freedom to choose the areas they want to study. Several other sites have posts citing Lisovyi’s post, but some have misleading headlines and contradict their own claims in the final sentences. It is currently unknown how the number of subjects will change.
  • This is not true. It is an object from an exhibition in Italy in 2018, which the author dedicated to bad habits. There was no mention of Volodymyr Zelensky at the show.
  • The footage features the Milan Cathedral on Duomo di Milano, with advertising stands similar to the one seen in the video. The stands bear the inscription “Comune di Milano,” indicating that they belong to the municipality of Milan. According to the municipality’s official website, obtaining a permit is necessary for advertising. In response to inquiries by independent fact-checkers at “Open,” the city’s press service stated in the comments section that they did not issue any permits for installing the advertisement featuring Zelensky.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on April 20

  • The flash and explosion seen and heard in Kyiv and the Kyiv region on the night of April 20 is the impact of a Russian missile at the ammunition depot of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Bila Tserkva.
  • A video message of service members of the 124th brigade complaining about “huge” losses is being circulated online.
  • Russians are spreading posts on social networks that the President of Ukraine allegedly “appropriated $400 million allocated by US taxpayers and intended to pay for fuel.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • This version is false and was spread by Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. According to Yurii Ihnat, the spokesman of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the flash was most likely a meteorite entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, the State Space Agency suggested that a meteorite from the Lyrid stream caused the flash seen in the Kyiv region on April 19.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications warns that the narrative of a panicked mood within the ranks of the Defense Forces of Ukraine is a hostile PSYOP. This narrative, pushed by propagandists from the Kremlin and their actor-performers, alleges that the Ukrainian military is experiencing shortages of ammunition, money, food and an overall feeling of abandonment and waste. This panic story from moscow aims to project onto the Ukrainian government and military leadership the problems characteristic of the “second army of the world” – the russian military. This is despite well-documented evidence of the confrontation between the marginal prigozhyn and the stingy shoigu over ammunition for “Wagnerites,” tons of videos of russian draftees complaining about poor conditions and lack of payment for Putin’s “special military operation,” and inferior materials and technical support.
  • The “source” is an article by American journalist Hersh, published on the Substack website, claiming that Zelensky appropriated $400 million. However, the Center for Strategic Communications has found no evidence to support this claim, and Hersh’s material is baseless. The article’s only cited “source” is an unknown “American intelligence officer,” who allegedly spoke to Hersh in a private conversation. Even this anonymous informant seems to be confused about their data regarding “corruption in Ukraine.” American auditors and the White House have repeatedly emphasized that they have not found significant violations concerning the use of Western weapons and material aid on the part of Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on April 16

  • Russian media and Telegram channels are disseminating videos claiming that russia is allegedly transporting nuclear weapons in the city of Vyborg near the border with Finland.
  • A video is being circulated online in which a woman claims that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said he would fight until the last Ukrainian. The author says there would be no Ukrainians left in Ukraine because they would all be killed.
  • Russian mass media disseminate footage from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine of testing Western equipment, with a voice allegedly saying: “These weapons will help us occupy the territory of Ukraine.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • The video circulating online as russia’s alleged reaction to Finland’s accession to NATO is actually a fake. According to fact-checkers, the video was shot in the Vladimir region near Moscow, not near the Finnish border. Furthermore, similar videos have been circulating online even before 2023.
  • The claim that Volodymyr Zelensky said he would fight until the last Ukrainian is false. In reality, Zelensky used the phrase “fight to the last” in his speeches, indicating that Ukraine would fight for every city it has. In July 2022, the President also stated that Ukrainians would defend their statehood until the last breath, cartridge, and enemy soldier.
  • Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov conducted a test drive on Stryker and Cougar armored personnel carriers on March 30, 2023, which were transferred to Ukraine from the United States. The video of Reznikov’s tests was published on his Twitter page. The Russian media claimed that the video showed Ukraine planning to “occupy” territory. Still, the original video does not contain the word “occupy” but instead says “liberate,” which refers to the goal of liberating the territory, not occupying it. Otherwise, the video would also be illogical because it shows Ukraine’s gratitude to the USA for weapons.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 15

  • According to russian media, a Kremlin protege of the people’s militia in the so-called “LPR” claims that women trained in chemistry, biology, or veterinary medicine are being recruited for the war in Ukraine. The publication alleges that Ukraine is preparing for “provocations” with chemical weapons through this recruitment.
  • Russian Telegram channels are sharing a photo that purportedly shows a minor’s passport who was reportedly sent to the front in Poltava by representatives of the enlistment office. According to these channels, the boy is only 16 years old but was made to appear four years more senior in the documents. It is alleged that the situation gained attention when the boy’s relatives began complaining about it.
  • The alleged statement of the Office of the President of Ukraine that Kyiv is ready for negotiations with moscow regarding the status of Crimea if Ukrainian troops reach its borders is being spread online.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is fake. There is no conclusive evidence that Ukraine is using or preparing “provocations” with chemical weapons. On October 7, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada adopted draft law No. 6482, “On the voluntary procedure for including women into the military register of conscripts.” According to the list of professions from the Ministry of Defense, women who have the specified specialties and are fit for service in terms of their health can voluntarily enter the military register. Chemistry and biology are among the needed professions. The claim that Ukraine is recruiting women with chemical, biology, or veterinary medicine background to prepare “provocations” with chemical weapons is unfounded. On October 7, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada approved draft law No. 6482, which allows women with specific professional backgrounds, including chemistry and biology, to voluntarily register for military service, provided they meet the health requirements set by the Ministry of Defense.
  • The mobilization of minors is prohibited in Ukraine. Russian propaganda already used this document in 2015. It belongs to Yevhen Agapov, a russian “witness” in the downing of the Malaysian Boeing, whose testimony is false. The decision of the Hague Court confirms this. It is prohibited to mobilize minors in Ukraine, and a document circulated by russian propaganda allegedly showing a 16-year-old being sent to the front in Poltava is likely fake. The piece actually belongs to yevgeny agapov, a russian witness in the false testimony surrounding the downing of the Malaysian Boeing in 2015. The Hague Court has confirmed that his testimony was false.
  • On April 5, the American edition of Financial The Times published an article entitled Ukraine ‘ready’ to talk to Russia on Crimea if counteroffensive succeeds.” The word “ready” is enclosed in quotation marks, which gives it the opposite meaning. Negotiations are only one of the possible forms of de-occupation of the peninsula. An article was published on April 5 by the American publication Financial Times, titled “Ukraine ‘ready’ to talk to Russia on Crimea if counteroffensive succeeds.” However, the word “ready” is placed in quotation marks, implying a different connotation. Negotiations are merely one potential avenue toward the de-occupation of the peninsula.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on April 14

  • An online screenshot is circulating, allegedly from the website of the Poltava Theological Seminary, which contains a text of an announcement citing the law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” and specifying the appearance requirements for the clergy who have transferred from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the moscow patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. According to the text, the candidate’s height, skull shape, eye color, and hair color should meet specific criteria. However, the captions say similar selection criteria were used in Nazi Germany.
  • Information is being spread online about the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, calling to ban russian female tennis players from winning against Ukrainian players. Russian media cite a piece from the British publication Daily Mail.
  • Russian Telegram channels and media cite Polish mass media to spread information that mass dissatisfaction with Ukrainian refugees is growing in Poland. The publications add that 38% of Polish citizens surveyed by United Surveys believe that the “inflow” of Ukrainians threatens the security of Europe.

Now the TRUTH:

  • We discovered the photos in the screenshot in the “News” section of the Poltava Theological Seminary website. The pictures were featured in an article published on January 29, 2023, reporting on a service held at the Church of the Holy Intercession in Horishni Plavni. This was the most recent news update available on the website at the time of our investigation. However, we found no information on the website regarding any criteria or standards for the appearance of clergy members who have transferred to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
  • To clarify, Dmytro Kuleba did not call for a “ban on winning” as initially reported but rather spoke about the need to exclude russian and belarusian athletes from competitions. Furthermore, the Daily Mail piece in question does not suggest that Kuleba called for a ban on russian tennis players winning against Ukrainian women. Instead, it references Kuleba’s comments regarding the participation of russian and belarusian athletes in the Wimbledon tournament. Citing his comment for Express, the Daily Mail wrote that Kuleba urged organizers not to allow putin to claim victory.
  • Russian media refer to an article in the Polish media outlet Myśl Polska, known for its propagandistic content. The article manipulates a United Surveys research conducted after a russian missile fell on Polish territory on November 21, 2022. At the time, 80% of the polled Poles expressed support for Ukraine, and 68% were in favor of accepting Ukrainian refugees. However, the latest poll conducted by the Polish news agency PAP on April 11, 2023, shows that 83% of Poles are now in favor of accepting Ukrainian refugees. Moreover, 76% of respondents believe that russia’s invasion poses a direct threat to Poland’s security.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 11

  • Anthems of the USA, russia, and Ukraine were compared online. Accordingly, the anthem of Ukraine was found to contain the words “Let’s remember the glorious death,” “Why did he give up Ukraine,” and “Let’s lie down with our heads.”
  • An account of a Lviv store allegedly selling Russophobic pencils for children appeared on Instagram.
  • Also, last week, the russian media several times spread news supporting the narrative that Russia is rebuilding the occupied cities. For example, the russian media outlets stated that the occupying power would allegedly install 320 new communication towers in Zaporizhzhia, rebuild roads in Horlivka in the Donetsk region, and ensure the operation of several hundred educational and medical institutions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The words shown in the picture are not (and have never been) part of the national anthem of Ukraine. Ukraine’s national anthem uses the first verse and chorus of the work by Pavlo Chubynskyi and does not contain the phrases “let’s remember the glorious death,” “why did he give up Ukraine,” “let’s lie down with our heads,” or “they call us from the graves.” The full text of Pavlo Chubynskyi’s work does not contain such phrases, either. It should be noted that this misinformation has been circulating online since at least 2020.
  • The text on the pencils was added in a photo editor, and the online store does not actually allow customers to order such pencils. It is quite possibly an enemy PSYOP aiming to once again discredit Ukrainians.
  • Russia frequently spreads propaganda about the supposed reconstruction of the temporarily occupied territories but fails to acknowledge its own destruction of Ukrainian cities. The promises of the occupation authorities regarding reconstruction are often empty rhetoric, and Russia shows little concern for the population living in the TOT. When russia does present pictures of allegedly rebuilt objects on TV shows, it selectively chooses a few while completely destroyed cities remain hidden from view.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on April 10

  • Minister of Health of Serbia Danica Grujicic warns that weapons with depleted uranium are supposed to be a nuclear war, and Ukrainians should supposedly prevent these shells from entering Ukraine. According to her, these projectiles will affect the health of Ukrainians in 5-10-20 years.
  • A video is circulating online alleging Ukraine will repay its loan debts by selling Ukrainian land to foreigners.
  • Also, narratives are being spread that foreign owners of agricultural land oblige farmers to work on mined fields just to make a profit.

Now the TRUTH:

  • A government official from Serbia is promoting a narrative about the conflict, claiming that shells containing depleted uranium could lead to a “nuclear escalation” and pose a threat to the environment. However, it is important to note that these projectiles are unrelated to nuclear weapons, as confirmed by Great Britain, the country that supplied them. Additionally, during russia’s war against Ukraine, there were instances where Russian 3BM59 “Svynets-1” projectiles with a uranium core were observed.
  • Prior to the full-scale invasion, pro-Russian resources and politicians had already disseminated similar myths, particularly surrounding the land market opening in 2020. The purpose of opening the agricultural land market was to grant landowners full rights over their land, including the ability to sell it rather than solely leasing it. Despite the initial spread of such intimidating claims in 2020, there has been no widespread occurrence of land being sold to foreign entities.
  • This falsehood is linked to the previous misinformation, claiming that foreign buyers of Ukrainian land will exploit farmers even further. However, there is no substantiated evidence to support this claim. Companies with foreign investments utilized certain agricultural land plots even before the land market was opened. Therefore, it is unfounded to suggest that extending the land market will result in a widespread appropriation of Ukrainian lands by foreign entities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 9

  • A video circulated on TikTok of Zelensky allegedly saying he would look for Belarusians who launched missiles on Ukraine’s territory, even near the Caspian Sea shores. The video’s author makes a hint that Zelensky does not know geography and believes that Belarus extends to the Caspian Sea.
  • Ukraine’s state budget does not include funds for restoring destroyed and damaged infrastructure.
  • Polish blogger with the nickname Tad Kapala said on Twitter that Ukraine received an amount of international aid already exceeding the budget of Poland, which is “turning itself inside out” to help Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • A manipulated version of President Zelensky’s address, dated June 27, 2022, is being circulated online. In this edited video, the author first features Zelensky addressing belarusians and then mentions the Caspian Sea to create a misleading narrative. In the original footage, Zelensky first addresses the russian military and says that they will be found even if they are hiding beyond the Caspian Sea, and only then urges belarusians not to participate in russia’s war against Ukraine.
  • First of all, this is not true. At least during the recent budget amendments introduced in March of this year, an additional UAH 19 billion was allocated to the budget’s reserve fund, specifically designated for unforeseen and urgent measures. In 2022, this fund was utilized to address the repercussions of hostilities and restore infrastructure in settlements located in the Kyiv region. Furthermore, Ukraine regularly receives ongoing assistance from foreign partners, particularly in rebuilding infrastructure. For instance, in 2022, the EU Energy Community facilitated the delivery of 50 shipments of vital equipment, enabling communal service companies to restore the provision of essential utilities such as electricity, water, and heating.
  • The blogger’s manipulation becomes evident as he compares two countries that are in unequal conditions. Ukraine has been invaded by the russian federation, resulting in the daily destruction of infrastructure and buildings, massive displacement of people, and numerous other losses for the state. On the other hand, while Poland also experienced some consequences of the invasion, such as an influx of refugees or rising prices, it did not endure the same level of devastation as Ukraine. Ukraine’s international aid, including assistance from Poland, is crucial to address the budget deficit caused by the russian invasion. This aid is necessary to address challenges such as extensive destruction, reduction in export revenues and taxes, and, most importantly, to ensure defense and security.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on April 8

  • Before Easter, russian propaganda revived the narrative that Zelensky’s government did not want to fulfill the Minsk agreements – hence it lost new territories.
  • The authorities involved children and teenagers in taking over the church in Kamianets-Podilskyi.
  • At once, four Ukrainian cities — Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro, and Kharkiv — were ranked by the Numbeo crime index as the most criminal cities in Eastern Europe, which is allegedly a consequence of the current security and defense policy.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Minsk Agreements were really disadvantageous for Ukraine in the political part, which provided broad autonomy for the so-called “DPR” and “LPR.” However, it is important to note that the implementation of the Minsk Agreements was supposed to commence with the military aspect, particularly the establishment of a ceasefire. It is russia that has consistently violated this crucial aspect of the agreement. It is concerning that this message reinforces a narrative suggesting that Ukraine provoked the full-scale invasion, attempting to justify russia’s actions.
  • The claim that churches are being taken over in Ukraine is indeed a manipulation created by Russian propaganda. In some areas of Ukraine, such as Kamianets-Podilskyi in the Khmelnytskyi region, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the moscow patriarchate (UOC MP) has been banned, leading to the transfer of the church to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). On Saturday, protests against the UOC MP occurred near the church, which local residents attended. It is important to note that the authorities did not organize these protests, and anyone who wished to participate could join them. It is worth mentioning that russian propaganda often exploits images of children, portraying them as victims of shelling by the Armed Forces.
  • The rankings published on websites like Numbeo are based on user-generated ratings, allowing any individual, regardless of their expertise or knowledge on the topic of criminality, to provide assessments. Therefore, relying solely on such ratings as a reliable source for determining the level of crime in a city may not be advisable. Moreover, even if we consider the data from these rankings, it is worth noting that in previous years, several Ukrainian cities also ranked high in the so-called “rankings” for Eastern Europe. Therefore, it would be illogical to attribute any alleged deterioration in the index value solely to the current security and defense policy.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 6

  • An online video is circulating, purportedly showing individuals labeled as “Ukrainian Nazis” using a car video recorder to record an incident where they stopped a car carrying a woman and a child. The individuals allegedly fired shots into the air after the woman failed to give way to them and spoke Russian.
  • Another video shared on Telegram and Facebook allegedly features a Ukrainian soldier expressing dissatisfaction with their command. The uniformed man claims he and his fellow soldiers are currently stationed “in Avdiivka in March, having been mobilized from Vinnytsia for a week.” They have reportedly been “without communication for three days.” Additionally, the unidentified soldier appears to be confused and unsure about the locations of both enemy forces (“where the orcs are”) and friendly troops (“where ours are”).
  • The upcoming elections seem to drive mass mobilization efforts, as President Zelensky reportedly seeks to rid himself of any opposition. Journalists, religious figures, human rights defenders, and others who may not support him are being removed, while the military is being utilized to establish a base of devoted supporters.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The video in question has been deemed fraudulent. Multiple russian platforms and Ukrainian OSINT investigators have acknowledged that the footage is fake. It was filmed in the vicinity of Donetsk, where Ukrainian forces could not have been present. Furthermore, the video was captured using a video recorder (banned in Ukraine since March 2022).
  • The Center for Strategic Communications has debunked the fabricated video. Firstly, all able-bodied conscripts who have passed the medical exam and are deemed fit for service are sent to training centers within Ukraine. The training period for mobilized personnel under martial law is no less than two months. Secondly, the soldier in the video does not adhere to Ukrainian language pronunciation rules and instead has a distinct russian accent. This video appears to be part of a broader russian disinformation campaign aimed at portraying poor leadership, inadequate command, and military casualties and deaths in Ukraine.
  • Pro-russian platforms are pushing a narrative aimed at discrediting Ukrainian authorities. However, the reality is that all males between 18 and 60 years old are liable for mobilization during martial law unless exempted by law. Regarding the allegations about believers and priests, the propagandists refer to the eviction of the UOC MP from the Lavra. However, these actions were taken due to accusations of inciting religious hatred and justifying and denying Russia’s aggression against Ukraine against the former abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, UOC MP Metropolitan Pavlo. Similarly, claims of “removing journalists” relate to the closure of TV channels associated with Medvedchuk and Kozak, which were broadcasting pro-russian content around the clock, featuring pro-Kremlin politicians and experts.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on April 5

  • irina yarovaya, the vice-speaker of the state duma of russia, stated that according to a parliamentary investigation, military facilities belonging to the US and NATO were established in Ukraine under the pretext of being biolaboratories.
  • The claim is made that Ukrainian Nazis are expelling monks from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, thus destroying the Orthodox faith.
  • Many Ukrainians see the recent $15.6 billion IMF loan as another debt burden that will affect them and future generations for years to come. The loan has sparked widespread anger, with many taking to social media to voice their frustrations.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russia has been searching for alleged US and NATO biolaboratories in Ukraine for years, claiming that they are engaged in developing and researching dangerous viruses, conducting experiments on people to create super-soldiers and combat drugs, or generally developing biological weapons. There have even been versions that COVID-19 could have originated from these alleged biolaboratories. However, in reality, there are no secret military laboratories. Instead, there is an openly implemented Biological Threat Reduction Program, a joint effort between the US and Ukraine to prevent and respond to potential outbreaks of dangerous viruses. Claims of dangerous experiments and research made by russia are typically based on falsified evidence.
  • russia has influenced Ukrainians through the church for years, namely through the UOC of the moscow patriarchate. For years, the ROC, under the jurisdiction of the UOC MP, has been accused of nurturing a “church agency” to spread imperialist narratives about russia and the need to bring Ukraine back into its fold. Patriarch Kirill, the ROC head, openly supports russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, and many clerics within the UOC MP hold anti-Ukrainian positions. Recently, the former abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, UOC MP metropolitan Pavlo, was accused of inciting religious enmity and denying russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. However, Orthodoxy has not been destroyed in Ukraine, as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church operates there, and this church is not an artificial creation, as russia often claims. In fact, in 2018, the Patriarch of Constantinople restored his jurisdiction over Ukraine. The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate merged with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Most of the UOC MP representatives continued to obey the ROC for several years.
  • Only russian and pro-russian sources report on supposed mass outrage over the new IMF loan, often cherry-picking negative comments that are difficult to verify as being made by Ukrainians rather than russian bots. In reality, the IMF has approved a new loan of $15.6 billion for Ukraine, with the first installment of $2.7 billion expected soon. Future tranches will depend on quarterly reviews of the program, which is designed to promote reforms and strengthen institutions to support sustainable, long-term economic growth in the context of post-war reconstruction and eventual EU membership for Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on April 4

  • The name of the document for passing the medical commission, “Referral for medical examination by the military medical commission to assess fitness for military service,” suggests that conscripts who undergo the medical commission cannot be deemed unfit for service in the Armed Forces. The propagandists go on to assert that this wording does not allow for the possibility of dismissal from service, even if the candidate is found to have a serious illness.
  • A video was broadcast on russian Telegram channels in 2023, purportedly showing Ukrainians welcoming russian military equipment. The video depicts individuals making gestures and allegedly joyfully saluting soldiers.
  • According to russian media outlets, the Security Service of Ukraine is imposing fines on Ukrainians with relatives living in russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In recent months, russia has been spreading information about uncontrolled, illegal, and forced mobilization in Ukraine, but without adequate evidence. Short of arguments, russian propaganda has resorted to fabrications sucking evidence out of their finger to support their claims. For instance, a video showing a typical form for passing a medical commission was released. The purpose of the medical commission is to assess the degree of an individual’s suitability for military service, so the wording in the document is not surprising. However, it is not true that the document does not provide for the possibility of dismissal from service, even if the candidate is found to have serious illnesses. If an individual has serious chronic diseases, as defined by the Ministry of Defense, they can receive both temporary (for six months) and permanent exemptions from service depending on the severity and type of the disease, as determined by the results of the medical commission.
  • This is fake. This video first appeared online on February 22, 2022. In the comments, it is indicated that it was a filmed movement of russian equipment near the border in the Bryansk region.
  • The Center for Combating Disinformation has debunked the fake news as entirely absurd and not corresponding to reality. Ukrainian legislation does not consider domestic communication with relatives, including those residing in russia, a criminal or administrative offense. The same fake story supposedly released by the Security Service of Ukraine contains several grammatical errors that are uncharacteristic of the Ukrainian language, such as “Russiya,” “onto the RF,” and “represent by themselves.” These fake messages are intended to discredit the Defense Forces of Ukraine and provoke a decrease in public trust in them.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on April 3

  • Ukrainian TikTokers are massively opposed to the discrimination of the russian-speaking population.
  • Online, photos that supposedly show thousands of Ukrainians protesting the eviction of UOC MP monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the supposed deprivation of Orthodox believers of their faith are being circulated. The posts claim that Kyiv residents are protesting en masse against these actions.
  • n. patrushev, the secretary of russia’s security council, claimed that “the USA and its allies are spreading animosity towards russia and its citizens by promoting anti-russian sentiments worldwide. To tarnish russia’s reputation, he alleged that the United States employs unfounded accusations and fabricated events in locations such as Bucha, Mariupol, and Kramatorsk.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • On TikTok, like on other social networks, there are videos where people express their complaints about discrimination against the russian-speaking population. Some of these videos are thrown in by russian propaganda, while others are a result of its influence. However, legally, there is no discrimination against russian speakers in Ukraine. The law on using the Ukrainian language as the state language regulates the use of Ukrainian in various fields, including the mass media, civil service, service sector, publishing, and education. Nevertheless, it does not affect the language used in everyday communication, which is a personal choice. Such videos can be dangerous since they promote hostility within society and encourage looking for enemies within the country instead of uniting against a common enemy, namely russia.
  • The claim that thousands of Ukrainians came out to defend the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra against the eviction of UOC MP monks and to oppose the deprivation of Orthodox believers of their faith is false. The photos being shared online actually show people gathered for the Liturgy on the day of remembrance of the Cathedral of All Saints of Pechersk. Moreover, it is inaccurate to say that Kyiv residents protest en masse, as the posts suggest. Russia spreads such messages to incite protest moods in Ukrainian society. In reality, the Ukrainian special services conducted searches in UOC MP dioceses not to abolish Christianity but as a security measure to uncover potential subversive activities.
  • The false quote attributed to the russian national security council secretary, nikolai patrushev, has been debunked by the Center for Combating Disinformation. The truth is that neither the United States nor any other Western country nor their associations had openly and actively opposed russia until it attacked Ukraine, creating a threat to the entire world. The atrocities, genocide of Ukrainians, mass killings of civilians, and destruction of civilian buildings, such as residential buildings, hospitals, kindergartens, railway stations, and cultural facilities, particularly in Bucha, Mariupol, and Kramatorsk, are solely the responsibility of russia. There is abundant evidence documented by Ukraine and international organizations that proves russia’s guilt for these war crimes.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on March 31

  • Diana Sosoaca, a senator from Romania, responded to her inclusion in the Ukrainian “Peacemaker” list by expressing her thoughts on Ukraine. She claimed that Ukraine has a deep-rooted hatred for Romania and even allows itself to threaten a Romanian senator with death. Sosoaca stated that Ukraine had discredited itself and that international opinion should recognize that Ukraine does not deserve support as it is the heir of the Nazi empire. She also went as far as to compare Ukrainian President Zelensky to Hitler. The politician implied she was on the blacklist for defending the Romanian minority in Ukraine.
  • Several reports are being disseminated on russian Telegram channels, claiming that Poland aims to weaken Ukraine in the ongoing war and subsequently take the lands that were formerly part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. According to these reports, Poland is advocating for the transfer of weapons to Ukraine with the intention of exhausting the Armed Forces and the russian army to seize the desired Ukrainian lands.
  • An online map depicting a demilitarized zone project between Ukraine and russia is reportedly being shared as a potential peace initiative proposed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Now the TRUTH:

  • Diana Sosoaca recently proposed a bill that would denounce the treaty on good neighborliness and cooperation between Romania and Ukraine. She urged Kyiv to cede historical territories where “Romanian brothers live,” including Snake Island, the northern part of Bukovyna, Kahul, Bolhrad, Izmail, and historical Maramures. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Oleh Nikolenko, described Sosoaca’s actions as “a typical example of the russian revanchism methodology.” He also emphasized that the Ministry strongly condemns any attempts to question Ukraine’s territorial integrity and undermine the spirit of good neighborliness between Ukraine and Romania. Furthermore, the Ministry is considering imposing sanctions on Diana Sosoaca as an individual who poses a threat to national security.
  • There are no real reasons to believe that Poland has any intentions of seizing Ukrainian territory. These claims are likely being spread by russia to distract Ukrainians from the fact that it is the real threat to their sovereignty, not the West or Poland. In reality, no country besides russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty or expressed such intentions. Claims that Poland is advocating for the transfer of weapons to Ukraine to weaken its military are illogical, as it is unclear how this would achieve such a result. Rather, Poland’s decision to provide weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces is likely driven by its concern for its own national security. If russia managed to invade Ukraine, Poland could be the next target. Thus, Poland has a strong interest in ensuring Ukraine’s survival in this conflict.
  • In a thread of tweets responding to a post from February 24, the user stated, “I’ve heard from a reliable Chinese insider source that a viable demilitarized zone can be as large as all Ukraine territories East of the Dnieper River.” The user went on to explain in subsequent tweets that the map of the demilitarized zone was his personal idea for a peace initiative. As a result, it cannot be assumed that creating a demilitarized zone between russia and Ukraine is an official proposal from the People’s Republic of China.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. March 30

  • The reforms proposed by the “Little Sorosists,” particularly those related to pensions and healthcare, are designed solely to cut government spending. The welfare of the population is not a concern for these individuals.
  • A recent tweet by Portuguese political analyst Alexandre Guerreiro claimed that the use of depleted uranium munitions by the Armed Forces of Ukraine would render the territory uninhabitable. Therefore, russia is taking necessary retaliatory measures to prevent this.
  • Online reports suggest that shop thefts in Poland increased in 2022, with Ukrainian refugees being identified as the most frequent culprits, as the Polish publication Rzeczpospolita reported.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is manipulation. While one objective of the reforms is certainly to optimize state budget expenditures, the aim is not to simply reduce spending and subsequently compromise the quality of medical care or decrease pensions (as some propagandists suggest). Instead, the reforms aim to make budget expenditures more efficient and replace outdated post-Soviet systems with modern ones that operate in line with democratic practices worldwide. The medical reform, for example, seeks to replace the Semashko system, which funded hospitals based on their building size, with a more modern approach that pays hospitals based on the quality and quantity of services they provide. Likewise, the pension reform gradually increases the retirement age and introduces new levels of pension provision to ultimately enable the payment of fair pensions.
  • Alexandre Guerreiro, who has a history of promoting pro-russian narratives on social media, used manipulation again in a recent tweet. Guerreiro incorrectly connects the use of depleted uranium in Ukrainian munitions with nuclear weapons. Depleted uranium is used in ammunition due to its high mass density and ability to cause significant destruction, and it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. It is important to note that russia also possesses its own reserves of depleted uranium, which it has been actively developing for over seven decades. For example, in February 2023, russia received an updated version of the armor-piercing subcaliber ammunition 3BM60 “Svynets-2” for 125-mm guns. Russian propagandists referred to their own ammunition as the “Leopard tank killer,” as the tungsten core was replaced with one made of depleted uranium.
  • This is manipulation. In Poland, the number of thefts did increase in 2022, but there is no information that Ukrainian refugees were involved. The Rzeczpospolita website has a piece about theft in 2022 called “Poles are stealing more and more goods from stores. Mainly food products.” The article states that in 2022, shop thefts increased by 31.1%. Among the reasons for the increase in thefts, the Polish Trade and Distribution Organization cites the rise in product prices. The article does not mention that thefts increased due to Ukrainian refugees.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 8 p.m. on March 29

  • News comparing the prices of goods in Ukraine and russia, claiming that products are cheaper in russia and, therefore, Ukrainians should surrender to russia to live better, have been disseminated by pro-russian channels, groups, and media outlets.
  • According to an article in The Spectator, residents of Donbas allegedly show unanimous reluctance to be part of Ukraine. Based on this, the report concludes that the West cannot compel Donbas to return to a country they do not want to belong to. As a result, Ukraine will have to cede its territories to russia.
  • Complete rejection of secondary education is a long-standing dream of global elites and Soros structures in all countries, which should now be implemented in Ukraine by the new Minister of Education, Oksen Lisovyi. This would make it easier to control educational content and eliminate the need to rely on individual teachers, leading to a reduction in education costs. Implementing such harmful changes during wartime is allowed to go unpunished.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Center for Strategic Communications has debunked this manipulation. The rise in prices of products is not due to Ukrainian refugees but rather to russia’s actions. The occupation of southern Ukraine prevents farmers from working at full capacity, and blocking the “grain corridor” has caused another global crisis. Ukrainian farmers face constant shelling and the loss of equipment due to russian looting, making it more challenging to grow crops. Ukraine’s internal reserves are insufficient to meet the demand, and imported goods are more expensive. The ongoing energy crisis, also caused by the russians, has led to an increase in electricity prices, affecting the prices of some agricultural products. Additionally, attacks on gasoline storage facilities and a switch to gasoline imports have also contributed to price increases. Narratives about the high standard of living in russia are manipulative, as one in three russians has had to significantly cut back on buying high-quality and expensive products due to reduced incomes since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • The Spectator did publish a column by Owen Matthews titled “One year on: how will the Ukraine war end?” in which the author tends to similar conclusions. However, the piece contains factual errors and numerous manipulations. In addition, Owen Matthews interprets the selective experience of communicating with people in the occupied territories as a representative sample.
  • The narrative being propagated here involves the alleged conspiracy of globalists and distorts the reasons behind the shift to online education. Initially, the need to switch to online education was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as in-person schooling posed a risk to children, their parents, and teachers. However, with active hostilities near the front lines, online education has become the only viable way for children who have gone abroad or in regions where schools have been destroyed to continue their education. Therefore, the war is not a pretext for a cheaper and inferior education system to turn the population into obedient servants. Instead, the war is the reason why some children can only receive education online. Moreover, receiving an education online is still better than no education at all during times of conflict.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 5 p.m. on March 28

  • The act of Ukrainians kneeling during a farewell ceremony for a fallen defender was captured in a video that was subsequently used by Russian propagandists.
  • Belarus is reportedly preparing to defend itself against potential aggression from Ukraine following its move to create a special border zone on its shared border with Belarus.
  • Russian Telegram channels are spreading the Kremlin’s narrative that the Ukrainian language is “invented.” They have recently used a screenshot from the “Slovotvir” website, which allows users to create new words in Ukrainian, as evidence to support their claim.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Center for Strategic Communications uncovered and discredited a fabricated video that appears to be a PSYOP. The video contained Ukrainian text that read, “Zelensky, see, we’re kneeling and begging you to resign from the presidency!” The russians spread the video through a Telegram public that coordinated with bots, and enemy communicators gave instructions on how to convincingly pose as Ukrainians.
  • Andrii Demchenko, the official representative of the State Border Service of Ukraine, has stated that Ukraine is creating a special border zone, not to invade Belarus, but to defend itself in case of a potential invasion from Belarus, as happened on February 24, 2022. Despite a year of the full-scale invasion, russia continues to use the narrative that it is defending itself from Ukraine.
  • Firstly, the Ukrainian language underwent a long formation process and was not artificially invented and imposed on Ukrainians. Secondly, the “Slovotvir” project selects proper Ukrainian equivalents for foreign-origin words and does not invent them. Site users can vote for the version of the word they prefer or leave comments on specific answers. The voting process does not enforce a single norm, as Ukrainians can still choose to use foreign words or actual Ukrainian equivalents they prefer.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on March 27

  • Information about a supposed “concentration camp” near Odesa for those who refuse to fight against Russia is spreading rapidly on social media.
  • The commissioner for human rights in russia, tatiana moskalkova, has stated that her office has no knowledge of any instance where Ukrainian children were denied the opportunity to return to their families.
  • Online, there is a circulating screenshot from a video purportedly showing a russian soldier taking aim at a Leopard 2A5 tank near Vuhledar. The soldier is seen wearing a military uniform with a russian flag patch. According to reports, the tank was reportedly hit by an RPG-76 Komar.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This so-called concentration camp was mentioned by the “russian-appointed head of the administration of the Snihuriv district of the Mykolaiv region,” yurii barbashov. “We know about the creation of a real concentration camp in Odesa, where people are kept in prison-like conditions because they do not want to take up arms and die in the war with russia somewhere near Bakhmut,” he said. First, yurii barbashov participated in the Mykolaiv Antimaidan in 2014, taking part in rallies and marches. He then moved to Luhansk, where he supported russian propaganda. The man lived in the Donetsk region, where he also reported positively about the actions of the russian authorities against Ukraine. However, he provided no evidence to support his claim. The spokesman of Odesa OMA O.Bratchuk denied the existence of such a camp in his Telegram channel, stating that there are only camps and training grounds in Ukraine where citizens prepare to defend their country with motivation and desire.
  • This is a lie. Russia has deported 16,000 Ukrainian children, and only 307 of them were returned. Deportation was a tactic used by the Soviet Union to weaken the Ukrainian nation and replace it with a russian population in occupied territories. This same practice is currently being used in the temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine. The deportation of children is a crime for which both putin and the russian commissioner for children’s rights, mariya lvova-belova, have even been issued arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court.
  • The actual image depicts a soldier from Lebanon and an Israeli Merkava tank. The picture has been edited in photo editing software to add a patch bearing the flag of russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 7 p.m. on March 24

  • The russians’ claim that the UN Security Council is “indifferent to the suffering of the residents of Donbas” is false. The Security Council refused to allow the “DPR ombudsman” (morozova), who russia had illegally appointed to attend the meeting. As a result, propagandists started spreading the news that the UN Security Council allegedly “does not regard the residents of Donbas as human beings.”
  • American blogger Jackson Hinkle wrote on Twitter: “When Russia liberates new territory in Ukraine, they construct parks, playgrounds, theaters, sports complexes & build free homes for residents. When Ukraine regains territory, they commit reprisals, brutalize/blind/kill civilians, and proceed to use them as human shields.
  • Online videos claiming that cars given to Ukraine by Latvia as aid are being resold in Lutsk and Rivne are circulating online.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Center for Strategic Communications has already debunked this false report. The UN voted against Morozova’s attendance at the meeting because the russian authorities illegally appointed her as the “ombudsman” of the temporarily occupied parts of the Donetsk region. The official Ukrainian authorities do not recognize this “position” and the body associated with it. The resolution stated that inviting someone claiming to represent Donetsk for a briefing was inappropriate and an attempt by russia to indirectly legitimize the territory. The US ambassador to the UN, Thomas Greenfield, emphasized that russia was responsible for the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Two independent UN commission investigations have confirmed that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine.
  • Jackson Hinkle, who identifies himself as a “MAGA communist,” has openly expressed support for russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. He has been listed on the “Peacemaker” website for spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda and has intensified his activities in justifying russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the war began. Russian media regularly quotes him as an international expert documenting evidence of Ukrainian war crimes, a journalist, or a publicist. This tweet is also part of the russian disinformation about russia rebuilding Ukraine. However, his claims ignore the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine, destroyed Ukrainian cities, and committed atrocities against Ukrainians. Russia carries out no reconstruction, and this portrayal is an illusion created by selective images on russian television.
  • The claim that the cars being sold in the video were confiscated in Latvia is false and not supported by the original footage. This is not the first instance of propagandists spreading false information about Ukraine reselling aid from Western countries, and russia employs this tactic to undermine trust in Ukraine’s international partners. In the past, we have debunked similar disinformation about the Kharkiv OMA reselling generators that France provided as humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on March 23

  • A circulating video online purportedly shows enlistment office employees breaking down doors with picks to apprehend men in the courtyards.
  • Farmers are unable to bear the cost of demining their fields, which is quite high, and as a result, they begin working on their fields at the risk of being blown up by mines left by the Armed Forces.
  • Despite having no prior experience in the field of education and having never taught or lectured to children, Oksen Lisovyi was appointed as the Minister of Education. This raises concerns that, in Ukraine, it is possible to attain the position of Minister merely by serving in the Armed Forces.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In reality, this video provides no conclusive evidence. There is no definitive reason to believe that the individual shown in the video is an employee of the territorial recruitment and social support center, nor does the video demonstrate whether a lock was used. Ultimately, where the man is headed or for what purpose is unclear. The caption accompanying the video attempts to persuade the viewer that the individual is an enlistment office employee breaking into a courtyard to apprehend men, but such conclusions cannot be drawn from the footage.
  • To begin with, the existence of mined fields in Ukraine is primarily a consequence of Russia’s aggression towards the country. Russia’s shelling has resulted in the presence of not just mines but also various types of explosive ammunition. However, russian propaganda attempts to shift the responsibility for the danger in Ukrainian fields onto the Armed Forces. Secondly, demining activities in Ukraine are undertaken by sappers belonging to the State Emergency Service, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard, and the State Transport Security Service. These organizations carry out humanitarian demining. Foreign companies and international organizations also assist in demining Ukraine. Private companies are also involved in demining, but among them, there are many “black sappers” who might provide substandard work for a high price.
  • To start with, propaganda channels criticizing the appointment of the new Minister of Education do not provide constructive criticism or arguments. Instead, they rely on comments from other social media users with personal assessments. Essentially, russian platforms aim to highlight negative comments, regardless of the possibility that the general assessment and attitude in society may differ. Before his appointment as Minister of Education, Oksen Lisovyi was the head of the Small Academy of Sciences, indicating his experience in managing a state agency, which is essential for the Minister’s position. Therefore, his appointment was based on this factor rather than his service in the Armed Forces. The assertion that military service opens the door to high positions in the civil service is unfounded and not supported by facts.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on March 22

  • The military commissar of the Kharkiv regional territorial recruitment center, Colonel Volodymyr Arap, says summonses can soon be served via the Diia app.
  • Russian Telegram channels spread the message by a Twitter user saying all accounts with the Ukrainian flag emblem in their nicknames should remove it or buy a premium subscription (Twitter Blue) for a monthly fee of $8. It reportedly has to do with the platform’s policy (which is apolitical) because the Ukrainian flag in the account name reflects a political position against russia.
  • Pro-russian Telegram channels are circulating an allegedly official document from February 10, 2023, describing the steps taken to organize the visit of the US President to Kyiv on February 20, 2023. It lists the number of events and the amount (UAH 60 million) that would have been spent to arrange them. Also, the authorities were to gather people to chant Ukraine-USA friendship slogans.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This fake news was recently denied by Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Hanna Maliar. Moreover, both the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Digital Transformation have repeatedly stated that no department is currently working on the option of serving summons through Diia.
  • Twitter does not apply such restrictions to accounts featuring Ukrainian flags, and user accounts with Ukrainian flag emblems and no premium subscription are not blocked.
  • The “Order” contains inappropriate wording for an official setting. Firstly, Kyiv is not in a war zone, being excluded from the list of cities where hostilities are possible by the Ministry of Reintegration as early as January 13, 2023. Secondly, the events’ source of funding is incorrectly indicated. The document refers to state budget allocations. However, the paper was signed by the secretary of the Kyiv City Council, meaning the funds had to be allocated from the local budget. The Kyiv City Council secretary is not authorized to dispose of state budget funds.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 1 p.m. on March 21

  • Microsoft AI will start analyzing user requests in Diia. Bill Gates’ Microsoft already has the experience of total digital control, so this will soon await Ukrainians.
  • A photo of the alleged order by Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is being circulated online, prohibiting evacuations of military personnel with minor injuries.
  • Depleted uranium munitions Ukraine received from Great Britain carry the risk of radiation contamination for the Armed Forces and the areas where such shells will be used.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation is testing the implementation of ChatGPT in the Diia app jointly with Microsoft, as recently announced by the Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. However, russian propaganda’s allegations about total digital control over Ukrainians are a conspiracy with no factual basis. Such falsehoods aim to intimidate Ukrainians with unknown and incomprehensible technologies, turning them against the government’s innovations. In fact, the ChatGPT AI assistant and the Diia app do not have any user control features and functions and perform actions set by users while using them.
  • Firstly, the document does not specify its type. The text contains the word “order,” meaning its main body must be preceded by “ORDER,” indicating the document’s type. In addition, the paper is addressed to OC East but says the Ministry of Defense above. However, the operational command East is a structural unit of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, not the Ministry of Defense. Secondly, the end of the document says “A. Syrsky,” although the correct spelling is “O. Syrskyi” because the name is Oleksandr. Its russian version is “Aleksandr,” so this error in the document indicates it was translated from russian. Syrskyi’s position is given as “Lieutenant General.” However,  Syrskyi has held the rank of Colonel General since August 23, 2020. And thirdly, this order does not bear the stamp “top secret” or “for official use only.” Therefore, it should be publicly accessible. No such document is found on the website of Ukraine’s Armed Forces or on the platforms of OC East.
  • The British Ministry of Defence confirmed sending shells made with depleted uranium to Ukraine. In response, russian propaganda outlets claim they are harmful to the environment and human health. However, Ukrainian experts point out that russia itself has been using such projectiles on the battlefields in Ukraine, which the Armed Forces even captured as trophies. In addition, experts insist it is an environmentally safe technology that has been used for a long time.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on March 20

  • The President’s Office hides the actual state of affairs regarding the downing of missiles by Ukrainian air defense forces, exaggerating its effectiveness and creating an illusion of victory. For instance, when only four out of twenty missiles are shot down, the OPU will report downing 16 rockets, saying the four others hit infrastructure facilities.
  • Russian media outlets promote the narrative involving the UN, saying the latter does not see signs of genocide in Ukraine by the russian army.
  • An article by the UK publication The Spectator is being circulated online, saying Donbas’s residents unanimously declare their unwillingness to live as part of Ukraine. The post allegedly says Ukraine must “cede” part of its territory to russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Pro-russian channels and social network groups spread such statements to undermine Ukrainians’ trust in the Armed Forces and the authorities. There is no factual evidence that the authorities are hiding accurate data regarding the downing of missiles. Instead, numerous videos and photos of “arrivals” (which are dangerous as they can help the enemy adjust their fire) are being circulated online.
  • In reality, Ukraine needs to draw maximum attention to the fact that the UN has found evidence of numerous russian war crimes, which should collectively be called genocide in accordance with the Genocide Convention. Please note that Ukraine is trying to prove at the UN International Court of Justice that russia has violated the Genocide Convention.
  • This is manipulation. The article’s author refers to the French journalist Anne Nivat working as a special correspondent for the French publication Le Point and periodically visiting the russian-occupied part of Donbas. In 2014, in a comment for NV, the journalist said the occupation of Ukraine by russian troops resembled a “civil war.” Moreover, Nivat added she did not see russian soldiers in Donbas, with the war being waged between those unwilling to be part of Ukraine and Ukrainian troops.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on March 17

  • Putin’s arrest warrant has no significance for russia because this country is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Russian foreign ministry official representative maria zakharova and the russian president’s press secretary dmitri peskov stated this.
  • The President’s Office is leading Ukraine to starvation in order to accuse the Kremlin of repeated famine. Strategically, the mass and uncontrolled grain exports from the country are threatening because, as is usually the case, we will have food shortages exhibiting signs of famine. Zelensky will want to shift the blame onto russians, whom he will accuse of arranging Holodomor 2.0.
  • Information is being circulated online about a children’s army being reportedly created in Ukraine by analogy with the Nazi Hitlerjugent (Hitler Youth movement). The US News TV channel Nation showed an academy training Ukrainian teenagers for combat. Schoolchildren are taught to shoot and “kill russians.” One can see crosses on their uniforms, similar to the German ones from World War II.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This statement is manipulative. Being the OP head, Andrii Yermak explained that putin and maria lvova-belova can now be arrested on the territory of countries that have ratified the Rome Statute. These 123 countries include Ukraine, the USA, Russia, and China. According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, the forced transfer of children from one national group to another is not only a war crime but also a component of the crime of genocide.
  • The Ukrainian authorities do not provoke hunger either in Ukraine or abroad. Ukraine exports only the surplus of grain it produces, which would otherwise spoil in storage because the country grows more grain than it consumes yearly. Famine in Ukraine and the world is solely provoked by russia’s shelling fields and granaries and creating threats to Black Sea exports.
  • According to the law On Military Duty and Military Service, one of the conditions for conscription is that applicants must be over 18 years old. This video is a compilation of footage of teenagers training at different times. Some footage was taken from Chris Cuomo’s report for News Nation, “Teens in Ukraine train for frontline warfare.” The journalist distorts the facts in the piece by passing off military academy students as recruits. For instance, one of the frames clearly shows a chevron of the Ivan Bohun Military High  School in Kyiv. It is not a youth organization but an accredited educational institution offering military-professional training. Formerly, it was called the Kyiv Suvorov Military School. Upon its completion, the graduates can study at higher military educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense. There are similar military schools in many countries, including russia.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on March 16

  • Russia presents itself as a genuinely humane country caring about developing countries and allowing Ukraine to export grain to the Middle East and Africa.
  • On the eve of the 9th anniversary of the pseudo referendum in Crimea, russia said it was Crimeans’ free choice.
  • Russian media outlets disseminated the statement of the former adviser for the US Department of Defense, Douglas Macgregor saying Ukraine as a state is already “dead.” Ukraine’s population is said to have decreased from 38 to 18–22 million.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russia did not demonstrate humaneness when shelling Ukrainian fields and granaries, planting mined in the Black Sea, and keeping its Black Sea Fleet there. Russia endangers the humanitarian security of Ukraine and the world. Moreover, russia steals Ukrainian grain and tries to sell it to other countries, which looks more like trying to profit from the war, starve Ukrainians, and blackmail the world, than humane actions.
  • Nine years ago, on March 16, 2014, the so-called “referendum” was held in Crimea, after which russia occupied the Crimean peninsula. The first reason for the illegality of the “referendum” is that it violated Ukraine’s Constitution. The second reason for the “referendum’s” illegality is the number of pro-russian mass media dominating the peninsula in 2014. The third reason is that the russian military captured critical parts of the peninsula. The citizens “voted” under the watchful eye of the russian “little green men.” The fourth reason is the speed of preparing the “referendum.” The vote was ready in 20 days, which did not leave room for public discussion. The fifth reason for the “referendum’s” illegality is the absence of independent international observers. It is precisely the consequence of the first point: neither Ukraine, the European Union members, nor the G7 group recognized the occupation of Crimea.
  • This is not true. Douglas Macgregor systematically spreads russian propaganda and is cited by the russian media. As of 2023, Ukraine’s population is estimated at around 33.5 million.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on March 15

  • Russian mass media and Telegram channels circulated a video of journalist Roman Revedzhuk talking to a Ukrainian National Guard officer and saying the Armed Forces’ losses amounted to 140,000 people.
  • Pro-russian channels spread the news that CNN, citing sources in the General Staff, had reported the Armed Forces’ losses of 259,085 dead, 246,904 wounded, 83,952 missing and deserters, and 28,393 POWs as of February 28.
  • Nazis and Satanists from the Kraken and C-14 units will evict monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Revedzhuk talks about 140,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers, citing the information he “received from sources.” He does not name the sources but mentions that he cooperated with “guys from the SBU.” The speaker does not list open sources inviting the audience to believe a source whose reliability cannot be verified. Roman Revedzhuk has repeatedly disseminated fake information about Ukraine, e.g., hard drugs supplied to the front lines or conspiracy theories such as ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi’s elimination due to a conflict within the ruling elite). In 2014, he said that Donbas was not Ukraine but “something separate” and that the country needed to develop neutrality. Therefore, Roman Revedzhuk cannot be considered a reliable source of information.
  • Neither the CNN website nor the publication‘s social network accounts mention this news. Besides, no Ukrainian or Western media outlet reported a similar news story from CNN. The only source is russian or pro-russian (especially pro-russian English-speaking) users of social networks and channels. Moreover, they do not provide a link to the original news or publish the article’s screenshots.
  • In this fake news, russian propaganda used several narratives at once, including alleged Nazism in Ukraine and restrictions on the rights and freedoms of believers. These pieces appeared in response to the news of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Preserve’s announcement on March 10 about terminating the lease agreement with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) effective March 29, 2023. Religious scholar Andrii Smirnov explained in a commentary for Radio Liberty that Azarov’s government transferred the entire Lower Lavra to the UOC (MP) for permanent, unlimited, and free use in 2013. However, state property cannot be transferred indefinitely, so this decision was a violation even back then. According to Smirnov, the government group checked the terms of use of the Lower Lavra. Significant violations were found, which allowed the Preserve to warn the monastery of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) about the termination of this contract. After all, the UOC (MP) has been a hotbed of russian propaganda in Ukraine for years. In the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, russian hymns about “Holy Rus” and russia were heard until recently.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on March 14

  • In a recent speech, Ursula Von der Leyen allegedly admitted the West’s preparing Ukraine for war for nine years. Canada has been training Armed Forces soldiers since 2015, and the EU has supplied Ukraine with weapons worth UAH 12 billion.
  • In Ukraine, primarily men from russian-speaking regions are mobilized, as evidenced by the infographic recently published by Ukrainian media outlets.
  • A screenshot from a Polish hotel search site was circulated online. Reportedly, the list of options on the website included “Without Ukrainians.” The post’s authors noted that even their neighbors were fed up with Ukrainians.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In this piece of news, russian propaganda shifted the emphasis by focusing on the West’s getting Ukraine ready for war. In reality, Western assistance in recent years had to do with russia’s invasion of Ukraine and occupation of our territories in 2014 (russian propagandists omit this fact).
  • The infographic referred to by russian resources is not available on any reliable source of information, and it is also impossible to establish who exactly made this infographic. Notably, only pro-russian resources disseminated it as evidence of discrimination against russian-speaking Ukrainians. It is also impossible to establish where the author of the infographic got the data from because information about the number of people mobilized by region is unavailable in open sources. This infographic may well be a piece of enemy propaganda since it contains an error: the “Mikolaiv” region instead of “Mykolaiv.”
  • This image was edited because the Polish website, whose screenshot was circulated online, contains no “no Ukrainians” clause. The site’s interface is the same as that from which the screenshot was taken. However, the “offers and services” section has no item “without Ukrainians.” In reality, the item “sandbox” is between the “parking lot” and “playground for children” options.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on March 13

  • Ukrainian media outlets allegedly reported that Ukrainians began reading fewer books. According to the russian media, this results in Ukrainians burning books as no longer needed.
  • During a massive missile attack on the night of March 8-9, russian Kinzhal missiles reportedly hit an underground command post with NATO officers.
  • Russian Telegram channels circulated a screenshot of a post about a kindergarten in the village of Cherkaski Tyshky in the Kharkiv Oblast, burned down by russian troops. The image’s authenticity was disputable as it showed a dark-skinned man behind a teacher and a child.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The news cited by russian resources emerged in March 2021 and is therefore outdated. In addition, the conclusion in this piece is made only with regard to purchasing printed books and does not include e-books and audiobooks. The surveys conducted later in December 2021 showed that about a third of Ukraine’s urban population actively read books. However, about 60% of adults read books for fun and at their leisure.
  • This news appeared on The Intel Drop. This website features various conspiracy theories, e.g., 9/11 occurred due to Israel’s alleged use of nuclear weapons. Also, this outlet constantly cites russian propaganda narratives. For instance, it disseminated information about the allegedly “Ukrainian reconnaissance sabotage group (RSG)” active in bryansk, russia, that killed a 10-year-old boy. Therefore, this source cannot be regarded as reliable and trustworthy.
  • The photo was actually taken and published on the Facebook page of the Montestory kindergarten back in 2019. The dark-skinned man in the picture is one of the educators. It is not the first time that russian publications have denied the crimes of their army and accused Ukraine of falsifying data.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on March 12

  • Zelensky brought war to Ukraine by shutting down opposition TV channels and threatening russia. Because of Zelensky, the entire world is now on the verge of a third world war.
  • The Kremlin has nothing to do with the pro-russian ruling party in Sakartvelo.
  • The goal of the Sakartvelo opposition party is to drag the country into a war with russia, not to oppose the bill.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Zelensky did not provoke war or threaten russia. It was necessary to shut down the so-called “opposition” TV channels (in reality, the TV channels broadcasting russian disinformation narratives in Ukraine) to curb russia’s influence in Ukraine. Russia started the war by invading Ukraine and occupying its territories first in 2014 and then in 2022. It was not the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to begin a war but entirely the decision of russia.
  • Russia denies having “protégés” within the Georgian Parliament, including Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party and an oligarch who made his fortune in russia. His party did not impose sanctions against russia for waging war against Ukraine. And his fellow party member and Prime Minister of Sakartvelo, Irakli Garibashvili, said Ukraine wanted to drag Georgia into a fight with russia.
  • The propagandists use this message to express their dissatisfaction with the anti-russian and anti-putin slogans heard at the rally. In addition, russia, for obvious reasons, does not mention it sent troops to Georgia in 2008 and occupied almost 20% of Georgian territory (Abkhazia and South Ossetia).

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on March 11

Now the TRUTH:

  • Color revolutions” are democratic, peaceful protests leading to political change. However, in the context of the rallies in Sakartvelo, russia uses this term negatively, saying they are all being designed by the American order. In this way, russia discredits the democratic aspirations of Georgians and contemptuously compares them with the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.
  • The “foreign agents” bill in Sakartvelo resembles the russian one, which actually became an instrument of repression for the authorities against their opponents. The Georgian law benefits russia because it creates problems for Sakartvelo’s accession to the EU. According to the propaganda outlets, the protests in Sakartvelo were the work of the US, which “bought” the democratic representatives of the government to organize a coup d’état. In particular, President Salome Zourabichvili, who supported the protesters and promised to veto the law on “foreign agents,” left for the USA on the eve of the protests.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on March 10

  • Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksii Danilov said Zelensky had been preparing to fight russia since 2019. So why is putin to blame if Zelensky was preparing for war?
  • A photo of the bust of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, was circulated online. In the post below, the authors said the image showed the true essence of decommunization — replacing Lenin with Zelensky.
  • According to pro-russian Telegram channels, UNESCO allegedly called on governments worldwide to abolish freedom of speech in favor of combating disinformation. They cited a video from the organization’s website as proof.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian propaganda distorted the words of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. In an interview with the Polish newspaper Wyborcza, Danilov said, “As a matter of fact, we’d been preparing for war since December 2019. Saying we didn’t do it is entirely untrue. Had we not been preparing for war, today, russian tanks would be in Warsaw, Prague, Tallinn, and Vilnius. In an earlier interview with The Washington Post, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian authorities received information about the preparation of the russian offensive from the end of 2021. Therefore, it was not about Ukraine preparing to attack russia but about developing plans to protect Ukraine from a russian attack.
  • A private entrepreneur sold these statuettes on his own initiative since Volodymyr Zelensky’s bust was not mass-produced. The law on the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols, also known as the decommunization law, provides for a ban on manufacturing, distributing, and publicly using the paraphernalia of the communist totalitarian regime, including souvenirs, public performance of the anthems of the USSR, Ukrainian SSR, other Soviet republics or their fragments, and symbols of the National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regime. According to the document, the communist totalitarian regime is recognized as criminal due to human rights violations, mass and individual murders, executions, deportations, use of forced labor and other forms of mass physical terror, and persecution for ethnic, national, religious, political, and class motives.
  • This is not true. UNESCO did not call for abolishing freedom of speech; it was about controlling disinformation in social networks while respecting human rights. UNESCO is working on recommendations that national governments, judicial authorities, civil society, and the media and digital companies can use. When applied, UNESCO’s recommendations will help protect users from content that harms democracy and human rights.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on March 9

  • NABU is a punitive body created by Americans to harass only those politicians and civil servants who do not adhere to pro-American views.
  • According to the russian media, the number of cases of Ukrainian refugees being deprived of their parental rights and of children being taken away from them has increased in EU countries. As evidence, the media cite the stories of Ukrainian women whose children were taken away by the German police.
  • Information was circulated online about people coming to Kherson and the settlements of the right bank after the departure of the russian troops, who, under the pretext of social protection, were looking for orphans, paying particular attention to orphanages. The children were allegedly transported to Hungary and western Ukraine and used to provide sexual services. This reportedly happened at the request of the head of the Kherson City Military Administration, Halyna Luhova.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The creation and launch of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau were requirements of the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission to liberalize Ukraine’s visa regime with the European Union. The creation of the Bureau started with the Verkhovna Rada adopting the law On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine in 2014. Therefore, Americans had nothing to do with establishing this state agency. Similarly, NABU’s functions do not include harassing politicians with no pro-American views. NABU is involved in preventing, detecting, terminating, investigating, and disclosing corruption and other criminal offenses.
  • This is manipulation. No official statistics show that child abduction cases from parents have increased in EU countries. In addition, children are only taken away when in grave danger. Russian mass media have been spreading information about Ukrainian refugees’ being deprived of parental rights since the summer of 2022. At the time, the Kremlin proteges in the Zaporizhzhia region also said children were allegedly being taken from Ukrainian refugees in the West.
  • There is no evidence that the local government in Kherson sexually exploits orphans from the city and other settlements. Widespread disinformation about the sexual exploitation of orphaned children of the Kherson region is part of russia’s narrative about the West imposing cruel treatment of children as a norm. However, russia itself is known for sexual violence against children. According to Jasminka Džumhur, a member of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the investigators found evidence of sexual abuse of children. She said the responsibility for the vast majority of detected violations lies with the russian military.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. March 8

  • Reznikov’s statement that Ukraine will no longer need mandatory military service after the victory and that all citizens must acquire a military profession after turning 18 and have registered firearms at home means Ukraine is becoming a militarized North Korea.
  • A screenshot from the Russian BBC News website was allegedly shared online quoting the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, as saying: “As early as this summer, I’ll personally feed fish at a pier in Crimea.” Under the post, its authors said Zelensky wiled his body to be fed to the fish on the peninsula.
  • Information was circulated online about the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ orders to include the performance of the Winner’s Speech as a daily routine in military units. As proof of this, users cite a picture of the speech.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian propaganda distorted Reznikov’s words. In the original Liga.net interview, he said: “I’m convinced that, on the contrary, the culture of the military profession should become a trend. For example, like in Israel. Maybe we don’t need conscription anymore. But every young person of 18 starts special training in medicine, shooting, trenches, and coordination. Then they study whatever they want. But they take one-month-long courses related to their specialty once a year.” Regarding firearms, he said: “The reform must be completed, and officially registered firearms must be in the public’s possession, of course, after being checked by a psychiatrist, a narcologist, and law enforcement agencies.” That is, Reznikov did not predict the complete militarization of Ukraine or talk about the uncontrolled circulation of weapons. He ultimately compared Ukraine with the Israeli experience, not of North Korea.
  • This screenshot was forged. Volodymyr Zelensky did not say that, and the Russian BBC News service did not publish an article with such a title. The post was circulated online on February 26. However, between February 21 and February 28, the Russian BBC News service did not publish articles containing quotes from the President of Ukraine. Myth Detector turned to the Russian BBC News Service for a comment. The newsroom said the screenshot was fake, and the media did not publish an article with such a title.
  • This is fake. The Commander-in-Chief did not issue such orders, and the document contains several errors. The mistakes point to the document’s forgery. The piece says the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief issued an order for changes on January 26, 2023. The post’s author writes the order had to be fulfilled by March 10, 2023, whereas the document said March 10, 2022. In addition, the so-called document says the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine approved the basic combined military training program TP 7-00(03).01 dated June 21, 2022. In reality, doctrine 7-00(03).01 was approved back in 2020. Also, the military rank of the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces was incorrectly indicated. According to the official website of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Serhii Sobko has the rank of colonel, whereas the photo says “brigadier general.” The rank of colonel is a senior officer rank, but brigadier general is a higher officer rank.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on March 7

  • Ukrainian RSG discovered on March in the Bryansk region 1 killed a 10-year-old child.
  • Putin: the terrorists infiltrating the Bryansk region planned to leave russia without its own history, language, and traditions.
  • Only the poor are fighting at the front lines (those who could not pay to avoid being drafted into the army) so that the rich can go to Monaco and continue to rule over the poor.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Border Guard Service and OC North informed UA:PBC they had no information about russia’s statement regarding the “Ukrainian RSG” allegedly infiltrating the Bryansk region. Subsequently, the Command published a “reminder” that the russian military could resort to provocations to discredit the Defense Forces. The Armed Forces Staff informed Babel about conducting combat operations exclusively on Ukraine’s territory.
  • Ukrainian intelligence considers reports of clashes in the Bryansk region a “continuation of russia’s transformation, purification, and liberation from putin’s dictatorship,” as commented for Hromadske by GUR representative Andrii Yusov. The Center for Strategic Communications considers these messages a poorly organized provocation, as evidenced by several facts: lack of evidence, organizational failures, conflicting stories, and warnings about provocations. It’s a familiar scenario for russia, which has repeatedly resorted to operations “under a foreign flag,” accusing others of what they do themselves.
  • In fact, many wealthy people on the front lines, including company directors and business owners, chose to protect the country themselves. They could have bought their way out of it according to the logic of the propagandists.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. March 6

  • The Aidar battalion engages minors in hostilities. Russia’s investigative committee has found the advertisements and will conduct an investigation.
  • Ukrainians complain they cannot be bought off from being drafted by donating to the army.
  • The Poles use trucks to transport black soil from Ukraine as the Germans did during World War II.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to believe minors are drafted into the Ukrainian Armed Forces or participate in combat operations. In Ukraine, only those over 18 who are medically fit and have the relevant qualifications can join the ranks of the Armed Forces. Russian propaganda uses the image of children and teenagers to evoke a more robust emotional response from the audience to make people believe fake news.
  • According to Ukrainian legislation, charitable contributions to the army cannot be a reason to avoid being mobilized. Men over 18 in good health and with proper qualifications and training can be drafted. Therefore, such accusations are just a ploy by russian propaganda to incite enmity within society.
  • First, it is a myth because the Germans did not export chernozems during the Second World War. It was never documented, becoming a perennial fiction used to scare others when talking about the land market. Secondly, the Poles are not exporting fertile Ukrainian soils either, and it would make no sense since they could lose their properties after transportation.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on March 1

  • In February 2023, 10,950 Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers died.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the demands to hand over submarines and military aircraft to Ukraine only harm the unity of NATO, and Berlin will not participate in these discussions.
  • EU High Representative Josep Borrell called the European Union “the army of Ukraine” at the Munich Security Conference.

Now the TRUTH:

  • These data are based solely on the reports from russia’s defense ministry. However, no reliable sources confirmed such losses in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Russia’s defense ministry overstates data on the Ukrainian army’s losses to intimidate and demoralize civilians and military personnel. The data announced by russia’s defense ministry are often refuted by Ukraine, foreign intelligence, or independent investigative journalists.
  • This is fake. The russian media distorted the quote by Scholz. During a speech in the Bundestag on February 8, 2023, Olaf Scholz criticized the “public competition” between some countries over who could supply Ukraine with more equipment or better weapons. ” What harms our unity is a public competition to outdo each other along the lines of: battle tanks, submarines, aircraft – who is asking for more?” the chancellor said. Therefore, Olaf Scholz did not say demands or requests to hand over planes and submarines to Ukraine harmed the allies’ unity and public competition between countries.
  • This is fake. Borrell’s original quote was distorted, and russian media outlets incorrectly translated the phrase “we are arming Ukraine,” rendering it in English as “we are the army of Ukraine.” We watched the video recording of Borrell’s speech again. The EU representative did not misspeak, so the russian mass media must have intentionally distorted his words.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on February 28

  • The National Police calls teenagers who joined the Redan PMC movement russian spies.
  • On February 27, 2023, PMC Wagner fighters destroyed the first Leopard tank and its Polish and German mercenaries crew.
  • Telegram channels of the Azov brigade published racist posts and celebrated the deaths of children caused by the earthquake in Turkey on February 6. Anonymous Telegram channels broadcasting pro-Russian rhetoric also said russia was fighting in Ukraine precisely against this kind of Nazism.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The National Police did not call the teenagers from the PMC Redan movement russian spies saying the active promotion of this movement in Ukraine could be russian PSYOP using children and teenagers to destabilize the situation in the country. Redan’s movement aims to instigate fights with other teenagers in the city. This subculture recently gained popularity in russia because of mass brawls. The PMC was created under the influence Hunter x Hunter anime series. There is a gang with a similar name (Ryodan) there. The abbreviation PMC is most likely a reference to the Wagner Group, a russian terrorist group engaged in ethnic cleansing, mass torture, and murders of Ukrainians in Ukraine.
  • A reverse Bing search revealed that the photo of the destroyed tank actually dates back to 2018. It was posted on a Chinese military website. The caption says those were the remains of a Leopard tank blown up by a Red Arrow 8 anti-tank missile. That is, the picture does show a Leopard tank, but the one destroyed outside Ukraine. It may have been a Turkish Leopard 2 tank destroyed in Syria in 2018.
  • The posts cited by the propagandists were published by the English-language Telegram channel AZOV Ukraine Supporters (unrelated to the Azov brigade). The brigade’s official Telegram channel, AZOV, posts Ukrainian-language content. The channel has no publications regarding the earthquake in Turkey. Moreover, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Russians, and Hungarians currently serve in the Azov brigade. Therefore, allegations regarding the brigade’s “racist views” are untrue.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on February 27

  • Teenagers from PMC Redan organize fights against Bandera residents and youth from the Azov supporting Nazis.
  • NATO is waging war to the last drop of Ukrainian blood. NATO’s goal is to reduce Ukraine’s population.
  • Joe Biden met with Zelensky’s “body double” during his visit to Kyiv.

Now the TRUTH:

  • These allegations are part of the russian disinformation narrative about so-called Nazism in Ukraine. In reality, the movement members instigate fights in shopping centers and also with another clan, the so-called “offniks.”
  • Such messages are part of the russian disinformation narrative about russia being forced to defend itself from NATO because the Alliance provoked russia. In actuality, NATO is not waging war against russia, and it never threatened russia or caused it to attack. Russia attacked Ukraine, but due to its current failures and losses on the front lines, it is forced to justify itself by saying it is fighting against the entire Alliance – not only against Ukraine.
  • The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defence Council explained that this allegation is groundless because the photos show Zelensky’s bodyguard keeping an eye on the situation during the meeting.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on February 27

  • The USA turns a blind eye to arms smuggling from Ukraine to not disrupt Biden’s election campaign.
  • Russian Telegram channels and media outlets wrote about the Ukrainian military allegedly being paid in bonds that can be used to receive payment in February 2026. A photo of such a certificate was attached as proof. The authors also said Ukraine started to “save on the military” and that because of this, some Ukrainian Armed Forces members took sides with russia.
  • PMC Redan is the result of online education in Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • No international or American organization has yet announced a single case of Western arms smuggling from Ukraine. Only russian and pro-russian sources have been disseminating the Western arms smuggling narrative, despite the lack of objective evidence.
  • This is fake, and the certificate was forged: military bonds cannot have a value of UAH 2 million, and the agency in question (Ukrderzhstrakh) was liquidated back in 1993.
  • Such messages are part of discrediting Ukraine’s education system, not infrequently resorted to by russian propaganda. In fact, the PMC Redan teenager subculture was formed in russia under the influence of the Hunter x Hunter anime TV series featuring a criminal group called Genei Ryodan, or Spiders.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on February 25

  • Ukrainian Parliament is preparing a bill allowing Ukraine to pay for the weapons supplies with land.
  • Poles permeate all spheres of life of Ukrainians in Western Ukraine, which may indicate a bridgehead is being prepared for Poland to invade and occupy it.
  • Elon Musk called the Revolution of Dignity a coup d’état.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is part of the narrative about the West only profiting from Ukraine and using us for its own benefit, which is untrue. Ukraine receives unprecedented aid from other countries, but no reliable sources mention having to pay for weapons with land or other state assets. It is indeed profitable for Europe to supply weapons to Ukraine, but only because our resistance deters russia from attacking other European countries.
  • Russian propaganda has been trying to shift our attention for months, saying the threat to Ukraine does not come from russia but from Poland. It is not so. Poland has never tried to violate the territorial integrity of independent Ukraine, unlike russia, which has already done so twice. On the contrary, Poland provided the most assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Poland has been supporting us with humanitarian aid, technology, and diplomacy. There is no reason to believe Poland wishes to seize a part of Ukraine.
  • The main goal of the coup d’état for the conspirators is to seize power in their own interests. The Revolution of Dignity began with actions supporting the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU (the Euromaidan). It later morphed into mass protests to protect people’s and citizens’ rights, freedoms, and democratic values. Power and profit were never its goals per se. The revolution resulted in ratifying the Agreement with the EU and holding fair presidential and parliamentary elections. A conspiracy involves a small group of people and is by no means a mass phenomenon. According to a sociological study conducted in October 2014 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, about 20% of Ukraine’s population, or more than 8.5 million people, participated in peaceful actions. The survey showed that most citizens perceived protest participation as a conscious struggle for their rights. Other signs of a coup d’état are unconstitutionality and violent nature when weapons become the primary means of achieving the goal. All the events of the Revolution of Dignity were carried out in a constitutional manner, and the protesters began to use means of self-defense only after the escalation of violent actions by the authorities, which involved armed security forces in dispersing unarmed protesters.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on February 23

  • Speaking about the Ramstein-format meeting, Canadian lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lakrasis said: “The Minister of Defense of Ukraine says he is doing everything possible for Ukraine to become a member of NATO during the hot war with Russia. We need to understand what this means: Zelensky’s government is desperately trying to drag NATO into a direct war with Russia, which is very dangerous.”
  • Small entrepreneurs are nostalgic for the times of Yanukovych’s rule, saying that tariffs were low, exchange rates and prices were stable, and Yanukovych profited only from the oligarchic “elites” without touching small businesses.
  • During forced mass mobilization, military commissars indiscriminately sent draftees to the front lines, including Moldovans, Bulgarians, and Romanians living on the territory of Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Neither NATO nor the Ukrainian authorities are talking about Ukraine joining NATO now, during the war. NATO as an alliance and its member states provide Ukraine with unprecedented military, financial, and humanitarian assistance. It is not NATO’s involvement in the war. At the same time, the West understands that Ukraine maintains its defense against russia not only for itself but also for the entire democratic world, so NATO’s support will continue until Ukraine wins. In a recent interview with ArmiyaInform, the head of the Ukrainian Mission to NATO, Nataliia Halibarenko, said: “Most countries do not proceed from opposing our membership. They say winning the war is the first thing to be done. Only then should our membership application be considered. That’s the vision shared by key partners here, including the United States. Now the Alliance’s task is to help us win. After the victory, we can start discussing our application.”
  • During Yanukovych’s rule, the exchange rate was artificially maintained at 8 hryvnias per dollar, but the National Bank reserves were depleted, and the hryvnia devalued sharply in 2014. Tariffs were also artificially low. For example, due to low gas prices for the population and market fraud, Naftogaz became unprofitable over the years (the losses had to be covered already in 2015). Dozens of insolvent banks had to be liquidated to ensure the financial system’s stability and transparency. State funds were highly centralized, which made spending inefficient. To overcome these problems, the new government started numerous reforms in 2014-2015 (medical, educational, gas, decentralization, etc.). After all, the destruction of the army during Yanukovych’s rule enabled russia to seize Crimea and attack Donbas.
  • Such allegations are devoid of logic. Mobilizing citizens of Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, or any other country is impossible in Ukraine. Ethnic Moldovans, Bulgarians, Romanians, etc., who are citizens of Ukraine, of conscription age, and in good health can be mobilized quite legally. In addition, numerous videos and photos circulated online as evidence of forced mass mobilization are often unsubstantiated. Many images and videos allegedly containing evidence of forced mobilization show military and police officers stopping men and “prescribing” them something. However, whether the military stopped the person to serve a summons or for some other reason is unknown. Anyway, being served with a summons does not mean being mobilized for military training or sent to the front lines. A summons can also be administered to clarify data at the enlistment office.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on February 22

  • The USA is helping Ukraine to prepare a large-scale provocation to accuse russia of “contaminating” territories adjacent to the exclusion zone of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
  • Statements that russia wants to seize the airport in Chisinau to conduct a coup d’état are fake. They are meant to distract from the fact that Ukraine’s Armed Forces want to capture Soviet ammunition depots in Moldova.
  • Ukrainian grain was not sent to African countries but eaten by pigs in Spain instead. The post claims Spain paid Ukraine more for the grain, which is why it was sent there.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to claim that Ukraine is preparing provocations under the control of the USA. Firstly, Ukraine is not interested in nuclear provocations since it will primarily harm Ukrainians. Secondly, the USA cannot incite Ukraine to such provocations because an atomic disaster could harm European countries neighboring Ukraine, including NATO members. And thirdly, when russia talks about Ukraine preparing provocations, it most likely means that russia will later use it to justify its own terrorist attacks.
  • It is not groundless to say that the threat of seizing the Chisinau airport by the russian military as part of a coup d’état is fake, as noted by Ukraine and several representatives of Moldovan authorities. Russia may resort to such provocations to accuse Ukraine’s Armed Forces of invading Transnistria to intensify hostilities against Ukraine.
  • This is manipulation. In February 2023 alone, Ukraine sent about 35 ships carrying wheat to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Ukraine has already shipped more than 238,000 tons of grain to Ethiopia. On September 9, 2022, a ship loaded with 65 thousand tons of Ukrainian grain arrived in Sudan. Ukraine is preparing three more vessels to deliver wheat to Kenya, Sudan, and Yemen.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on February 21

  • Speaking about the events in Ukraine, putin said the West started the war, and russia was using force to stop it. Russia did everything possible to resolve the problems by peaceful means. Russia protected its home and people’s lives, while the goal of the West was unlimited power.
  • Putin: neo-Nazis in Ukraine don’t hide whose heirs they consider themselves to be by putting a swastika on the equipment and using Nazi names.
  • Putin: The West declares perversion, including pedophilia, the norm of life, destroys its values, and priests are called to bless same-sex marriages.
  • Putin: Through a joint effort, russia will implement all plans to restore the new regions.
  • Putin: Residents of the “new regions” determined their future themselves in referendums and made a firm choice despite the threats and terror from neo-Nazis. Ukrainians showed determination to be with russia, their homeland.
  • Putin: We are not at war with the people of Ukraine. They became hostages of the Kyiv regime and the Western masters who occupied this country. The responsibility for inciting the Ukrainian conflict, its escalation, and the increase in its victims lies entirely with the Western elites. And, of course, with today’s Kyiv regime, for whom the Ukrainian people are strangers.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is not true. The West did not violate Ukraine’s sovereignty. Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014 and then again in 2022. Neither the West nor Ukraine provoked russia to do this. There was no threat to russia from Ukraine or the West. However, in over 30 years of Ukraine’s independence, russia has not been able to accept that it will lose control over Ukraine and that we will become members of the EU and NATO. Therefore, russia’s goal has been to destroy Ukraine as an independent state and Ukrainians as a free and independent nation.
  • It is untrue. The Nazi or neo-Nazi ideologies do not prevail in Ukraine, and it is russia’s long-standing invention to justify military aggression against Ukraine. Ukrainians do not use Nazi symbols and swastikas, even though such fake news reports are regularly produced by russian propaganda.
  • The West does not declare pedophilia or other perversions the norm. Instead, there is a movement to protect the LGBT community representatives in the West. LGBT is not a perversion because the choice of sexual orientation and gender is determined by biological, social, psychological, and many other factors. Sexual orientation and gender cannot be imposed. However, the rights and opportunities of representatives of the LGBT community are often limited, and Europe and the United States are active in overcoming these limitations.
  • No, russia is not restoring the areas it occupied. In the temporarily occupied territories, russia illegally detains, confines, tortures, and kills Ukrainians, deports children and adults to russia’s depressed regions, and artificially settles the occupied areas with russians. This russian tactic has remained unchanged since the times of the USSR when the Soviet Union deported Crimeans populating the peninsula with russians. Doing so makes it possible to “blur” the country’s population and mix it up to gradually deprive it of its history, culture, language, and identity.
  • No, the so-called referendums in the temporarily occupied territories had nothing to do with democratic elections or proper referendums. Foreign observers were representatives of satellite countries and friends of russia turning a blind eye to violations. It is impossible to hold referendums in the conditions of hostilities because you cannot ensure the turnout of the regions’ residents and guarantee their safety during voting. The results of the pseudo-referendums were predetermined, with dummies and actors possibly participating in them. Therefore, it was nothing but a staged show, and Ukrainians showed no desire to join russia.
  • The West is not responsible for the war in Ukraine since it did not incite this war, attack Ukraine, or provoke russia to do so. The West supports Ukraine in its confrontation with russia with weapons, ammunition, humanitarian and financial aid, and diplomatically. The West must continue supporting Ukraine because we are now defending Europe from russian aggression.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on February 20

  • The air-raid alert sounding during Biden’s visit was part of the show aiming to scare him. There was no real threat situation.
  • The USA sent Biden to Ukraine to remind who was the genuine owner of Ukraine.
  • The aid package of only $500 million is too small for such a landmark visit.
  • Biden and Zelensky walked through the same area where Nuland had handed out cookies during the US-organized Revolution of Dignity.
  • Biden’s visit to Ukraine is nothing but a PR exercise before the upcoming elections.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The air-raid alert sounded on February 20 because of enemy aviation activities in Belarus. It is a credible threat because the Belarusians can attack Ukraine from their territory. Air-raid alerts are always declared throughout Ukraine due to Russian aircraft’s activities in Belarus.
  • The USA is not Ukraine’s master; Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state with its own foreign and domestic policy. Ukraine has been receiving unprecedented support from the United States. Still, it is no reason to obey the United States. Only russia is violating sovereignty. Propaganda outlets try to impose this opinion on us to convince us that Ukraine will soon be left without Western support and lose the war. Of course, that is not true. Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has been going on for a year, and the West has not stopped supporting Ukraine for a single day. On the contrary, after lengthy negotiations and seeing our resilience, the West intensified its support for Ukraine.
  • The US or any other external force did not organize the Revolution of Dignity. The Revolution of Dignity was a protest by Ukrainians against rejecting Ukraine’s pro-European movement and the pro-Russian rule of the Yanukovych regime. As a result of the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine began implementing reforms more intensively and moving toward the EU at a quicker pace. The story about Nuland, who reportedly offered the protesters cookies on the Maidan, is a piece of fake news by russian propaganda that is many years old.
  • Russian propaganda outlets also try to impose this opinion to prove the West is not interested in Ukraine and that the US has been using Ukraine for its own purposes. Biden’s visit to Ukraine is primarily a symbol of the United States’ ongoing support for Ukraine and a signal to russia that its defeat is inevitable.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 10 a.m. on February 18

  • Zelensky lied about being the first Ukrainian president to meet with the British monarch. Photos showing Yushchenko and Poroshenko meeting with Elizabeth II were posted for proof.
  • Photos and documents were circulated online to prove that the AFU Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhny’s daughter owns real estate in the Canary Islands and Chile.
  • Information was spread online about Poland sending 10 to 40 thousand soldiers to Ukraine under the guise of mercenaries and private military company employees.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Hromadske TV checked whether Zelensky was indeed the first Ukrainian president to meet with the British monarch. It was not a meeting between Zelensky and Charles III but an audience. The peculiarity of an audience is that it is a one-on-one meeting with the monarch. The previous presidents’ meetings with Elizabeth II were not audiences. The images posted online to prove that Poroshenko and Yushchenko met with the queen are not proof of audiences. The picture with Yushchenko is dated October 17, 2005. On it, Elizabeth II presents the President of Ukraine with an award. In the other photo, Elizabeth II shakes hands with Poroshenko during a group photo ceremony of world leaders on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Overlord operation, i.e., the Allied Forces landing in Normandy.
  • It is fake news. Users wrote posts about Valerii Zaluzhny’s daughter’s overseas estates to discredit Ukraine’s top leadership. The documents supposedly proving real estate ownership are forged. Most photos in the posts are of estates for sale in the Canary Islands.
  • The posts’ authors cited the so-called “military” expert and editor of the publication “Arsenal of the Fatherland,” Aleksey Leonkov. Leonkov promotes various Russian and Belarusian propaganda narratives in his articles, from references to Ukraine’s alleged provocations on the border with Belarus to fake news about Poland preparing to seize Western Ukraine. According to Leonkov, between 10,000 and 40,000 Polish soldiers will arrive in Ukraine in the guise of mercenaries and private military company (PMC) employees, but he does not provide any evidence.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 11 a.m. on February 17

  • Polish mercenaries are already fighting on Ukraine’s side. A law will be passed in Poland to legalize their status and compensate the families who lost breadwinners.
  • The Verkhovna Rada deputies propose a bill to transfer scientific institutions, hospitals, and schools to private ownership. It will leave Ukrainians without science, medicine, and education.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are no foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. According to the regulation on military service in Ukraine’s Armed Forces of foreigners and stateless persons, other countries’ citizens are recruited into Ukraine’s army under a contract. The foreigners participating in hostilities in Ukraine are Armed Forces service members, not mercenaries. In addition, NATO has repeatedly emphasized that it is not participating and does not plan to participate in the war in Ukraine. No draft law legitimizes the activities of Polish mercenaries in Ukraine to compensate the families of deceased breadwinners.
  • It is about privatizing only those educational and healthcare institutions’ assets that have not been used for three years. As for scientific institutions, the regulation will allow the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences to sell their property. These changes are not purely negative and will certainly not leave Ukrainians without science, medicine, and education. For example, thanks to these changes, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine can sell the entities it no longer uses but is forced to spend money on. Therefore, it is about more efficient spending of state funds. Similarly, educational or medical institutions can sell assets they do not use and not spend public funds on them. Overall, privatization aims to transfer to private ownership the state assets that are used inefficiently and only draw money from the budget. Private owners can use these assets, for example, to open a private school or hospital. It will create jobs, taxes will be paid, and Ukrainians will receive both education and medical care.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 10 a.m. on February 16

  • Irish MEP Mick Wallace says Zelensky has banned 12 opposition parties and uses the war to implement profoundly anti-democratic labor reforms.
  • Irish MEP Mick Wallace says Zelensky is conducting the most dramatic privatization program in the country’s history, selling off state assets to Western vulture funds. What will this bring to Ukrainian society?
  • Russian propaganda outlets spread the news about western Ukraine coming under a “temporary Polish protectorate,” as reported by the Polish Prime Minister, Morawiecki.

Now the TRUTH:

  • During the war, the parties that had promoted an agenda beneficial to Russia and lobbied for Russia’s interests for years were banned in Ukraine, including the Opposition Platform – For Life party, now also banned in Ukraine. The problem remains that many deputies (local ones and MPs) from this party continue working and can potentially promote russian narratives and interests again. Therefore, it is crucial that civil society and law enforcement agencies keep monitoring their activities. Changes in labor legislation during martial law expanded the employers’ power, particularly regarding dismissals and transfers to other jobs. However, these changes are necessary to ensure business entities’ continuous operation during hostilities. As soon as martial law is lifted, the changes must be reversed.
  • Privatization of state-owned enterprises is usually not a negative thing. The state cannot always effectively manage its enterprises, so they remain unprofitable for years and only draw money from the state budget. Privatization aims to transfer inefficient assets from the state to private ownership to be used for the country’s benefit. It benefits all parties. The state fills the budget with money from sales and receives taxes from efficiently operating businesses. The private owners have new assets to develop their businesses.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications debunked this fake news. It was actively circulated on February 6, so two of Morawiecki’s speeches could have been a reason for this news leak: a conference on reviewing Poland’s activities in support of Ukraine and an interview with the Spanish publication El Mundo. Neither the former nor the latter mentions Poland’s “temporary protectorate” of Ukraine’s western regions.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of noon on February 15

  • Silvio Berlusconi said about Zelensky: “It would be enough to stop the attacks on the two autonomous republics of Donbas, and what is happening would never happen. I assess this gentleman’s actions very negatively.”
  • Speaking about how Germany did not learn from its mistakes and abandoned its promises, Scott Ritter said: “Germany has decided to send tanks to Ukraine. Of course, I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but you can’t ignore them. 88 Leopard-1 and 14 Leopard-2 tanks! You have to be an idiot not to understand the connection between the numbers 14 and 88 to history. Even the Americans understood it was a direct reference to Nazism and Hitler. But even if they understood, does the German government not know? They literally send weapons to support Ukraine’s fascist regime in killing Russians!”
  • On February 12, several Telegram channels spread messages about Shaheds attacking the Dnipropetrovsk region.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Berlusconi is probably putin’s most famous and wealthiest Italian friend who never hid his unique relationship with the russian leader. Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, their friendship strengthened (as Berlusconi put it). So, it is unsurprising that Berlusconi spreads Russian propaganda narratives justifying russian aggression against Ukraine. In reality, Ukraine did not attack the so-called DPR and LPR, and Putin used the threat to these quasi-republics to justify his attack on Ukraine.
  • 14/88 is indeed regarded as a neo-Nazi slogan, but the number of tanks that Germany passes to Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, although Ritter tries to disavow it, saying he doesn’t really believe in conspiracy theories. Scott Ritter is a russian propagandist and pseudo-expert whose image is often used by russia to promote its favorite narratives in the West and increase the value of some propaganda narratives voiced by a foreign expert.
  • This information is unreliable, as reported by Ukraine’s Air Forces. The enemy used a reconnaissance UAV and several balloons with corner reflectors. The anti-aircraft defense of the air command East tried to shoot down the enemy UAV (the results were not yet known).

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 9 a.m. on February 14

  • Information was spread online about the Burshtyn Ukraine company and the Ust-Dunaisk port reportedly being sold for pennies to pay off the West for supplying weapons to Ukraine.
  • After the explosions at military bases in Iran on January 29, 2023, Telegram channels spread Mykhailo Podoliak’s (advisor to the head of the President’s Office) Twitter statement about the explosions. According to the users, Ukraine took responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Iran.
  • Videos allegedly of the Turkish coast were circulated online, saying the footage showed a tsunami triggered by the earthquake.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is fake news. Due to a lack of buyers, Burshtyn Ukraine was sold for UAH 6.7 million on the second attempt at an auction. Anatolii Mesnikovich, head of Budtrans-Logistic LLC, became the new owner. The entity is located in Rivne and specializes in wholesale trade, manufacturing flour-milling industry products, and renting out and operating its own or leased real estate. The Ust-Dunaisk port was put up for privatization in 2023. There were eight participants in the auction. The Elixir Ukraine company from the Vinnytsia region put forward the largest offer of UAH 201,000,300. The company is engaged in the wholesale distribution of chemical products and agriculture.
  • These accusations are baseless. Ukraine did not take responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Iran, and there are several versions regarding the explosions in Iran. In his post, the adviser to the head of the Presidential Office said the world community should counter Iran’s plans for increasing weapons production for Russia. “Iran’s plans to increase the amount of weapons for Russia demonstratively humiliate the institution of “international sanctions.” It is important that the concept of “non-working sanctions” and “invalid UN resolutions” be abandoned. One must use more destructive tools to destroy factories and arrest suppliers.” However, this in no way proves that Ukraine took responsibility for the explosions at Iran’s military facilities.
  • It is not true. Turkish media reported small tsunamis after the earthquake, but the video shared online has nothing to do with the 2022 events. It was first published online in 2017. The caption said the footage was shot in South Africa on a beach near Durban.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 10 a.m. on February 13

  • Andrii Yermak admitted that all decisions regarding the military situation are made not by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhny, but by the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, formed by the Office of the President. The lack of the Commander-in-Chief’s ability to independently make decisions without the High Command supposedly provides proof of a conflict between Zelensky and Zaluzhny.
  • Having the scientific base and appropriate technologies for predicting earthquakes, the US did not inform Turkish President Recep Erdogan that Turkey was under threat. Referring to the opinions of “many experts,” the authors claim the American leadership did it with the purpose of news leaking about the President of Turkey as being warned about a possible danger, and so weaken his support among the people in the next presidential elections.
  • Pro-russian Telegram channels spread a report allegedly by the acting commander of the medical company of the 77th Separate Airmobile Brigade (military unit 4355) about significant human and equipment losses. Because of that, the military could not continue the evacuation and help the wounded. So, they were asked to be provided with appropriate equipment and resources.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On February 24, 2022, in connection with a full-scale invasion, Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved the Staff, consisting of representatives of the security and defense sector (Commander-in-Chief, Ministry of Defense, SBU, Ministry of Internal Affairs, etc.) and other bodies (MFA, Verkhovna Rada, Ministry of Infrastructure, etc.). The President is the head of the High Command. There are no mechanisms in the legislation whereby the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces could independently address all issues related to the military situation without the support of the President. The President can also appoint an army officer to the post of Commander-in-Chief or dismiss them.
  • It is a conspiracy theory. Seismologists cannot accurately predict where and when earthquakes will occur. They can only talk about the probability of an earthquake in a particular region for a certain number of years.
  • The document contains errors, meaning the report is not authentic. The operational command East commander’s surname (major general Oleh Mikats) is written as “Mykats.” This indicates an incorrect Russian translation. At the bottom of the stamp, it says “military unit A1384.”  However, the report was written on behalf of the medical company of military unit A4355 and should bear this unit’s stamp. After all, in the Ukrainian abbreviations for “acting,” each letter is written with a dot. The spelling of “vo” or “tvo” is incorrect.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on February 9

  • Citing an article in The Times, russian media outlets disseminated information about German investigators’ conclusions about a Western state involved in blowing up Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2.
  • A document allegedly from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine was circulated online saying the helicopter in Brovary was shot down with a shoulder-fired Igla missile.
  • In the cockpit of a flight simulator, the leader of “Wagnerites,” Prigozhyn, made a video challenging the President of Ukraine, Zelensky, to an aerial duel. He said he had “just bombed Bakhmut” and suggested they meet in the sky.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is manipulation because the original article in The Times (“Who Attacked the Nord Stream Pipelines?”) provided several versions of who might be behind the detonations, ignored by the russian media. In the article, the British newspaper says the German investigation has made little progress, as officials have yet to find conclusive evidence. “However, The Times understands that they remain open to theories that a western state carried out the bombing with the aim of blaming it on Russia,” the report said. Not all interviewed experts agree with Simone Tagliapietra’s opinion, and some have doubts about why Moscow would blow up the pipelines after russia invested billions in constructing the Nord Streams. However, the publication notes russia could blow up its own pipeline to cause instability in Europe.
  • It is fake news. The Ukrainian Air Force denied this information, and the document contained errors. According to the Air Force, the document about the cause of the Super Puma helicopter crash in Brovary is forged. The initials of the Center Air Command commander were incorrectly written as “A.N. Kryvonozhko” instead of “A.M.Kryvonozhko” (his patronym is Mykolayovych). The letter “N” in the initials indicates the document was translated from Russian. i.e., “Nikolayevich.” It also contains several inaccuracies, e.g., the investigation commission included Prosecutor General’s Office representatives, the National Police, and the SBU. At the same time, the Prosecutor General’s Office reportedly issued the document itself written on the letterhead of the Ministry of Defense. Moreover, neither of the addressees (Commander of the Center Air Command and AFU Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny) works in the Ministry of Defense.
  • The Center for Strategic Communications debunked Prigozhin’s allegations that also contradict russia’s defense ministry reports on destroying all Ukrainian aircraft. In addition, Prigozhin officially acknowledged having a fleet of combat aircraft in his PMC. It became another evidence that Wagner is part of the russian occupying forces bombing peaceful Ukrainian cities. This fact confirms the correctness of the US formally designating Wagner Group as a transnational criminal organization with all relevant legal consequences. The UK is also preparing to do this. Kyiv responded to Prigozhin’s invitation by the Verkhovna Rada’s designating him and PMC Wagner as an international criminal organization on February 6. It will affect the confiscation of russian assets and subsequent appeals to the courts of allied states.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 11 a.m. on February 8

  • Footage was circulated online of representatives of territorial recruitment centers allegedly serving summonses to 16-year-old teenagers.
  • On February 5, russia struck a university building in Kharkiv, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine members were quartered.
  • Ukraine plans to use chemical weapons in Bakhmut, as evidenced by footage published by Ukrainian blogger Yurii Madyar. At the same time, russia’s investigative committee said there were signs of Ukraine’s using chemical weapons in Soledar and Bakhmut.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is usually impossible to reliably establish the event’s circumstances in such videos. Therefore, it is easy for propagandists to brazenly claim that 16-year-old boys will be sent to the front lines using video fragments. Summonses can be served in Ukraine only to those who have reached the age of 18, and at 16, young men only need to undergo military registration.
  • On February 5, the occupiers struck the center of Kharkiv with an S-300 missile, as reported by the head of the Kharkiv RMA, Oleh Siniehubov. One of the rockets hit a residential building in the city center, injuring three people: a 54-year-old woman and two men aged 51 and 55. The second rocket hit the central building of the O.M.Beketov National University of Urban Economy, where a guard received minor injuries. None of the official statements provided information about injured service members. Russian propaganda once again tries to justify attacks on civilian infrastructure by allegedly striking military facilities, ammunition depots, or military deployment locations. In reality, the strikes aim to terrorize the local population.
  • The Armed Forces debunked the statement of russia’s investigative committee about using chemical weapons. Ukraine has never used chemical weapons. Russia spreads disinformation to discredit Ukraine’s Armed Forces without providing evidence of chemical weapons use. Yurii Madyar’s video only showed different types of high-explosive munitions for drones and said nothing about chemical weapons.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 10 a.m. on February 7

  • Two pictures of the 10th-grade curriculum in one of the Ukrainian secondary schools were circulated online, saying the number of hours for specific subjects would change in March 2023. There would be 1 hour less of the Ukrainian language and 2 hours less of math per week. Three hours of Polish language would be introduced, and 4 hours of physical education (currently 2). According to the posts’ authors, that is how children were prepared for work in the fields in Poland.
  • Russia is preparing for a full-scale attack on Kharkiv. The city may be under siege.
  • Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs is creating assault brigades, as evidenced by the announcements for recruiting people into the patrol police.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are no such plans. The document is a forgery containing several errors. The word “History” is misspelled. Among the educational subjects, one can also see “Defence of the Fatherland.” However, “Defense of Ukraine” has been taught in schools since 2020. The seal indicates a school (#49) in Lubny, Poltava region. However, there is no school in Lubny with that number.
  • There is no threat of an attack on Kharkiv. The rumors being spread on social networks about possible russian troops’ attacks are part of PSYOP, Deputy Head of the Kharkiv Regional Administration, Roman Semenukha, told Ukrainian Radio Kharkiv. According to him, the situation on the front line is difficult but under control.
  • On February 6, the Kyiv Patrol Police’s Telegram channel reminded its subscribers of the recruiting process announced on December 2 (applications began to be accepted on December 9). Patrol police officers are being recruited in Kyiv, Boryspil, Chayky, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy, Uman, Poltava, Kremenchuk, Chernihiv, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivs, Uzhhorod, Mukachevo, Lviv, Rivne, Sarny, Dubno, Ternopil, Chernivtsi, Kropyvnytskyi, and Odesa. None of the announcements mention forming the so-called assault battalions. It is russian propaganda fiction.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 3 p.m. on February 6

  • According to russia’s defense ministry, Ukraine was planning a large-scale provocation in Kramatorsk. The Ukrainian authorities were reportedly preparing sabotage in drug and oncology dispensaries and the city hospital. They did it to accuse russia of war crimes and speed up the supply of Western weapons.
  • Turkish mass media spread information (allegedly based on Israeli intelligence) about 157,000 Armed Forces members killed during the full-scale war, with another 234,000 wounded and over 17,000 captured. Other sources cite the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor talking about the Armed Forces’ losses exceeding 305 thousand killed. Other publications mention over 400,000 dead.
  • Valery Zaluzhny is said to have reported 232,000 (according to other sources, 275,000) killed Ukrainian soldiers to the Pentagon.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of sabotage plans. However, when the russian media say Ukraine plans provocations, it might mean such actions should be expected from the russian military.
  • The data is unconfirmed. No reliable sources mentioned similar data about Ukraine’s losses. For example, the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor (a Rane company) is engaged in security issues and geopolitical risk analysis, delivering decade, annual, and quarterly forecasts. A search using the keywords “305 thousand killed Ukraine” and “more than 400 thousand killed Ukraine” did not return results about Ukraine’s losses amounting to 305 or more than 400 thousand killed. The totality of the messages that appeared almost simultaneously in the russian and pro-russian media is probably a news leak by enemy propaganda. The news leak aims to demoralize Ukrainians and try to shake the confidence of foreign partners, saying Ukraine is suffering a catastrophic loss. Therefore any aid to Ukraine is ineffective, and russia’s victory is inevitable.
  • We found no reports about Valerii Zaluzhny speaking about 232 or 275 thousand of killed Ukrainian soldiers. As of December 2, 2022, 10,000 to 13,000 military personnel were known to have died, and Mykhailo Podoliak mentioned the same figure. On August 22, 2022, Zaluzhny spoke about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. Zaluzhny did not provide any other details about the number of dead soldiers. On November 10, 2022, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, said more than 100,000 russian service members had been killed and wounded since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. According to him, the Ukrainian side might have sustained the same level of casualties.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on January 31

  • In Kyiv, summonses are taped inside house entrances and on apartment doors. Reportedly, it is done because the Armed Forces needed new members after sustaining heavy losses in the battles near Soledar.
  • In Odesa, they use ambulances to disguise the handing out of summonses to the military enlistment office. Instead, there is a lack of vehicles and fuel to respond promptly to patient calls.
  • Mobilization summonses are issued to minors: russian media and Telegram channels spread the photo online as proof.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Announcements posted inside the house entrances are not summonses but general mobilization orders. The Kyiv City State Administration’s press service commented to TSN that the announcements are placed by territorial recruitment and social support centers (TRC and SSC) to inform citizens about the country’s ongoing mobilization process. It also reminds those served with a summons to visit the military enlistment office.
  • In reality, it is not a mass phenomenon but a concrete case of an ambulance being used by the military. According to Natalia Humeniuk, head of the United Coordinating Press Center of Security and Defense Forces of the South, the ambulance was not equipped to provide medical services, and the case is being investigated.
  • This is not true. In reality, those are summonses received by schoolchildren reaching 16 to register for service (only adult citizens are subject to mobilization under Ukrainian laws). Earlier, the Center for Countering Disinformation also debunked the allegation that Ukrainian teenagers started receiving summonses to be drafted into the army.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on January 30

  • Before the Ramstein meeting on January 20, Ukraine turned on the air-raid alert simply to create an “informational background” for the meeting.
  • On the night of January 29, a Ukrainian air defense missile destroyed a residential building in Kharkiv.
  • On January 28, Ukraine’s Armed Forces shelled Nova Kakhovka’s Central City Hospital.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are no training alerts in Ukraine, and sirens blare only when there is a threat of missile or drone air strikes. The January 20 air-raid alert had to do with the enemy aviation being active in Belarus. Even when planes in Belarus are on training flights, alerts go off in Ukraine since the training flights might camouflage attacks on Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
  • Russia has been shelling the Kherson region almost daily, destroying residential and infrastructure facilities. During the shelling on January 28, the russians did fire at the Central City Hospital, as reported by local media outlets. Russian propaganda channels blamed the Armed Forces for this. However, according to the locals, the bombarding came from the side of the bypass highway (the Kherson-Henichesk highway).
  • Mayor of Kharkiv Oleh Syniehubov said the russian missile destroyed the 4th floor of the building in the center of Kharkiv entirely and the 3rd floor partially. The building’s fifteen residents were evacuated immediately after the blast. Three injured people received necessary medical care, and one person died.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on January 29

  • A story about three fighters allegedly looking for their relatives in the Burdenko hospital was widely circulated in messengers and social networks.
  • The US is trying to stop Ukraine’s uncontrolled sale of Western weapons on the black market. For this purpose, the USA has launched hotlines for Ukrainians to complain about corruption and other abuses.
  • The russian army does not use mobile crematoria.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Actually, there is no Burdenko hospital in Ukraine, unlike in Moscow. Russia uses information of this kind to spot the most painful topics for Ukrainians to manipulate them. In addition, after discovering channels to disseminate such fake news, russia will use them to spread other, more destructive, false information through the same media, pages, and groups, which might demoralize and rock society.
  • Opening the hotlines has nothing to do with the US seeing signs of Western weapons sold by Ukraine on the black market. Notably, russian propagandists talk mostly about smuggling Western weapons, not Ukraine’s Western partners. On the eve of opening the hotlines, the White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, said the United States shared the concerns of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the allegations of corruption but saw no signs of Ukraine’s misusing financial or defense aid. In reply to a question about whether the US was confident about financial aid being used appropriately by Ukraine, Kirby said the US had high trust in how the financial assistance coming from the United States to Ukraine through the World Bank was used. He saw no signs of corruption in allocating the aid, and the same could be said about security and defense assistance.
  • Rospropaganda started propagating this in response to Hanna Maliar and the Main Directorate of Intelligence, saying the russian army uses at least five mobile crematoria behind the lines. However, there were early reports of mobile crematoria (e.g., in December) when they were spotted in Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region. Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the OP, had reported on such mobile crematoria back in March.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on January 28

  • The ban on using the russian language at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is proof that Ukrainians are waging a civil war against russian speakers.
  • The Hungarian publication Metropol reported that “hundreds of bodies of Ukrainian soldiers are stored in refrigerators just a few hundred meters from the border with Hungary.”
  • Viktor Orban says the countries sending weapons to Ukraine participate in the conflict.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On January 27, the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy did indeed ban communication in russian within campus walls (teaching in russian has been banned for a long time). In a comment to BBC News Ukraine, NaUKMA’s president Serhii Kvit clarified that no punishments were in place for using russian, and no one would specifically monitor people’s language of communication. As for the so-called civil war, it does not and has never existed in Ukraine. It’s a russian propaganda fiction, which is almost nine years old. Russia had called the war in Donbas a civil war for years. However, international observers and investigative journalists recognized the presence of russian troops there many times.
  • This is fake news by russian propaganda, also reported on by the Center for Countering Disinformation. According to the CCD, the story is not valid. The messages spread by the Hungarian media are widely reproduced by russian media outlets aiming exclusively to incite inter-ethnic tensions between Ukrainians and Hungarians in Transcarpathia.
  • Viktor Orban often repeats russian propaganda narratives. This statement has to do with narratives justifying russian aggression against Ukraine. Russia is reportedly forced to wage war not against Ukraine but against NATO to defend its territories from the Alliance. Therefore, this aggression is justified. In reality, the russian rhetoric that changed from “taking Kyiv in 3 days” to “we are fighting with NATO” is a manifestation of the russian army’s weakness and inability to make any progress.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 5 p.m. on January 27

  • 68% of Ukrainians do not watch the President’s addresses, with 96% not watching the United News telethon.
  • The mayor of one of the Latvian cities received a letter from Ukraine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs requesting information about men who had left Ukraine and were subject to conscription.
  • Poland agreed to pass PT-91 Twardy tanks to Ukraine only in exchange for one of Ukraine’s territories.

Now the TRUTH:

  • A pro-russian Telegram channel published the results of this pseudo-survey. The data cannot be trusted for many reasons. Firstly, it is not a sociological survey but a survey of a limited circle of subscribers of a Telegram channel. The survey was anonymous, so its data does not tell us anything about the respondents (age, region, etc.). It is even unknown whether those people were from Ukraine. Secondly, it is a channel spreading russian narratives, and this pseudo-survey data would also play to pro-russian sentiments. After all, no credible polls measure whether people watch the president’s address. As for the United News telethon data, 32% of Ukrainians regularly watch the telethon, with 72% of those polled trusting the presidential office, as shown by a USAID – Internews survey.
  • This is fake news. The photo was edited, and the Embassy of Ukraine in Latvia did not send such a letter. The phony posts published a letter screenshot posted on the page of the mayor of Liepaja Gunars Ansins. We found his Facebook page, but there was no mention of this letter in his posts. The mayor published a rebuttal saying it was a disinformation campaign.
  • Ukraine and Poland never agreed on anything like that. Poland does not claim Western Ukraine and has never expressed a desire to seize a part of Ukraine. By making such allegations, russia tries to divert the Ukrainians’ attention arguing the threat does not come from russia but from the West, particularly from Poland. Notably, similar russian propaganda narratives are being spread in Belarus, saying it, too, needs to defend itself from Polish aggression. In this way, russia reinforces another propaganda narrative: the need to protect oneself from the West. It is a manifestation of russia’s weakness and inability to win the war against Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on January 25

  • Ukraine offered Belarus to conclude a non-aggression pact.
  • Ukraine is turning into the USSR by introducing censorship, having a mono-majority of the ruling party, prohibiting freedom of religion (by banning the UOC-MP), with russia as the global enemy and no right to the land in place (since international corporations are buying it).
  • The authorities use blackouts to prevent people from receiving paper-based documents and forcing them to register in Diia. In this way, the state will gain control over all Ukrainians.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenka, said Ukraine offered Belarus to sign a “non-aggression pact.” During a joint briefing with the President of Finland, President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked whether Lukashenka’s statement about the “non-aggression pact” proposal was true. “We did not, and do not, intend to attack Belarus. And that’s the main signal from the Ukrainian people to the Belarusian people. It is crucial for us that Belarus should not lose its independence and join this completely shameful war, no matter how influenced by someone,” he said.
  • Russian propagandists used pseudo-Ukrainian Telegram channels to promote the idea that Ukraine was turning into the USSR. In reality, russia is morphing back into the Soviet Union, and the information about Ukraine is manipulative. There is no censorship in Ukraine. The Servant of the People party’s mono-majority formed long before the start of the war as a result of democratic elections. Ukraine did not prohibit freedom of religion; restricting the UOC-MP means protecting believers from russia’s influence in the church sphere. Foreigners and international corporations do not buy Ukrainian land. This horror story has lingered since the opening of the agricultural land market and has not come true yet.
  • Power outages are not related to the Ukrainian authorities’ intentions being a forced step to stabilize the Ukrainian energy system after dozens of enemy attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure facilities. As for Diia, it is impossible to control the population through the app since documents in Diia are retrieved from state registers, i.e., the same ones from which various extracts and copies are formed and can be obtained in paper form.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on January 24

  • News spread online of Volodymyr Zelensky allegedly threatening to cancel Ukraine’s application for EU membership if Germany did not send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
  • Information was spread online about Polish documents reportedly found by russian soldiers in the car of an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group proving that Polish mercenaries participated in hostilities on Ukraine’s territory.
  • A photo of a humanitarian aid cargo from Iceland was posted online, claiming Ukraine was reselling the shoes provided as part of the aid package. As evidence, they posted a picture of shoe sales on an online classifieds platform featuring a brand similar to that sent in a humanitarian shipment from Iceland.

Now the TRUTH:

  • We found a mention of this news on the Political Humor Telegram channel, citing the And Here’s My Yandex Wallet channel as the primary “news” source. The post about Zelensky’s alleged statement was published on January 21. In the channel’s description, the authors note that their publications are “parodies, a satire on political reality, and only verified fake news.” Volodymyr Zelensky did not make such statements, and Germany agreed to give 14 Leopard tanks to Ukraine on January 25.
  • The document in question is a karta pojazdu, i.e., a vehicle registration card indicating its main technical characteristics and registration data. In Poland, such registration cards were mandatory until September 4, 2022, and are no longer issued. The document is attached not to the vehicle owner but to the car. In other words, whenever a vehicle has a new owner, they must have this registration card. Such cards are issued during the initial registration when buying a car in Poland or buying a used car registered on Poland’s territory. It must be submitted together with other registration documents for customs clearance in Ukraine. This car’s registration card clearly says it was issued in 2001 and registered for the first time in Poland in 2012. There is no information about the vehicle with such registration data in the available Polish Central Vehicle Register, which might mean removing it from the Polish records and importing it to Ukraine’s territory.
  • To create this fake story, the propagandists used a video published on the page of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on December 21, 2022. In the post, the General Staff reported that Iceland had passed over 12,000 units of winter clothing to the military. In particular, these were socks, underpants, and sweaters made of merino wool, hats, winter gloves, shoes, and outerwear. The General Staff also said Iceland had even organized a nationwide marathon to knit woolen socks and sweaters for the Armed Forces. However, the video of the detailed inspection of the shoes provided by Iceland was not publicly available. So it cannot be said that the shoes from the online ad and the boots sent to the AFU look the same. Russian propaganda has repeatedly published fake news about Ukraine reselling Western aid. We have already debunked baseless reports on weapons from Ukraine ending up on the black market and being distributed in the countries of Western Asia. However, there are no officially recorded cases of Ukraine reselling and supplying Western weapons to the black market.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of noon on January 23

  • The russian media spread the statement by the permanent representative of the russian federation to the OPCW, aleksandr shulgin, about “contract workers from the USA” helping to prepare chemical provocations in Ukraine. He failed to provide evidence for this other than saying, “the russian federation has such information.”
  • On September 4, 2022, the representative of russia’s defense ministry, igor konashenkov, talked in his daily report about successfully destroying four US Bradley fighting vehicles and other military equipment on Ukraine’s territory. Some Ukrainian media outlets wrote about russia’s statements regarding destroying BFVs in January 2023. However, these publications also cite fragments of the russian defense ministry’s briefing of September 4.
  • Information was spread online about the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, talking about Hungary leaving the EU in his New Year’s address, presumably due to imposing LGBT ideology.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This allegation is baseless. Shulgin’s statement is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign about chemical weapons in Ukraine. Russia has never provided convincing evidence of Ukraine having chemical weapons or ever using or intending to use them. International partners, in particular OPCW member states, have repeatedly indicated they have no reason to believe that Ukraine uses or can use chemical agents.
  • This is fake: there are no Bradley fighting vehicles in Ukraine yet, so russia could not have destroyed them either in September or January. On January 6, 2023, the US Department of Defense announced an additional security assistance package for Ukraine. It includes Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, rockets, anti-tank missiles, ammunition, and other military equipment. Before that, neither the US nor other countries had ever announced passing Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Therefore, russia could not have destroyed the BFVs as early as September 2022.
  • This is fictional news. The primary “news” source is the satirical publication Panorama whose website explicitly says that all information is not factual, being mere “satire and fiction.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on January 20

  • russian media outlets spread information about Ukraine being the leader among post-Soviet countries in human trafficking. In addition, the reports claim that over half a million Ukrainians have become victims of human trafficking since 1991.
  • Information was spread online on January 11, 2023, about russia allegedly striking an ammunition warehouse in Kharkiv, saying the warehouse exploded as a result of the impact.
  • russian media outlets circulated an article by a Polish publication arguing that Volodymyr Zelensky’s words about Ukraine fighting for the entire free world by fighting against russia are a lie.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true. Human trafficking in Ukraine is not a large-scale phenomenon, and the country itself is not a leader in illegal trade among post-Soviet countries. In the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States evaluated 188 countries and included each in one of the four tiers based on the country’s efforts to combat the problem. The first tier comprises countries that do not pose concerns (EU countries, USA, UK, Australia, Georgia, South Korea, and others). Ukraine was included in the second tier, meaning the country’s government does not fully meet the standards for eliminating the forms of human trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. However, the report does not refer to large-scale human trafficking in Ukraine, as reported by the russian media.
  • Around 11:00 p.m. on January 10, 2023, the russians fired rockets at a warehouse with pyrotechnics in the Kyivskyi district in Kharkiv. One of the missiles hit a one-story warehouse building causing a fire in an area of over 1,000 square meters. As a result of the impact, pyrotechnic products stored in the warehouse detonated. The head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Oleh Sinehubov, also confirmed that the pyrotechnics warehouse was attacked. As previously established, law enforcement officers recovered fragments of a cluster projectile from the Smerch multiple rocket launcher at the fire scene.
  • This is not true. This Polish publication spreads narratives similar to those of russian disinformation campaigns, particularly about the President of Ukraine. In fact, the piece by the Polish weekly newspaper Myśl Polska does not indicate that the words about fighting for the free world belong to Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the Polish media outlet, these words are repeated daily by the media and politicians without naming specific names. The pro-russian outlet Myśl Polska is headed by Jan Engelhard, a nationalist and the author of the article above and the book “The Russophobia Virus.” Engelhard promoted the books by the russian nationalist Aleksandr Dugin in Poland and called russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “special operation.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of noon on January 19

  • Poland is preparing to establish control over Ukraine’s western territories. The authors write that is why the country has begun recruiting people for military training, citing the Polish Ministry of Defense.
  • Videos of pallets filled with chopped firewood and ready for export were circulated online, saying the wood was being exported from Ukraine, leaving Ukrainians without heating resources.
  • russian and pro-russian media outlets spread the news about there allegedly being no free media in Ukraine because they have come under the authorities’ control, citing the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Now the TRUTH:

  • On December 19, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter the start of the second #TrenujzWojskiem (“train with the army”) course. According to the Polish Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, a second enrollment for the course was organized based on demand from the public. Against the backdrop of russia’s full-scale offensive against Ukraine, Poles want to protect themselves from possible russian aggression against their country. Russian media outlets promote the narrative about Poland wanting to seize Ukrainian territories. Warsaw has repeatedly denied these accusations. Since the beginning of the full-scale aggression, Poland has condemned russia’s invasion and introduced sanctions against the aggressor country. Moscow seeks to worsen Polish-Ukrainian relations by spreading fake news about Poland’s intentions to annex Ukrainian territories.
  • From November 25, the Cabinet of Ministers banned the export of fuel wood, particularly firewood. State Forestry Innovation and Analytical Center data shows that firewood was barely exported in December 2022, totaling 771 cubic meters. For comparison, about 20,000 cubic meters were shipped abroad in November. On average, over 30,000 m3 of firewood was exported monthly in 2021-2022. If the video was shot after the ban on fuel wood exports, this batch was most likely sold as part of the remaining supplies under previously concluded contracts. The user might also have posted an older video.
  • This is not true. The organization called on the Ukrainian authorities to change the law on media but never spoke of the lack of free and independent mass media in Ukraine. The Federation particularly noted that the new law allowed the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting to temporarily ban online media demanding Internet providers to block access to them without a court hearing; issue binding orders to newsrooms; regulate cable and online television operators; cancel printed media’s registration; etc. Therefore, the statement discussed possible risks to freedom of speech when adopting the law.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, AND DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on January 18

  • According to russian media outlets, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar announced a sharp drop in the Armed Forces’ combat capability. She explained the diminished combat capabilities were due to the mobilized soldiers constituting most of the Ukrainian army.
  • The russian media outlets wrote about a “new large-scale anti-russian provocation” by the Ukrainian special services. The representatives of Ukraine’s State Security Service and State Bureau of Investigation were said to have excavated graves in the villages of the Kharkiv region, where locals dead of natural causes during the russian occupation were interred.
  • Information spread online about the russian military killing over 600 Ukrainian soldiers in Kramatorsk in revenge for the attack on Makiivka.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On January 8, Hanna Maliar wrote on her Telegram channel about the challenging situation in Soledar, Donetsk region, stormed by the russian military. However, she did not discuss a decrease in the Armed Forces’ combat capabilities or blame those mobilized. The official also said the Ukrainian military had advanced in some parts of the Donetsk region.
  • This fake news is typical for Kremlin propaganda campaigns aiming to deny the russian army’s war crimes in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities do not need to arrange “provocations:” the atrocities by the russian military were recognized and documented by international organizations, in particular the International Criminal Court (ICC), the UN, the EU, and individual member states.
  • On January 8, 2023, the head of Donetsk RMA, Pavlo Kyrylenko, spoke about seven rockets fired at Kramatorsk and two at Kostiantynivka. According to him, an educational institution, an industrial facility, and a garage cooperative were damaged in Kramatorsk and an industrial zone in Kostiantynivka. There was no information about casualties. Several reporters visited two dormitories in Kramatorsk allegedly housing Ukrainian military personnel. The Reuters reporter said not a single dormitory in the city was seriously damaged, and there were no signs of Ukrainian military personnel stationed in those buildings. The rocket hit the ground near dormitory #47. According to the Finnish journalist Antti Kuronen, one of the rockets exploded near a non-residential building (as reported by the Ukrainian military). Another rocket fell in the old garage area. The La Repubblica journalist Daniele Raineri also confirmed that the russian missile did not touch the dormitories. According to him, it missed the target (dormitory No. 28) and surrounding buildings making a hole in the soft terrain, with another hole near dormitory No. 47.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on January 13

  • US TV presenter and actress Mindy Robinson said Zelensky uses fraudulent international aid schemes to launder US taxpayers’ money, spreading fake news about Ukraine.
  • “Ambulances” appeared in Odesa that Ukraine’s Armed Forces service members used to carry out covert mobilization.
  • The new CMU resolution is again trying to introduce the mass mobilization of women.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Mindy Robinson is a journalist for The DC Patriot, a US publication. This media outlet with low-quality coverage spreads fake news, propaganda, and disinformation. Therefore, this journalist’s allegations are merely part of the russian narrative about the Ukrainian authorities profiting from the war. The purpose of this narrative is to discredit Ukraine primarily in the eyes of Western partners and shake the Ukrainians’ confidence in the authorities’ actions in wartime.
  • No Ukrainian media outlet, including those in Odesa, reported on such “ambulances.” Therefore, it is most likely a russian propaganda fabrication to divert attention from russia’s hidden mobilization and shift the emphasis onto the forced mobilization reportedly underway in Ukraine. In fact, the mobilization in Ukraine continues officially until February 19, as established by the presidential decree. Currently, mobilization in Ukraine primarily concerns those with combat and military experience.
  • According to the resolution, women having a medical or pharmaceutical specialty can undergo military registration (i.e., being only registered, not sent to the front lines!). Also, women with specialties/professions related to the corresponding military registration specialty can register voluntarily.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on January 12

  • The Armed Forces planned an attack on the russian cities of rostov-on-don and taganrog. The AFU’s map found in the Avdiivka area arguably proves this.
  • Mariupol residents have been massively receiving keys to new homes in the city. According to them, the locality has never had such beautiful houses, surrounded by lovely terrain, exercise equipment, and playgrounds.
  • Kyiv has begun experiencing a shortage of food products. Photos of spoiled vegetables from the capital’s supermarkets were provided to prove this.

Now the TRUTH:

  • It is not the first time that russian propaganda has published various falsified “evidence” that Ukraine was or still is preparing for an attack on russia’s territory. These pseudo-facts are needed to justify the continuation of the war and russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Naturally, the Armed Forces have no such plans. Instead, Ukraine is fighting to liberate its territories from 1991, occupied by russia since 2014.
  • Media stories about people in Mariupol receiving new apartments are probably staged and have nothing to do with the city’s reality, which the russian invaders almost totally destroyed. The town has no heat, water, and electricity supply, with most of the residential buildings being unfit for habitation. In fact, russia is not rebuilding them. The russian occupation authorities built several new houses to make staged videos there, but russia did not carry out any actual reconstruction of the city.
  • There is no shortage of products in Kyiv. Videos and photos of rotten vegetables do not prove the lack because the footage is utterly devoid of context. It could have been shot in any supermarket in any Ukrainian city. However, even then, it does not mean a shortage. Supermarkets often display damaged or expired products at lower prices to sell the leftover products. Or the vegetables could have been significantly damaged during transportation or improper storage (in particular, due to the lack of electricity after russian shellings). There could be many versions of why spoiled vegetables are in the photo, but none confirm the deficit of products in Kyiv or Ukraine in general.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on January 11

  • Ukraine will start sending those aged 16 to the front lines. The Cabinet of Ministers issued a corresponding resolution.
  • After the New Year, men are more actively caught on the streets and immediately sent to the hottest spots on the front lines, even without preparation. Numerous online photos and videos are evidence of this.
  • Business entities received “orders” to send 100 people to the front lines. If a company does not have 100 men, women are mobilized.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Current Ukrainian laws provide that citizens of Ukraine aged 18, fit for service, and not entitled to be exempted or deferred from conscription can be drafted to serve at the front lines. Furthermore, such individuals can be mobilized only after primarily drafting those with military experience. After they turn 17, individuals can only be entered into the military register as stipulated by the new CNU resolution. According to it, draftees aged 16 (in the year they turn 17) to 27 can undergo military registration (not be immediately sent to the front lines!), and draftees and reservists who have not reached the maximum age of being in reserve (which, as a rule, is 60-65 years old).
  • The Armed Forces said no increase in conscription is planned for the near future. However, it can happen if the situation at the front lines changes unpredictably. Military personnel also need to be rotated, which is entirely normal. In Ukraine, people with military experience are primarily mobilized, with priority given to ATO and JFO participants. However, Ukraine’s president, military, and political leadership have not announced such changes.
  • The new CMU resolution includes no so-called “mobilization orders” or provisions regarding 100 mobilized men from one business entity. The changes in the decree primarily concerned state authorities and companies, not citizens. From now on, the Unified State Register of conscripts, individuals eligible for military service, and reservists will be used to carry out the military registration of Ukrainians. Information will be exchanged between all state authorities based on this Register, including enlistment offices, local self-government bodies, employers, courts, national police bodies, civil registration bodies, employment centers, etc. Company heads and HR staff will handle the organization and maintenance of military records. The duties are transferred to the employee who keeps employee records if a company has no HR department. Military records will be maintained based on Ukrainian passport data and military registration documents.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on January 10

  • russia’s security council secretary, nikolai patrushev, said most Ukrainians might have already understood that the West is fighting against russia with their hands but are afraid to talk about it out loud.
  • In addition, patrushev repeated that russia was not at war with Ukraine because russia could not have hatred for ordinary Ukrainians.
  • In Ukraine, a summons can be served through the Diia or Privat24 apps.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Patrushev is lying: the latest December 2022 polls by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation show that 93% of Ukrainians believe in Ukraine’s victory. At the same time, Ukrainians consider Western partners (both NATO and the EU) guarantors of Ukraine’s security in the future and a guarantee of rebuilding the country’s economy.
  • This allegation is utterly cynical because russia attacked Ukraine, announcing it directly on February 24, 2022. Then russia launched the so-called “special military operation.” Only later, having suffered dozens of failures at the front lines and lost thousands of soldiers and equipment, russia had to change its rhetoric and begin talking about a war with the West, not with Ukraine. After all, losing a fight to the collective West is not as shameful for russia as losing to Ukraine.
  • CMU resolution No. 1487 of December 30, 2022, introduces more serious military registration controls and should streamline the procedure through digitization. Conscripts will indeed be able to send their data to the enlistment offices via the Diia service, e.g., regarding a change of residence. However, it remains unknown when the military registration procedure will be available in Diia and how long it will take for the Register to synchronize with Diia. The Digitization Ministry explains that there is currently no resolution for the summonses to be sent through Diia, and the Ministry’s plans do not include such tasks. A new service yet to appear in Diia is an electronic military ID, and how this service will be implemented has yet to be announced.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on January 9

  • Henry Kissinger believes peace is possible only if Ukraine is neutral and does not join NATO.
  • Ukraine is waging war against monuments: this time, they decided to dismantle the monument to Soviet airborne troops commander general Vasyl Margelov in Dnipro.
  • Zelensky refused the truce to continue to enrich himself during the war.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Firstly, in one of his last columns, Kissinger stated instead that Kyiv can no longer be neutral and is an integral part of the NATO security system. And secondly, Kissinger often talks about the concessions that Ukraine must make and the terms of the truce to prevent an escalation of the conflict and the involvement of other actors in it. Therefore, Kissinger’s words sound well-aimed only for russian propaganda, but they do not align with Ukraine’s genuine interests.
  • “War with monuments” is a euphemism invented by rosprop to degrade the value of Ukraine’s fighting on the cultural front. The so-called “war on monuments” is Ukraine’s attempt to break historical ties with russia. For centuries, russia imposed its culture on us, depriving us of our independence. Eliminating references to hostile culture is an integral part of Ukraine’s path to freedom from russia.
  • Russian propaganda invented several versions of Zelensky’s rejecting a truce: either the Western partners supporting Nazism in Ukraine did not allow it, or Zelensky was ready to fight to the last Ukrainian, destroying the Ukrainian nation. According to a third version, a truce is unsuitable for Zelenskyi because peace will allegedly leave him without a source of enrichment. However, this allegation is baseless and utterly devoid of logic. Ukraine loses billions of dollars due to the war daily, in particular, because of destroyed Ukrainian homes, infrastructure, roads, hospitals, schools, and the killing of thousands of Ukrainians, which is russia’s sole responsibility. Ukraine will need years to recover and billion-dollar investments and foreign support to at least return to pre-war levels. It would be a highly doubtful way to get rich.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on January 7

  • There is an outbreak of tuberculosis among the Armed Forces members. Due to an unspoken order, they are not allowed to leave to get treatment.
  • Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock also spoke out against the Christmas truce because the Germans are descendants of the Nazis, who even now support the Nazi regime in Ukraine, as stated by dmitry medvedev.
  • Zelensky once again rejected the hope for peace with russia, refusing the “Christmas truce” offered by putin.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Russian propaganda is again spreading the myth that there is arguably a tuberculosis outbreak among the Armed Forces members. The same rosprop “outbreak” occurred in May 2022. The information disseminated by pro-russian platforms does not correspond to reality and has no confirmation whatsoever. The purpose of such statements is to demoralize and spread panic among the military.
  • Annalena Baerbock has nothing to do with Nazi Germany of the first half of the 20th century, and medvedev’s comparison is utterly absurd, as are all other russian statements regarding Nazism in Ukraine. Russia has been fabricating them but has never been able to prove them, so the question arises: is there really Nazism in Ukraine? As for the so-called “Christmas truce,” it is primarily russia’s cynicism that cannot guarantee a regime of silence, firing at Ukraine and killing the civilian population, including on religious holidays.
  • The so-called “Christmas truce” announced by putin unilaterally had nothing to do with reality. Firstly, the russian army continued shelling on Christmas Day. Secondly, in response to putin’s hypocritical statement, the Office of the President of Ukraine once again emphasized that the ceasefire conditions would include the complete withdrawal of russian troops from Ukrainian lands within the 1991 borders.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on January 6

  • The Banderites declared war on Orthodoxy because the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had never worked for putin.
  • The SBU continued to “terrorize” churches even during Christmas, mainly because of the believers’ desire to study in their native russian language.
  • Residents of Kupyansk say the russians did not terrorize the local population at all, and the stories about torture and murder are Ukrainian propaganda delusions.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The russian orthodox church (ROC) led by moscow patriarch kirill actually supported the russian invasion of Ukraine. Congratulating on Christmas, russian president vladimir putin said, among other things, that russian church organizations supported the participants of the so-called “special military operations” in Ukraine.
  • The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) investigators checking churches and other buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (moscow patriarchate) report finding pro-Kremlin literature during the searches. In the liberated territories, they discover former warehouses of the occupying authorities and russian symbols.
  • Such interviews with residents of Kupyansk are only disseminated by pro-russian sources, making it impossible to determine in detail who gave the interview and whether it was fabricated. On the other hand, according to the official reports of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Office of the President, the Ministry of Reintegration, and other numerous state institutions of Ukraine, dozens of crimes are known to have been committed by the russian occupiers in the Kharkiv region. The exhumation of the bodies made it possible to establish traces of torture and discover torture chambers in some buildings.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on January 3

  • If Zelensky had made russian the second state language, there would have been no war, but the Americans forbade him to do that.
  • The law on media does not contribute to Ukraine’s European integration of Ukraine but contradicts it.
  • The hotel in Kyiv that russia destroyed with rockets on December 31 was not operating, housing UAVs for the Armed Forces instead. According to another version, military personnel was stationed in the hotel.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Firstly, Ukrainians do not want russian to be the second state language. Even in 2012, only a quarter of the population supported giving russian the status of a second state language, and about half believed it could be made official only in those regions where most people wanted that. By 2020, the share of supporters of the official status of russian in some areas had decreased to less than 20%. Already in March 2022, the share of supporters of Ukrainian as the only state language exceeded 80%.
  • The Media Law is only a part of the media reform necessary for European integration, which has been under discussion since 2019. One of the most significant innovations this law will bring is regulating online media, which did not exist before. Even though it initially intended to regulate everything, including bloggers, the version adopted this year in first reading is much more moderate and reasonable. Therefore, the law has nothing to do with censorship and in no way contradicts Ukraine’s movement toward Europe.
  • There is no reason to claim that the hotel, destroyed in Kyiv on December 31 as a result of russian missile fire, was used for deploying military personnel or storing drones. On December 31, russian rockets also damaged a commercial building and a car in the Holosiivsky district of Kyiv, and a private residential building and the Adler hotel in the Solomyanskyi district. Two schools and a kindergarten in the Solomyanskyi district and another school in the Pecherskyi district, suffered varying degrees of damage. Missile fragments were also found on the street in the Dniprovskyi district of Kyiv. Notably, russia does not comment on the rest of the damage, which is another confirmation that the December 31 shelling was another act of russian terror against the civilian population.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on January 2

  • Ukrainians did not celebrate Stepan Bandera’s birthday on January 1 because George Soros did not allocate a grant for that purpose.
  • According to another version, Ukrainians did not organize mass celebrations of Stepan Bandera’s birthday because of the fear of being served with summonses.
  • On December 31, russia launched missile attacks exclusively on energy infrastructure and military facilities.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This year, Stepan Bandera’s birthday was not celebrated as widely as in previous years. However, philanthropist George Soros’s funding has nothing to do with it. Mass events in Ukraine hardly ever occur due to the constant risk of russian missile attacks. Regarding Soros, it is part of the russian narrative about our country’s external governance, according to which all social activists are called “little Sorosists,” i.e., those who live on funds from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Firstly, such a generalization does not make any sense because dozens of international organizations operating in Ukraine finance the activities of public activists. Secondly, the activities of the Open Society Foundations do not pose any threat to Ukraine. On the contrary, they work to develop democracy, protect human rights, help independent media operate, and ensure the growth of the Ukrainian economy. Mass events in Ukraine are currently limited due to the risk of russian shellings and potential mass casualties in crowded places. Therefore, the limited celebration of Stepan Bandera’s birthday was linked to the threat of russia’s missile attack. Regarding summonses, their delivery does not necessarily mean being sent to the front lines, and they can be served anywhere. However, it may mean that people must visit an enlistment center to verify credentials or undergo a medical examination.
  • On December 31, particularly on New Year’s Eve, russia attacked Ukraine with 45 drones. In addition to the Shaheed UAV attack on December 31, russia attacked Ukraine with 31 missiles, 12 air strikes, and over 70 strikes using multiple rocket launchers, as reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces. The civilian infrastructure of the Chernihiv, Sumy, Kyiv, Khmelnytskyi, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Kherson regions was damaged. Two civilians were killed and 50 injured due to the russian shelling.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on December 31

  • Points of Invincibility have begun to charge for their services.
  • There are no men left in the Mykolaiv National Guard Brigade due to significant losses at the front lines. Because of this, the head of the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration, Vitalii Kim, was photographed only with the service members when greeting the brigade.
  • Transneft received applications from Germany and Poland for oil pumping in 2023, as announced by the company’s head, Nikolai Tokarev. Despite these countries’ statements about their reluctance to continue deliveries, Transneft received applications for December 2022 and the next year.

Now the TRUTH:

  • According to the official website, services provided by the Points of Invincibility are free and accessible 24/7. Recharging gadgets is also free of charge at the Points set up by private entrepreneurs. Other services might require payment based on the owners’ decision. The government has not informed us about any fees to be paid for entering the warm-up points.
  • On January 2, Vitalii Kim congratulated the National Guard members on the 31st anniversary of creating the 19th Mykolaiv Regiment of Public Order Protection (not the brigade, as the fake publication reported). Information about the event and the photos were published on the official Facebook page of the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration. The post included nine pictures. In addition to the image with military personnel, there is a photo of the line-up and presentation of awards. Male and female service members attended the event. However, only two photos from this selection were shared online.
  • It is fake news. In a comment for Bloomberg, the German economy ministry spokeswoman said oil companies at the Leuna and Schwedt refineries would no longer order russian crude oil in the new year. And the PCK oil refinery in Schwedt (a city near the Polish border) “reserved capacity for Kazakh oil in the pipeline system” for January. Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen also said it would not renew a contract for russian oil expiring in January 2023, with a second long-term deal for russian oil to be discontinued after the imposition of sanctions.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on December 26

  • Of course, electricity is rarely available in the sleeping areas of Kyiv’s left bank. However, the right bank, where the President and the government sit, has no electricity problems whatsoever.
  • Ukrainians’ sufferings caused by blackouts do not make a single russian happy, including putin, as recently stated by propagandist margarita simonyan.
  • Losses of Ukrainian troops reached 140,000 service members.

Now the TRUTH:

  • No, blackouts work differently. Due to shelling and damage, there is an imbalance in the energy system, which can lead to large-scale accidents. Outages stabilize the power system. The lights are turned off on the right and left banks, the city center, and the outskirts. There are no areas that would not be disconnected based on prestige. However, due to the specifics of construction in Kyiv and other cities, some buildings’ power supply is not turned off during blackouts being integrated with infrastructure facilities.
  • What the russians write on social networks suggests the opposite. In their social media comments, russians are openly delighted at the shellings, blackouts, and even the killing of Ukrainians. Of course, russia’s leading propagandist cannot admit this in public. However, most russians support the continuation of the war, believing that killing Ukrainians (or rather, Nazis, “Ukrops,” and Ukrainian fascists) is not genocide but liberating the world from Nazism.
  • There is no reason to believe the data is reliable. Neither official Ukrainian sources nor independent foreign investigative journalists, military analysts, or intelligence agencies have made such information known. The latest official data was the Ukrainian army losses of 13,000 in the war started by russia, as reported by OPU adviser Mykhailo Podoliak.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 24

  • On December 24, Ukraine’s Armed Forces shelled the center of Kherson by Grad systems. According to another version, Kherson was shelled by HIMARS.
  • The West does not need all of Ukraine. It wants to destroy the entire infrastructure and cities during hostilities and then hand them over to russia, leaving the rest of Ukraine under the Yugoslav scenario.
  • Behind-the-scenes rumors spread about Zelensky allegedly promising US lobbyists an offensive in the winter. Therefore, the military commissioners must draft 50,000 new soldiers in December and January. Besides, covert mass mobilization continues all the time in Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On the morning of December 24 (on the eve of Christmas), russian troops shelled Kherson’s center using rocket launchers. According to Oleksandr Tolokonnikov, the head of the Kherson RMA press office, the shells hit the central market with a large number of people in it, and also a kindergarten and infrastructure facilities. Overall, the Kherson region was shelled 71 times on December 24. Sixteen people were killed and 64 injured, as reported by Yaroslav Yanushevich, the head of the Kherson RMA.
  • This allegation is devoid of logic. Western countries do not destroy our cities and infrastructure, but russia does. Instead, the West imposes sanctions on russia to limit its war-fighting capabilities and, at the same time, invests in the reconstruction of Ukraine. Unlike russia, none of the countries in the West has ever tried to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty or announced it would seek to seize certain territories, divide Ukraine, or detach some parts from it. What has been discussed, including in the EU, is that Ukraine can become part of the European family whole.
  • russian platforms are again spreading unsubstantiated rumors about covert mass mobilization in Ukraine. Photos and videos of men allegedly served with a summons are usually shown as proof. However, receiving a summons does not mean going to the frontline. In particular, summonses can be issued to verify data at the enlistment office or undergo a medical examination. The continuation of mobilization depends on the course of the war. Therefore, any forecasts are irrelevant. The President announces the mobilization by decree. General mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, and is periodically extended by presidential decrees. So far, mobilization has been prolonged for 90 days several times, being renewed for another 90 days (from November 21 until February 19).

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on December 23

  • russia’s war against Ukraine is, in fact, part of the West’s plan to collapse russia. It all started in belarus in 2020 when the West launched a “color revolution” to oust Lukashenka and install a Western-controlled government. However, the attempt failed because of the people’s support and security forces that protected the state from a coup. So the West decided to organize a “Maidan” in Georgia in 2021, but this attempt was also unsuccessful. The next step was a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan in January 2022, but the CSTO suppressed the conflict.
  • During the event “Women of Ukraine – Heroes of the World” in Kyiv, female military uniforms were presented, meaning a “women’s draft” was planned.
  • “What to expect of some European countries, which at some point gave birth to National Socialism and fascism,” wrote Dmitry Medvedev in an article about the year 2022.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is merely a conspiracy theory, i.e., an attempt to link events in a cause-and-effect way having no connection except for a coincidence in time. The West did not organize the protests against Lukashenka, and the Belarusians rose because of the falsified elections. However, the security forces suppressed the demonstrations. Unlike during the 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, they did not side with the protesters remaining loyal to the authorities. Political repressions, falsification of criminal cases against activists, and mass arrests of those showing (however little) disrespect for Lukashenka’s totalitarian regime continue in belarus. In October 2021, protesters in Georgia demanded the release of Mikheil Saakashvili, who was arrested immediately after returning to the country. There is also no reason to believe that the protests were arranged from abroad. It all started in January 2022, with residents of one of Kazakhstan’s regions rallying against a sharp increase in the price of liquefied gas, commonly used to refuel cars in the region. In a couple of days, the protests spread to the entire country, and Kazakh authorities used force to stop them, particularly turning to the CSTO for help (which includes russia and belarus). However, the protests cannot be called fruitless because the Kazakhs succeeded in removing the Nazarbaev family from their long-term rule. Therefore, the accurate description of the events clearly suggests that the protests were always preceded by people’s dissatisfaction with the authorities’ actions. Furthermore, those actions were often illegal or contrary to public interests. In this case, no guidance from the West is needed since protests are a tool of the democratic (not totalitarian) world to express their disagreement with their government’s actions. Nevertheless, suppressing a protest by force signifies a totalitarian regime.
  • More than 40,000 women in Ukraine already serve in the Armed Forces, with 5,000 on the front lines. The event, “Women of Ukraine – Heroes of the World,” was dedicated to women already serving in the Ukrainian army. During the event, female military uniforms and ammunition were presented and later handed over to female members of Kyiv’s 112th Territorial Defense Brigade. So there is no reason to believe that this event means women will be sent en masse to the front lines.
  • The thing is that the emergence of these ideologies is the result of Hitler and Mussolini coming to power. Undoubtedly, the population’s support of these ideologies also played a role. However, their origins and spread were due to these movements’ leaders. By making such statements, Medvedev is trying to prove that the West still supports Nazism in Ukraine the way it did half a century ago. However, that is not true. Firstly, allegations about Nazism in Ukraine are absurd and have never been confirmed. Supporting Nazism and fascism is generally prohibited in Ukraine. Secondly, the West supports Ukraine’s pro-European and democratic development and its resistance against russia because it is the resistance of all of Europe against russia’s aggression. After all, the russian regime has much more in common with all the signs of fascism than Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on December 22

  • Only russia can restore Ukraine’s energy system.
  • In December, the Armed Forces destroyed the Artemsil plant near Bakhmut
  • Athens has become an accomplice of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, providing them with weapons, as stated by the official representative of russia’s foreign affairs ministry, Maria Zakharova. According to her, Kyiv is waging a criminal war against the civilian population of Donbas, the Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, including ethnic Greeks living there.
  • 2023 and 2024 will be the years of prearranged famine. The Presidential Office and Zelensky convinced everyone that there would be no food shortages while continuing to sell wheat, exposing people to future starvation and hoping that the West would help.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The propaganda outlets are trying to prove that the complete occupation of Ukraine is inevitable. However, the life of Ukrainians will supposedly improve under occupation, which is not true. The de-occupation of many Ukrainian cities shows that the russian army established a dictatorship in the occupied territories, torturing and killing the civilian population, arranging covert mobilization, deporting Ukrainians to russia, robbing Ukrainian businesses, and forcing them to cooperate with russia. As for restoration, propagandists often demonstrate pictures of the alleged recovery of Mariupol. In reality, the city is not being rebuilt. Only a few stories about erecting new houses were filmed for TV. At the same time, the town remains destroyed and dead.
  • Shelling and destroying Artemsil began back in May when the russian strikes demolished the factory’s several buildings, and the production of salt stopped altogether. A few months later, russia tried to shift responsibility for destroying the Ukrainian plant onto the Armed Forces. By doing so, russia continues the narrative that the Armed Forces fire at peaceful objects while russia tries to protect them. As russia has no evidence, the reports are limited to baseless and unsubstantiated claims.
  • russian propaganda outlets are ready to accuse any country of supporting the brutality of the Armed Forces and Nazism in Ukraine. In particular, they put pressure by playing with the sense of ethnic belonging. Although the same logic could be used to say the russians have been shelling the east and south of Ukraine, where russians live while claiming to protect the russian-speaking population. By the way, the truth is that while Western countries support Ukraine in resisting russian aggression, russia is organizing a genocide of Ukraine’s population by shelling both military and civilian infrastructure.
  • russian media outlets are once again threatening Ukraine with famine, allegedly due to selling grain abroad. However, there is no reason to create a grain shortage or products derived from it, as Ukraine has been continuously exporting grain left over from last year’s harvest. Every year, Ukraine collects much more wheat than it needs for domestic consumption. Firstly, if this grain is not sold, it will simply spoil because that amount of grain is not required in Ukraine. Secondly, the continued grain export protects other countries dependent on Ukrainian agriculture from a food crisis. By blocking grain corridors, russia provokes hunger in the world. Thirdly, suppose there is a famine in Ukraine. In that case, it will be another doing by russia, which continues to attack grain storage facilities, food warehouses, and shell and mine the fields where agricultural companies have been growing their products for years.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 5 p.m. on December 21

  • The media law, aptly called by the West “worthy of the worst authoritarian regimes,” was adopted in a desperate attempt to cut off Ukrainians from any point of view other than the official one promoted by the government’s speakers.
  • Internet connection fees were doubled in Ukraine, so people would not read alternative news, being forced to watch TV exclusively.
  • russia’s defense minister Shoigu said the russian military is taking sufficient measures during the so-called “special operation” to save as many Ukrainian civilian lives as possible.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Restricting freedom of speech (as reported in the message) is censorship. It is prohibited in Ukraine, and the law on media does not cancel it. The law is supposed to define the concept of online media and make the structure of media ownership transparent and open, reducing the opportunities for political and oligarchic forces to influence the agenda of Ukrainians in their vested interest. Firstly, the state does not set Internet access fees, but private Internet service providers do. Secondly, increasing fees is not an attempt to limit Ukrainians’ Internet access and establish a “TV dictatorship.” The rise in prices is a consequence of russia’s war against Ukraine. Shelling and destroying the Internet providers’ infrastructure, rising prices for imported components due to the devaluation of the hryvnia, blackouts, and the need to invest in generators and other alternative power sources — all this is ultimately reflected in the price. However, russian media outlets are apparently hush-hush about it.
  • russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoigu openly lies because the russian army does nothing to save civilian lives. In addition to regular rocket attacks on civilian objects, it is worth mentioning the shelling of the “green corridors” and the mass torture in Bucha, Izium, Balakliia, Borodianka, and other de-occupied Ukrainian cities. Overall, this war does not make any sense for russia, except for the genocide and destruction of Ukrainians, which is why it is at least cynical to talk about measures to save the lives of civilians.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on December 18

  • Information about the EU allocating $ 600 million to help Ukrainians prepare for winter spread online. Every citizen of Ukraine can reportedly apply for a payment of UAH 13,280. The posts suggest following the link to the Telegram channels to find out more about the assistance. Also, the image contains the logo of the eSupport state program
  • Information was spread online about the percentage of people in England practicing Christianity being less than 50% for the first time. Those who have abandoned Christianity over the last ten years (from 2011 to 2021) began professing Satanism.
  • Videos allegedly showing protests against rising prices, inflation, and migration in Munich in December 2022 were spread online.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In fact, it is a fraudulent scheme aiming to increase the number of subscribers to Telegram channels. Applications for assistance from international organizations are accepted via the eSupport program or at designated banks. It is currently impossible to apply for aid because the first stage of accepting applications is over. The posts’ authors give a link to the Telegram channel, which is supposed to have more detailed information. However, the link leads to a closed one that can only be accessed upon request. In this way, the post’s authors increase the number of subscribers to their Telegram channel.
  • An official census conducted once every ten years by the UK Office for National Statistics showed that the number of followers of Christianity in England and Wales was 27.5 million people in 2021. That is less than 50% of the population (just 46.2%). In 2011, this number was 33.3 million (59.3%). Therefore, the number of those professing Christianity decreased by 13.1% (5.8 million). However, there is no evidence that these people started practicing Satanism. There were 1,893 Satanists in England and Wales In 2011 and 5,054 in 2021. The number of adherents had increased by 167%, but whether those people had converted from Christianity is unknown. Therefore, the number of Christians decreased by 5.8 million, and the number of followers of Satanism increased by more than three thousand people. So it is manipulative to claim that Christians are choosing Satanism en masse.
  • The video shows protests in Munich against coronavirus restrictions on December 15, 2021. On December 15, 2021, a demonstration against the coronavirus restrictions took place on Ludwigstrasse, with about 3,700 people attending. Munich mayor Dieter Reiter said the number of those opposing the coronavirus restrictions had increased in the city. He said violence cases were recorded during the demonstration, and the protesters neglected anti-epidemic measures. The Munich district administration department allowed one rally, but the group split up into two (approximately 500 demonstrators each).

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 17

  • A document was circulated online allegedly confirming Ukraine’s electricity exports to Poland.
  • The russian media outlets and Telegram channels spread a photo of a container house set up in Germany for refugees from Ukraine. Reports claim Ukrainian refugees refused to live in such homes because of the letter “Z” painted on them.
  • Photos of two Time magazine covers featuring Volodymyr Zelensky and Adolf Hitler were circulated online. The magazine editors recognized the two politicians as “people of the year” in 2022 and 1939, respectively. According to user comments, the year fits the person.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The document is fake and has already been denied by Ukrenergo. The Ukrainian operator emphasized that Ukrenergo does not have such a body as the Board of Directors (“board of directors” is not listed among Ukrenergo’s governing bodies). In addition, the document refers to Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 1355. In reality, the resolution has to do with some issues related to the activities of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience and does not mention energy. Therefore, it can be concluded that the document was forged. Ukraine stopped exporting electricity after russia’s first attacks on the Ukrainian energy system. Data from the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) website confirms that Ukraine does not sell electricity to other countries.
  • There is no confirmation that Ukrainians refused to live in modular houses. The letter “Z” on container houses means a place to sleep. The photos and information about such homes for refugees first appeared in a piece by the German publication Bild, cited by the russian media. According to the article, about 50,000 refugees need housing in Hamburg, Germany, of which 20,000 are from Ukraine. Refugees from Afghanistan and Syria also need lodging, so the Hamburg authorities decided to build homes in the city parts lacking residential places.
  • Time explained that the decision to recognize Hitler as “Man of the Year 1938” (in the January 1939 issue) was justified. This title was not an honor but a distinction applied to the newsmaker who most influenced world events for better or worse. In a 1939 issue, Time described Hitler as “the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.” The authors point out that the policies of the Nazis affected neighboring countries, and Nazi pressure was partly responsible for some of the anti-democratic decrees in France. “Fascism had intervened openly in Spain, had fostered a revolt in Brazil, was covertly aiding revolutionary movements in Rumania, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania,” the article says. It also mentions dictatorial laws in Germany. In fact, the issue’s editors did not publish a portrait of Hitler on the cover. He was depicted as a tiny figure sitting with his back to the viewer playing a massive organ, with his slain victims spinning on a Catherine Wheel. Below the black-and-white illustration is the caption, “From the unholy organist, a hymn of hate.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on December 16

  • The EU has directed 90 billion euros to Ukraine since 2014, almost double the country’s annual state budget. However, the life of Ukrainians has not become twice as lovely over the past eight years.
  • The authorities are not satisfied that interest in the “Unified TV Marathon” has faded due to the power outages, and people have begun to use social media more. That is how the government loses its influence on society.
  • Alcohol use flourishes in the AFU because of the cold weather. The military has no other way to keep warm.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Such a comparison is inappropriate. The funds received by Ukraine from the EU have mostly been loans. The purpose of EU funding is to support Ukraine’s economy after the crisis of 2014-2015, provoked by the seizure of Ukrainian territories, which, of course, the russian media outlets spreading such messages forget. In addition, the EU has been providing funds to reform Ukraine, make the changes irreversible, and help the economy grow and develop without foreign aid. Currently, the EU provides funds to support Ukraine’s economy in a full-scale war. However, the funding is insufficient. Ukraine’s defense spending has increased significantly. In addition, there have been more beneficiaries and recipients of various kinds of state aid (e.g., IDPs), so expenditure on restoring the destroyed infrastructure has grown. At the same time, many enterprises that used to pay taxes to the budget are closed. Of course, only russia is to blame for this. However, propaganda outlets apparently leave these facts out.
  • Television started to get less attention even before the power outages, with most Ukrainians preferring social networks to television since the summer. The main reason is information fatigue, whereas social networks provide more variety of content. One must follow the rules of media hygiene to avoid falling prey to hostile online propaganda. Preference must be given to official sources and media outlets on the Institute of Mass Information’s safe list. Among them, in particular, is UA:News. It is also essential to separate facts from opinions. Remember that bloggers and anonymous platforms can spread inaccurate information that should be fact-checked before sharing news with friends.
  • Defenders in the Armed Forces constantly need help, especially in winter: warm shoes, thermal clothing, sleeping bags, potbelly stoves, etc. However, there is no reason to say that the Ukrainian army is so insecure that drinking alcohol is the only way to keep warm. Such russian propaganda messages aim to discredit the service members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and undermine the nation’s trust in and support for them. In response to these messages, our task is to continue supporting the army daily with donations, daily work, and our faith in victory.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on December 15

  • russia’s UN ambassador v. nebenzya said, “The goals of the SMO […] will be fulfilled. If they cannot be achieved by peaceful means […], then the goal will be achieved by military means. Responsibility for the fact that […] the civilian population is suffering lies with the Zelensky regime and its sponsors […] Until Kyiv and the West come to their senses, we will protect our interests by all means.”
  • According to russia’s media outlets, “the situation is very complicated in the territories under Ukraine’s control. The cities have no electricity, water, or heating […]. The Ukrainian authorities will not resolve this problem and only offer “voluntary evacuation.”
  • russia’s education ministry head s. kravtsov said the “deeds” of the russian “SMO heroes” would be included in school history textbooks: “The SMO heroes will, by all means, be included in the history textbooks. Much work has already been done, including in the “Conversations about what matters” lessons.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Like most other representatives of russia, nebenzya is ready to lie even in front of the whole world. Russia alone must be held responsible for the suffering of the civilian population. Ukrainian authorities cannot be interested in killing their own people, so these messages are entirely devoid of meaning and logic. The West (i.e., those Nebenzya calls “sponsors”) supports Ukraine in this war as a country protecting European nations from russian aggression.
  • The situation in Ukraine’s recently de-occupied territories (particularly in the Kherson region) is very tough due to hostilities and months of russian occupation. Under occupation, the russist terror reigned everywhere in Ukrainian cities. The local population was robbed, businesses were taken away, people were forced to cooperate, and in case of disagreement, they were tortured and even murdered in some places. During the retreat, the russian army destroyed everything they were leaving behind to terrorize Ukrainians even from a distance. After the liberation, the cities began to restore the supply of water, electricity, communications, goods, medicines, and the work of state authorities and institutions as quickly as possible.
  • It is characteristic of russia to rewrite history. Textbooks featuring pseudo-heroes of the so-called “special operation” have already been found in the de-occupied territories. Such “education” aims to zombify people from the youngest school age to convince them that russia freed Ukrainians from Nazism and that life under russian occupation and in russia is better than in independent Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on December 14

  • The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on media introducing censorship in the information space.
  • The authorities hide the fact that the Shahed drone attack on the Kyiv region on December 14 left many residential buildings and military equipment damaged and the region’s residents injured.
  • According to dmitry medvedev, Zelensky wants to use independent observers from the EU at critical infrastructure facilities as a human shield.
  • There will be a new wave of mass mobilization in Ukraine in January.

Now the TRUTH:

  • These allegations are baseless. The law has no provisions enforcing censorship. Moreover, the Ukrainian Constitution and laws prohibit censorship as an obstacle to freedom of thought and speech and free expression of ideas and beliefs. According to the media law, registered online media can be blocked only for a number of gross violations (e.g., child pornography or calls for overthrowing the constitutional order) and only by a court decision. In addition, the law is part of Ukraine’s European integration process, which makes its adoption fundamentally important.
  • Quite the contrary: official sources did provide information about the consequences of enemy attacks on December 14. For instance, the Kyiv Regional Military Administration said air defense forces shot down a total of 13 Shahed drones over the Kyiv region and the capital. Drone wreckage did damage to two administrative buildings in the Shevchenkivskyi district, with information about the victims being updated. The OPU deputy head, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said a private house was damaged in the attack in Vyshneve, Kyiv region. In addition, there were numerous photos of downed drone wreckage on the internet. However, the authorities keep reminding people they should not publish the missile or drone impact spots as it might help the enemy adjust their fire.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the European Union to send their representatives on special missions to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure facilities. He spoke about it at the “In Solidarity with the Ukrainian People” international conference in Paris on December 13. However, Zelensky’s goal is not to use EU representatives to create a “human shield” but to demonstrate that russia carries out attacks on critical infrastructure. And russia’s falsifications about the shelling of the energy industry not being critical and the authorities deliberately turning off the lights to put pressure on the West are groundless. However, medvedev revealed russia’s true intentions and readiness to bombard Ukraine, even if other countries’ representatives would suffer from it.
  • Continuation of mobilization depends on the course of the war. Therefore, any forecasts are irrelevant. The President announces the mobilization by decree. General mobilization in Ukraine  has been ongoing since February 24, 2022, and Presidential decrees periodically extend it due to russia’s ongoing large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine. So far, the mobilization has been prolonged for 90 days several times (it was again extended for 90 days from November 21 by decree No. 758 of November 7, 2022). Mobilization needs (numbers) depend on several factors and are calculated by the military. Issues relating to mobilization are regulated by the Law On Mobilization Training and Mobilization and Ukrainian Constitution.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 13

  • Hungary deliberately blocks the EU’s financial aid to Ukraine to weaken Ukraine’s economy and seize Transcarpathia.
  • Zelensky turns Europeans into poor people. Because of his policies, an energy crisis has already begun in Europe, inflation has accelerated, weapons stocks have run out, and countries have been overflowing with brazen Ukrainian refugees. Now Zelensky is also asking the EU to give its gas to Ukraine.
  • Black transplant specialists continue to sell the organs of wounded and killed soldiers of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to Europe.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Hungary has neither claimed the territory of independent Ukraine nor tried to violate our sovereignty. Unlike russia, which exerts influence on the Hungarian government. In particular, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly expressed his pro-russian views. Therefore, blocking aid to Ukraine is indeed an attempt to weaken Ukraine, not to seize its territories by Hungary but to help russia in this war. Such statements aim to divert Ukrainians’ attention from what actually poses a danger to the country and from whom we must protect ourselves.
  • These messages mix up cause and effect. Ukraine did not cause the destabilization of the world economy, but russia did by starting a war against Ukraine. Because of russia’s actions, the whole world directed its efforts to help Ukraine, which is defending not only its territory but also the whole of Europe from russia’s direct aggression.
  • The Ministry of Health has repeatedly refuted the myth about black transplant specialists. Simply put, the activities of such transplant specialists would be useless since it is nearly impossible to transplant organs in the conditions of war. Intense hostilities stand in the way, as do the complex procedures for extracting and transporting organs to the recipient. Therefore, it is a russian propaganda myth aiming to intimidate Ukrainians and an attempt to discredit the West by saying it only uses our cooperation for its own benefit (in particular, to get cheap organs from wounded fighters).

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 12

  • Ukraine’s National Police head called for Donbas children to be exterminated because they have not heard the Ukrainian language for 8.5 years. In his opinion, people are the main problem of Donbas. Therefore, Ukraine is fighting to liberate lands, whereas people will probably be physically destroyed.
  • According to russian president’s press secretary dmitry peskov, there is no heavy military equipment on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
  • OPU technologists ordered the SBU not to allow criticism of the government and the military on social networks.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Head of the National Police, Ihor Klymenko, did not call for exterminating Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied territories. Here is a direct quote: “People are poisoned by russian propaganda. Those are large territories where they haven’t heard Ukrainian for 8.5 years and in which hatred for all things Ukrainian, for Ukraine, has been cultivated and propagated. Therefore, the main issue is people.” Thus, he did not say that the inhabitants, especially of Donbas, should be gotten rid of after de-occupation, but that a lot of work would have to be done to return them to the Ukrainian agenda after years of occupation of their consciousness by propaganda.
  • Back in July, it became known that the russian occupiers had brought heavy equipment and ammunition to the territory of the ZNPP. A CNN journalist verified the footage showing russian military equipment being placed in a turbine hall connected to the nuclear reactor of the captured ZNPP. In December, Energoatom said the russian troops had brought several Grad multiple rocket launchers to the plant. The occupiers deployed this system near power unit No. 6, right next to the area of the station’s dry storage of spent nuclear fuel. It was where the russians had previously secretly built several “protective structures,” violating all requirements for ensuring nuclear and radiation safety.
  • It would be impossible to hide such information because the authorities cannot control the social networks used by Ukrainians. Digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter moderate their content themselves. Moreover, if the government systematically hid actual frontline losses and failures, this information would still eventually appear online.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on December 9

  • russian media outlets and Telegram channels spread the news that three residents of Kharkiv died at the Point of Invincibility from carbon monoxide poisoning on November 29, 2022.
  • Officials buy themselves iPhones and luxury cars for money donated to the army.

Now the TRUTH:

  • No Ukrainian media outlets reported the news. Screenshots of this “news” were published only by russian Telegram channels that systematically spread disinformation about Ukraine. The articles’ screenshots must have been edited, and a false title added. At the request of the Ukrinform news agency, the spokeswoman of the head of the Kharkiv OMA, Olena Shapoval, said the news of the death of three people at the Point of Invincibility was fake.
  • These allegations are groundless because propaganda usually does not provide evidence that the funds from charitable funds were used by the authorities to buy personal luxury items. It is possible to check each charity fund’s activities since they regularly report on what and how much was spent. Overall, CF can be verified by inquiring about the following: Is contact information available, and are social network pages updated? The accounts the funds are sent to: are they CF legal entity accounts or personal payment cards? Check whether the website you are on is fake (information might be duplicated from real CFs; many elements are lacking; photos are of low quality or are stock photos; there are translation errors and other stylistic errors); Use the youcontrol.com.ua service to double-check whether the fund is a registered legal entity and its founders’ and directors’ reputations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on December 5

  • According to russian mass media, Kyiv is preparing a provocation to disrupt the UN initiative to restore ammonia transit supervised by the UK special services and assisted by the Canadian PMC GardaWorld. Kyiv intends to blow up the roofs of ammonia storage facilities and workshops at the Odesa port plant to pass it off as a missile attack by the russian armed forces.
  • According to a russian media version, the massive missile strike on Ukraine on December 5 was revenge for the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelling the center of Donetsk the day before.
  • According to another version, the mass attack on December 5 was a response to Ukraine’s terrorist attack on the airfield in Engels, russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason to claim that Ukraine will prepare a provocation like that. It is not the first time during the full-scale war that russia has tried to accuse Ukraine of provocations to remove blame from itself in advance. However, this method never worked. russia uses such messages to maintain the image of Ukraine as a terrorist country. Since there is no real evidence of Ukraine’s terrorism, russia falsifies these facts every time.
  • This is not the first time that russia has tried to impose on us the opinion that strikes on civilian infrastructure are meant as revenge for this or that terrorist attack by Ukraine. The first time, on October 10, it reportedly was a retaliation for the Crimean bridge and, this time, for shelling the center of Donetsk. It is not true each time since russia prepares massive missile strikes at least seven days in advance, linking the reasons for the strikes to events occurring 2-3 days before.
  • russia is trying to convince others that if Ukraine stops its terrorist attacks, there will be no more retaliatory strikes. It is also not true because russia launches missile attacks to disrupt the Ukrainian home front and supplies for the army and the economy and ultimately demoralize Ukrainians. There is no objective reason for these bombardments other than terrorizing the civilian population.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 4

  • The letters with explosives sent to Ukrainian embassies are a show put on by Ukraine to blame russia and ask for more weapons.
  • Searches carried out by the SBU in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra prove that anyone can now be arrested for alleged treason and collaboration.
  • Ukrainian people have already lost this war. The proof is that russia is at least rebuilding the destroyed cities, while Ukraine cannot do anything for the war-affected areas.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no evidence that this is a show. The letters sent to Ukrainian embassies are part of russia’s intimidation campaign, which cannot win a single victory on the diplomatic front, unlike Ukraine. russians get no preferences at international meetings. For instance, no one usually wants to listen to the absurd statements voiced by the representative of russia nebenzya at UN meetings. His allegations are seen as clogging the agenda of the organization. Therefore, the russians have no choice but to threaten the diplomats because of their successes.
  • No, not anyone. The law provides a precise classification of what can be considered collaborationism. In particular, it includes direct calls to support the aggressor (i.e., russia) and violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty. As for the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, it was under the management of the UOC MP, which has long been known to be controlled by russia’s special services. From now on, the russian special services activities carried out via the religious institutions of Ukraine will be restricted as much as possible.
  • Several essential details are missing from these statements, whose absence completely distorts the message’s content. First, russia is not just rebuilding cities. The russian army first destroys them (Mariupol, for one, was almost completely destroyed). Then russia occupies Ukrainian cities introducing occupation administrations there that do not want to care for Ukrainians. Anyone having pro-Ukrainian views is tortured, killed, or, in the best case, deported to russia’s depressed regions. Even if russia builds new housing, as in Mariupol, it is preferable to populate it with russians, changing the demographic composition of Ukrainian lands. That is what russia has already done in Crimea (several times during its history) by deporting Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars from there and settling the peninsula with russians. Ukraine is putting a lot of effort into restoring government-controlled territories. In addition to using its own funds, Ukraine engages investors ready to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on December 3

  • Ukraine’s entry into the EU only means that women and children who fled the war to European countries are now forced to work there as cheap labor without social protection.
  • russian special services discovered a military-patriotic club in Sievierodonetsk, where children were raised to become terrorists. In particular, they were taught to use weapons, plant mines, and conduct other terrorist activities.
  • Ukrainian soldiers die at the frontline for the government that simply wants to continue to profit from Ukrainians. If they so wished, the authorities could have ended the war with peace negotiations long ago.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This message comprises several messages: on the one hand, it distorts the essence of European integration, and on the other hand, it discredits Ukrainian refugees. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, about 7.9 million Ukrainians are currently registered under various protection schemes in European countries. Ukrainians are forced to flee from the war, and this has nothing to do with European integration. On the other hand, European integration sped up during the war because the EU countries understood that providing additional protection to Ukraine meant protecting the whole of Europe from russia’s aggression.
  • There is no real evidence that children were raised as future terrorists in Ukraine. Earlier, russia had spread similar fake stories about the Azov regiment and orphans from Mariupol. Such messages aim to pressure people’s emotion buttons using the sensitive topic of raising children. They are better remembered and cause more trust since they touch on an important matter for many people, namely child protection. In addition, russia continues to shape the image of a terrorist country, shifting the world community’s attention from its real crimes to imaginary crimes allegedly committed by Ukraine.
  • russian soldiers are the only ones dying at the frontline for the interests of their government. They came to fight in Ukraine for reasons entirely invented by the russian leadership. Ukrainians defend our country’s sovereignty, independence, and right to exist. That is, the position of Ukrainians is a position of defense. In contrast, the position of russia is aggression, which is ungrounded and, therefore, cannot be motivated by anything. These messages attempt to turn Ukrainians against their government, allegedly waging a bloody war to pursue its own interests.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on December 2

  • Those posing a threat to the Presidential Office and the current government were sent to fight in Bakhmut. In this way, the government tried eliminating those who could harm it
  • The government cannot help Ukrainians in the energy crisis, so the largest anonymous Telegram channels constantly “advise” people on how to take care of themselves.
  • The President’s Office is afraid of freezing the conflict as it would shift the attention of Ukrainians to internal problems their government cannot solve, e.g., rising prices, falling living standards, unemployment, corruption, etc.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Currently, the Bakhmut direction is one of the toughest on the frontline, but there is no reason to claim that the OP sends those it wants to get rid of to this area. First, it is not the OP but the military command that decides on the rotation of the military. Second, the frontline is not a place to dispose of those disliked by the authorities. In each direction, the Armed Forces defend Ukraine and win back temporarily occupied territories.
  • The Telegram channels that spread rumors and gossip and give such advice are mostly those supervised by russia’s special services, as has been repeatedly stated by the SBU and the Center for Countering Disinformation. Saying that people should take care of themselves is an attempt to rock society using one of the most sensitive topics today, namely power outages. First, the authorities warned many times that this year’s winter would be extremely difficult for Ukrainians. In addition, the government equipped points of invincibility and continues negotiating with Western partners to receive additional financial and humanitarian aid, particularly generators.
  • Freezing the conflict is not beneficial for Ukraine, particularly because it would give putin time to strengthen his army, create new weapons, and accumulate new forces and equipment. The Ukrainian army continues to receive Western arms and has already carried out several successful counteroffensive operations, whereas the russian military is exhausted and has no time to recover.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on December 1

  • Rumors have it that enlistment offices will issue summonses to go to the frontline at Points of Invincibility.
  • The plan is to soon abandon aid to Ukraine because it is becoming more and more expensive for Western countries.
  • The purges in the UOC MP are perhaps linked to the fact that Zelensky is trying to divert Ukrainians’ attention from the real crisis and problems in the country.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian propaganda is once again trying to discredit the government’s attempts to resolve the issue of blackouts: this time, points of invincibility are reportedly needed to enlist people to go to the frontline. Purely theoretically, a summons could be issued at points of invincibility, at checkpoints, or in cafes since the law does not limit the places for handing summons. Besides, getting a summons does not mean immediately sending someone to the frontline but verifying data or undergoing a medical examination.
  • At the moment, there is no trend for Western partners to reduce aid to Ukraine. One of the countries standing in the way of assisting Ukraine is Hungary. Some countries are still delaying the transfer of weapons, but their motivation increases with each subsequent shelling by russia.
  • Once again, russia says the authorities are afraid that Ukrainians will be distracted from the war and start paying more attention to problems inside the country. However, most of Ukraine’s current problems (rising prices, unemployment, and the energy crisis) are exclusively a result of russia’s aggression. Therefore, this message can be attributed to the russian propaganda narrative, whereby russia denies carrying out destructive activities in Ukraine and shifts the blame onto the Ukrainian authorities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on November 30

  • With no strikes on the CHP in Poltava, the city is still cut off from electricity grids. Therefore, the cutoffs are the decisions of the authorities, not Ukrenergo.
  • Western arms smuggling from Ukraine has grown so much that its traces are now even found in Africa.
  • The Ministry of Economy and the BlackRock investment company signed a memorandum of understanding, which actually means transferring the ownership of Ukraine to this company.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Power outages occur throughout the country due to Ukraine’s energy system imbalance caused by missile strikes. Even if Kyiv alone is attacked, outages can still occur elsewhere, e.g., in the west of Ukraine or Poltava. In addition, Ukraine’s energy system is connected with that of Europe: the unification of our energy systems is part of our European integration. Thus, attacks on the energy system in Ukraine may even result in the voltage dropping in Moldova or Romania.
  • Only russian propaganda outlets can see Western weapons being smuggled from Ukraine. However, Europol, the Pentagon, and other security agencies of our Western partners do not observe such trends but only warn about the risks of smuggling.
  • This allegation is part of the narrative about Ukraine not being an independent state but a puppet governed by the West. This time, the investment company would be managing Ukraine, which is not true. Investment companies cannot influence Ukraine’s internal and external policies like any of Ukraine’s Western partners.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 28

  • Even those Kherson residents who really looked forward to being liberated are now frightened by the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Nazism in the city and the risk of dying in a humanitarian disaster due to the return of Ukrainian authorities. Therefore, they are looking for ways to leave the city.
  • Reportedly, Ukrainians are prevented from entering Europe because of non-working databases and systems due to power outages as part of secret agreements between Zelensky and Europe about taking no more refugees.
  • Ukrainians are increasingly ready for negotiations and concessions to russia to improve the standard of living.
  • Sovereignty is independence from world leaders, such as the US or the EU. Hungary is an example of a country with true sovereignty, trying to protect its population from the negative impact of anti-russian sanctions. Ukraine is not a sovereign state because it is entirely under the control of the West.
  • If your neighbors do not turn off the lights, you must complain to the local city or district administration. The fact that their electricity was not cut off is most likely the fault of the local authorities.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The humanitarian disaster in Kherson, namely the lack of electricity, water, food, and medicine, resulted directly from the city’s being occupied by russian troops. In addition, during the withdrawal, the russian army deliberately damaged the power grids to leave the town without electricity and communications. On the other hand, Ukraine is restoring the city’s electricity supply. For instance, as of November 27, 17% of consumers in Kherson already had electricity. They promise to provide electricity for the entire city in the coming days.
  • No such agreements exist, and support for Ukrainian refugees abroad continues to this day. Anonymous russian Telegram channels present this news as backstage rumors that have no confirmation whatsoever and might be mere fabrication. Moreover, there are no reports in the Ukrainian mass media about Ukrainians being prevented from going abroad after an extended blackout.
  • That is not true since the position of Ukrainians does not change even despite russia’s attempts to demoralize them by shelling the energy infrastructure resulting in blackouts, and a lack of water, communications, and heating. On the contrary, russia’s terrorist actions worsen russia’s position in the international arena, leading to even greater exhaustion of the russian economy, alienation of once-friendly countries, and the imposition of new sanctions. Besides, russia spends billions of dollars on terrorism, which could otherwise be directed to improving the lives of its citizens: providing many localities with gas and water, building highways, increasing pensions or other social benefits, medicine for cancer patients — and, overall, to any government support programs.
  • Hungary and its Prime Minister Viktor Orban are friendly with the russian regime. Therefore, Hungary’s actions to block sanctions against russia or financial and military aid to Ukraine are a sign of Hungary’s dependence on russia. Consequently, it is illogical to say that this country is a model of independence. On the other hand, Ukraine is not under the control of the EU, the USA, or any Western country. Western partners help Ukraine in many ways, but they do not infringe on its sovereignty, unlike russia.
  • No, it doesn’t work like that. Power outages do not depend on the decision of local authorities but on the state company Ukrenergo responsible for balancing the energy infrastructure throughout the country. russian Telegram channels use such messages to incite enmity between Ukrainians, trying to set those with lights off against those with the electricity turned on or turned off less frequently. It is impossible to influence blackouts by complaining to local authorities. Hostility towards neighbors due to electricity will only help the enemy divide us, not bring us closer to victory.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on November 27

  • Ukraine steals gas transported by russia to Moldova through Ukraine’s territory.
  • The US government covers up the crimes of the Nazi Kyiv regime, giving it a sense of impunity and permissiveness, the russian embassy in Washington said.
  • On russian federal channels, it is assumed that the Armed Forces might invade the Belgorod region of russia.
  • russia did not forgive Zelensky for shelling the ZNPP and carried out the strikes in such a way as to put out the rest of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Last week, Gazprom threatened to reduce gas transit, saying Ukraine kept gas volumes intended for Moldova. According to Gazprom’s calculations, Ukraine had accumulated 52.52 million cubic meters of gas destined for Moldova. Ukraine’s GTS operator said all the gas taken in for further transportation to consumers in Moldova got transferred to Moldova in full at the Oleksiivka and Hrebenyky points of exit from Ukraine. It is confirmed by all necessary documents signed with related operators, one of which is Gazprom. The Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Moldova, Andrei Spinu, clarified that the volumes of gas that Gazprom was talking about were Moldova’s stocks stored in Ukraine.
  • In fact, the signs of the Nazi regime are characteristic of russia, not Ukraine. And here’s why. Propaganda and rewriting history, the cult of the president’s personality, the symbolism of the letter Z on all propaganda resources, events, and even on russian tanks, the genocide of Ukrainians, disregard for international law, the close union between the government and the church, and the one-party system are all characteristic of the russian regime. Earlier, these signs characterized totalitarian fascist regimes. Of course, the USA does not support any manifestation of Nazism in Ukraine. Instead, russia is ready to lie about it even at a high international level through its embassies worldwide.
  • There is no reason, and it does not make sense, for the Armed Forces to invade russia. It seems that the propaganda outlets are looking for a new justification for their terrorism and still do not give up the far-fetched reasons for the war, talking about the alleged danger to russia from Ukraine and NATO. However, it was russia that attacked Ukraine and violated our sovereignty, which is why the Ukrainian Armed Forces protect Ukrainians on their own territory in Ukraine.
  • Interestingly, russian propaganda outlets are confused with the versions about the causes and consequences of shelling Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. According to one version, russia attacked only those energy facilities that provided for the military. According to another version, blackouts and shutdowns of nuclear power plants are exclusively the actions of the Ukrainian authorities aiming to request more help from the West because of the sufferings of Ukrainians. According to a third version, the shelling is, it turns out, revenge for the ZNPP. However, none of these versions is true. In point of fact, russia is carrying out massive attacks on Ukrainian energy to disable the entire energy system and provoke a blackout for Ukrainians to demoralize and weaken them and our economy. Moreover, russia attacks not only energy facilities but also residential buildings using non-high-precision missiles and habitual terrorism.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on November 26

  • The President’s Office made a mistake by creating the illusion of effective air defense for Ukrainians because now the West does not want to provide new air defense systems.
  • Only russian speakers are mobilized en masse in Ukraine, which is a sign of the destruction of the russian- speaking population.
  • European pensioners are forced to live in poverty due to rising prices and tariffs as a result of the russophobic and pro-Nazi policies of the West
  • Blackouts are the result of the decommunization policy.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The authorities do not create illusions about Ukrainian air defense because our air defense shows high results. But even though air defense systems shoot down most missiles, they cannot protect our skies 100% — nor can any air defense system worldwide. Therefore, Ukraine needs more air defense systems from Western partners to cover the Ukrainian skies more reliably. Through such reports, russia promotes at least two false narratives. The first is that the government has been lying to Ukrainians about the level of protection to make Ukrainians lose faith in the Armed forces. The second is that Ukraine’s Western allies no longer want to support us. First of all, there is currently no mass mobilization in Ukraine, as mainly those with combat experience or military education are called to the ranks of the Armed Forces. Secondly, the mobilization waves are determined by the level of military skills, abilities, and combat operations experience. New members are also selected for the Armed Forces based on their health condition. The language a person speaks has no bearing on the draft. By making such allegations, russia continues the narrative of alleged discrimination against Ukraine’s russian-speaking population. Also, it shifts the emphasis by saying that genocide is not committed by russia but by Ukraine.
  • It is a continuation of the narrative that russia is not suffering from the imposed sanctions, but the EU is. russia mainly spreads the narrative to address its population and the TOT residents to prove that life in russia is better than in the EU, where Ukraine is headed. Of course, it also spreads such allegations among EU citizens to convince them that supporting Ukraine harms their well-being. However, the narratives do not work: support for Ukraine and Ukrainians in the EU does not decrease. Our Western partners only increase their assistance after each new terrorist act of russia.
  • Blackouts and decommunization are entirely unrelated. Decommunization is what Ukraine does to move away from post-colonial dependence on russia as the legal successor of the USSR. The blackouts are the result of russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Of course, russia does not like the decommunization policy because it is disrupting all cultural and historical ties with the past and present that connects us with russia. Decommunization is also a loss for russia – a loss of control over the consciousness of Ukrainians. Therefore, the connection can exist only in that the shelling of the energy sector is, in particular, revenge for Ukraine’s becoming an independent state. More importantly, russian attacks on the energy infrastructure are russian terrorism that cannot be justified.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on November 25

  • The blackout in Moldova on November 23 proves that Ukraine continues to sell electricity abroad, which is how the government makes money from the sale of electricity, leaving Ukrainians without electricity.
  • russia carries out massive attacks only on military facilities and related energy infrastructure.
  • The Ukrainian authorities deliberately turn off the lights for Ukrainians to ask for more help from the West. In fact, there is no need to cut off electricity since the damage to the infrastructure is insignificant.
  • russia was forced to start the so-called “special operation on demilitarization and denazification.” The reason was that Ukraine had been shelling Donbas for eight years, blockading Crimea and the so-called LPR and DPR, not allowing the TOT residents to receive social assistance and pensions, and pursuing a russophobic policy. The “special operation” had to be launched when diplomatic measures ceased to work.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Ukrenergo has already refuted similar fake news. Until October 10, Ukraine exported electricity to the EU, earning good money. Exports were suspended after the massive missile attack on October 10. This information is easily checked in numerous European open sources, primarily the official ENTSO data platform. The purpose of those spreading such messages is to stir up a society tired of power outages and to divert attention from russian missile strikes forcing Ukrainians to have blackouts. Ukrenergo also explained the reasons for the outage in Moldova on November 23. Due to the russian attacks, there was a frequency spike in our common power grid, causing the loss of Moldova’s connection with the European power grid, from which the country receives a share of electricity.
  • That is not true because russia also shells residential buildings. On November 23, in Vyshgorod (Kyiv region) alone, the russian strikes left seven people killed and another 30 injured. Several more people were wounded in Chabany and Hlevaha in the Kyiv region by rockets that hit residential buildings. Previously, on November 15, three residential houses in Kyiv were damaged due to enemy shelling. In this case, russia often assures the audiences that it was the result of Ukrainian air defense, with russian missiles hitting energy facilities exclusively. The purpose of such statements is to intimidate Ukrainians and convince them that the danger for them comes precisely from the side of the Armed Forces.
  • As a result of russian shelling on November 23, at least 14 regions of Ukraine remained utterly or partially without electricity. There was no water, communications, heating, or electricity in some areas. It is the result of exclusively hostile attacks because it does not make sense for the authorities to deliberately cut off electricity from more than half of the country and thus put their economy in harm’s way. In the same way, the government cannot decide whether or not to disconnect your neighbors. It can be planned outages when Ukrenergo warns you about the day and time of cutoffs and emergency disconnections due to power shortages when outages are needed to balance the entire energy system.
  • Ten months into the war, russia is still looking for an excuse for why it had to be started. This war does not make sense. Even russians do not understand what they are fighting for in Ukraine and why. The so-called “demilitarization and denazification” are incomprehensible terms for the majority of russians, due to which russia had to resort to a more uncomplicated belief of Ukraine being a terrorist state. Similarly, statements about eight years of shelling of Donbas are entirely fake, but russia has been exploiting them for all eight years. As for diplomacy, the Minsk agreements were not beneficial for Ukraine, precisely in their political part. Yet it was russia that did not adhere to the Minsk agreements regarding the ceasefire. By crossing the border with Ukraine on February 24, 2022, russia put an end to all the arrangements.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on November 24

  • The Points of Invincibility are just another PR move of the authorities: they are not functional and cannot provide any help.
  • The authorities of European countries are ready to freeze their citizens for the sake of supporting Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian security forces killed at least 100 civilians in Kherson, and about 200 more went missing.
  • Kyiv and the collective West want to involve the entire population of Ukraine in the war, although it is only a war of the Nazi authorities. Ukraine’s Armed Forces deliberately bombard residential areas with MLRS and anti-aircraft missiles to draw the civilian population into the war.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There are indeed flaws in the work of the Points of Invincibility. However, inciting animosity and hatred against state or local authorities, saying there is no solution to the problem of blackouts, actually helps support the enemy narratives. The purpose of these narratives is to get Ukrainians disappointed in the authorities’ actions, despair of victory, demoralize them, force them to stop fighting, and increasingly make them admit that we would have to surrender to russia. In addition, the government responded to Ukrainians’ complaints by updating the map of the Points of Invincibility. Currently, it contains the following: 1. Points of Invincibility, i.e., places organized by regional authorities and the State Emergency Service that have generators (recharging gadgets), heating, internet, tea/coffee, and first-aid kits. 2. Points of Invincibility of responsible businesses where it is possible to recharge gadgets for free. 3. Shops, pharmacies, gas stations, and bank branches that will work in the event of blackouts (they do not provide gadget recharging services). Meanwhile, let us remind you that before shellings of the energy infrastructure began, the authorities repeatedly said Ukrainians were in for a difficult winter. The enemy is now merely carrying out its plans. Therefore, it is essential to responsibly prepare for the onset of freezing temperatures than keep up hostile attitudes in society.
  • This narrative aims to convince Europeans that they have suffered from supporting Ukraine, which must be stopped. By making such statements, russia admits that it interferes with the EU information space, attacks Europeans with propaganda, and influences their electoral preferences and political views. Fortunately, russian propaganda is not working in Europe. Despite thousands of russian fake news about Ukraine, Europe does not refuse humanitarian, financial, military, and diplomatic assistance to Ukraine. In the same way, the EU imposes new sanctions on russia, gradually suppressing its ability to wage war.
  • russian propaganda tries to prove that with the return of the Ukrainian government to Kherson, life in the city and region became worse and more dangerous. Of course, russia does not recognize the existence of torture camps in Kherson, repression of those who refused to cooperate with the occupiers, deportation of Kherson residents, and other numerous crimes committed by the russian army and the occupation authorities. In similar messages, russia also tries to discredit Ukraine’s Armed Forces and the Special Services, accusing them of cruelty towards those seeking “friendship” with russia. On the other hand, collaborationism is a criminal offense in Ukraine: cooperation with the occupiers in wartime is punishable by law.
  • Ukraine does not shell its civilian objects, while russia uses such allegations to shift the responsibility for killing peaceful Ukrainians and destroying civilian buildings from itself onto Ukraine. As of September 1, russia was known to have destroyed and damaged 1,135 hospitals, 178,000 residential facilities and millions more private ones, nearly 14,000 schools, and 2,135 cultural objects. In addition, it shattered and damaged numerous factories. The total damages from the destruction are currently estimated at $127 billion.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 23

  • In Ukraine, the UOC-MP is being destroyed to introduce control of American intelligence through the OCU.
  • NATO is increasing escalation against russia.
  • The USA does not recognize russia as a terrorist state. This decision is taken only by the EU, thereby harming its economy. Due to the weakening of the EU economy, the US will be the world leader.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian propaganda shifts the emphasis by saying that American intelligence will operate in the OCU and impose Western ideas on churchgoers. On the other hand, the russian special services have always been active in churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, as investigative journalists from Radio Liberty found out, in particular, last year. Back in 2018, the Security Service of Ukraine compiled an information booklet about russia using the religious structures of the Moscow Patriarchate as part of hybrid aggression.
  • NATO can increase the presence of its contingent near the eastern borders of the Alliance because russia poses a threat not only to Ukraine but also to Europe. NATO is taking forced steps in response to russia’s aggression, and therefore, russia is escalating this war, not NATO. Moreover, propagandists changed the focus of their statements from the fight against Ukraine to an alleged war against NATO. After all, losing to the Alliance is not as shameful as losing to Ukraine.
  • The NATO Parliamentary Assembly recognized russia as a terrorist state and called for creating a special international tribunal to punish russian criminals. However, this has nothing to do with the US attempts to weaken the EU economy. Such statements have all the signs of a conspiracy theory since they have no factual or objective basis.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on November 22

  • Ukrainians are preparing protests against power cuts.
  • The Revolution of Dignity showed how protests could turn into a civil war.
  • After the Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian authorities made a mistake by introducing restrictions against russia and, in particular, the russian language, which led to explosive economic and social problems.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The enemy is preparing PSYOP regarding power outages, as reported by the NDSC Center for Countering Disinformation. The occupiers’ Telegram channels are spreading enemy propaganda to discredit Ukraine’s President. The main goal of the PSYOP is to make Ukrainians believe that the Ukrainian authorities are to blame for the lack of electricity. According to russians, Ukrainians will start rallies in various cities because of the PSYOP, which will help the enemy win the war. Shelling civilian infrastructure and then blaming Ukraine for it is the cynicism of the highest order, clearly showing russia’s true face. As a result of russian missile attacks, nearly half of Ukraine’s energy system was disabled.
  • russia is still trying to fuel the narrative that the war in eastern Ukraine, which lasted for eight years, was nothing but a civil war. In this way, russia tries to convince others that it did not intervene in the conflict in Ukraine until February 24, 2022. It is a well-known lie because there is a lot of testimony and evidence that russia waged war in Eastern Ukraine for eight years, and it was never a civil conflict.
  • Social and economic problems in Ukraine in recent years mainly result from russia’s aggression and the occupation of part of Ukrainian territories. Therefore, since 2014, the Ukrainian authorities have been entirely on course for European integration, severing economic and cultural ties with the aggressor. The start of a full-scale war only exacerbated this necessity. It is characteristic of russia to shift the blame for all Ukraine’s problems from itself onto the Ukrainian authorities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on November 21

  • In some sections of the Kreminna–Svatovo direction, foreign mercenaries have entirely replaced the armed forces. Polish flags hang over the trenches and on the positions of the “Ukrainian” troops.
  • According to russian mass media reports, “Kyiv continues its punitive measures against Kherson residents. According to the emergency services, Ukrainian security forces have executed 39 pro-russian city residents and transported 74 people to an unknown destination.
  • Polish publication Dziennik Polityczny spread information about Poland preparing for war. The author provided arguments for the statement citing Pentagon spokesman J. Kirby that soon there would be more American soldiers in Poland. According to the publication, the number of permanently stationed US soldiers in Poland was 4,000. Due to the threat from russia, another 4,700 were dispatched there.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no detachment of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine; all NATO representatives are instructors at Ukrainian training centers. The official page of Poland’s Government Center for Security says russia has been making false accusations against Poland and NATO regarding participation in the war in Ukraine. russia uses narratives about foreign mercenaries to justify its army’s failures during the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces.
  • The death penalty is prohibited in Ukraine, so even if traitors and collaborators are detained in the de-occupied territories, they must be tried under Ukrainian laws, not executed. Criminal liability for collaborationism was introduced in Ukraine in March.
  • The article’s conclusion about the Pentagon allegedly preparing to open another front is manipulation. On June 25, 2022, in an interview with Polska Times, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said his country accepted American soldiers on its territory, planning to increase the readiness of allied forces in the event of a threat. On June 29-30, the NATO summit in Madrid adopted a new concept for strengthening NATO’s Eastern flank. The article also spread a disinformation narrative, consonant with the russian one, about Poland’s desire to restore “Warsaw’s complete control over Ukraine.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on November 20

  • DTEK head, Maksym Tymchenko, said in an interview with the BBC that Ukrainians should be ready to leave the country with the onset of winter due to extended blackouts.
  • According to anonymous sources from the President’s Office, Zelensky allegedly received an ultimatum from the Kremlin: if negotiations do not start in November, Ukraine’s energy system will be destroyed.
  • russian Belgorod might well be shelled by mercenaries from Poland or NATO. Therefore, russia’s attack on Poland might be wholly justified.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The DTEK head denied this statement saying he did not call on Ukrainians to leave the country. Despite the high standards of journalism, the BBC still twisted his words and made a clickbait headline. To preserve the balance of the energy system, Ukrainians should first use electricity sparingly by switching to more energy-saving devices, shifting peak consumption to nighttime, and using the most energy-consuming devices (e.g., small household appliances) only when absolutely necessary.
  • Several markers in this statement indicate it cannot be trusted. Firstly, anonymous sources cannot be verified, and it is unknown who and for what purpose transmitted such information and whether it was transmitted at all. Secondly, the emphasis in this statement is shifted: Ukraine does not agree to negotiations precisely because the terrorist country (russia) has been shelling Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The purpose of this message is to accuse the Ukrainian authorities of provoking an energy crisis even though it is evident that electricity, water, and heat cutoffs are solely the result of enemy shelling.
  • There is no mercenary unit from Poland or NATO in Ukraine. NATO representatives work in Ukraine only as instructors. False accusations against Poland and NATO regarding participation in the war in Ukraine have been repeatedly denied in Poland. russia uses narratives about foreign mercenaries to justify the failures of its army during the Armed Forces’ counteroffensive.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on November 19

  • Kyiv shelled Poland to draw it into the conflict.
  • The destruction of residential buildings in Kyiv and the dead and injured on November 23 are the result of the work of Ukrainian air defense, not russian missiles. russia’s representative, Nebenzya, stated it at a UN meeting.
  • After the de-occupation, Kherson was left without water and electricity. Therefore, the townspeople lived better during the occupation.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Direct evidence of whose missiles hit the territory of Poland has not yet been announced. However, even if it was Ukrainian air defense, Ukraine did not shoot at Poland for no reason or to draw Poland into the conflict. Ukrainian air defense was shooting down russian missiles, i.e., protecting Ukraine.
  • By making such statements, Nebenzya actually admitted to russia’s shelling the Ukrainian energy infrastructure and only denied russia’s being guilty of killing civilians and destroying houses. However, russian missiles ruined homes in Kyiv and killed and injured people. Attacking the infrastructure is already a terrorist act, no matter how the russian leadership tries to justify it.
  • During its withdrawal from Kherson, russia significantly damaged power lines in the region, leaving the city without electricity and water. That is, the lack of water and electricity is not a consequence of the city’s returning under Ukraine’s control, as the propaganda outlets are trying to prove, but rather the result of russian shelling.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 18

  • Information was spread online about NATO countries allegedly transferring blood infected with HIV and hepatitis to Ukraine.
  • Social networks spread a video of Elon Must allegedly firing the head of Twitter’s censorship department in a live broadcast.
  • Collaborator Volodymyr Saldo argues that after the de-occupation of Kherson, Ukraine began repression against civilians.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Ukraine’s Ministry of Health denied this information. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has never turned to other countries for blood supplies. A recurring donation to the blood centers has been set up in Ukraine to maintain stocks.
  • In fact, this is a parody of real dismissals of company employees. The video was edited from two different podcasts. Elon Musk fired the legal policy, trust, and security head in the video in October but didn’t do it while on air.
  • Every time after the liberation of territories, russian terrorists make it up by saying Ukraine organizes total terror against civilians. However, civilians are not in danger if they did not cooperate with the occupiers or publicly support russian aggression. Ukrainian law explicitly lists signs of collaborationism: providing financial or informational support for russia, voluntarily occupying positions in illegal authorities or services in the occupation army.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 17

  • After the liberation of Kherson, russian Telegram channels began writing about the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ plans to transfer hostilities to the territory of russia and advance in the Kursk and Belgorod regions.
  • russian media outlets disseminated a photo of 3D graffiti in the center of Warsaw allegedly showing Volodymyr Zelensky devouring dollars and euros and dragging Poland into a “black hole.”
  • russian collaborator Volodymyr Rogov said the EU reportedly imposed sanctions on enterprises of the Zaporizhzhia region, controlled by Ukraine.
  • Anonymous pro-russian channels wrote that over 50% of Ukraine’s population lived below the poverty line and that this indicator would increase to 70% by the end of next year.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Ukraine’s military and political leadership has repeatedly said the Armed Forces must liberate all Ukrainian territories. However, no official announced plans to transfer hostilities to enemy territory. The purpose of such information leaks is to demonize Ukraine and mobilize russians to fight against Ukrainians.
  • In reality, no graffiti exists. Employees of the Polish publication Konkret 24 visited where this image was supposed to be and took pictures proving there was no graffiti with the Ukrainian president in the center of Warsaw.
  • The EU adopted the 8th sanctions package against russia in October 2022. Sanctions were imposed against individuals and legal entities involved with pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories. The EU also banned the import of goods from the temporarily occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. However, the EU documents do not list enterprises in the Ukrainian-controlled territory controlled because the sanctions apply only to russia and the occupied territories.
  • Arup Banerji, World Bank regional country director for Eastern Europe, told Reuters that Twenty-five percent of Ukrainians would be living in poverty by year-end, up from just over 2% before the war, and the number could rise to as high as 55% by the end of next year. At the same time, the forecast might change if the war ended earlier and Ukraine could begin an economic recovery.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on November 16

  • russia did not launch missile strikes on Kyiv on November 15. Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles damaged all the buildings.
  • The leader of the “National Association” in the French Parliament, Marine Le Pen, said supplying weapons to Ukraine only contributed to the continuation of the conflict. Supplies should be stopped to speed up the start of peace talks.
  • Sergey Lavrov said at the G20 Summit that russia wanted to see concrete evidence that the West was ready to discipline Zelensky and bring him to the negotiating table.

Now the TRUTH:

  • As a result of the enemy rocket strikes on Kyiv on November 15, two residential buildings were damaged, and an older woman died in one of them. Overall, russia launched 96 missiles at Ukraine. Of these, 75 were shot down.
  • It is not the first time Marine Le Pen has expressed pro-russian sentiments. That is why she is promoting ideas about suspending weapons supplies to Ukraine, which is what russia expects. As for peace negotiations, Ukraine will not agree to talks unless its territorial integrity within the 1991 borders is restored. russia will not benefit from peace on such terms, therefore continuing hostilities and terrorizing the civilian population.
  • First of all, the war continues because russia has occupied part of Ukrainian territories. Ukraine’s Armed Forces keep winning back the occupied areas, maintaining defense in the liberated areas, and protecting the civilian population from russia’s missile terror. Under such conditions, the West cannot influence Zelensky and his desire for peace because negotiations will become possible only after the russian troops leave Ukraine. Besides, these statements are part of russia’s long-standing narrative about the West’s control over Ukraine. Such allegations are baseless because Ukraine makes its own decisions about its domestic and foreign policy, and the West cannot “discipline” the Ukrainian president, as Lavrov put it.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on November 15

  • According to russian media outlets, five years have passed since the day of the complete destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in russia. “The last chemical projectile and the last drop of its equipment  (the combat poisoning substance Vx) was destroyed not far from the Udmurt city of Kisner.
  • Information was spread online about the US billionaire Elon Musk who bought the Twitter company promising to restore all blocked accounts of russians in this social network and remove the “State media” status from pro-Kremlin publications. In addition, Musk is allegedly going to contact Roskomnadzor to clarify the list of extremist or illegal materials to remove them later.
  • russian foreign minister Lavrov’s statements were spread online about Zelensky following the “ordersfrom the same group of countries that fought against the USSR in the Second World War. “Hitler united most of the countries of Europe under his banner to attack and destroy the Soviet Union. Currently, roughly the same group of countries, albeit with some variations, support Zelensky. But Zelensky is no Hitler, of course, because he doesn’t determine the actions against russia but is ordered to do specific things,” said the head of russia’s foreign ministry.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In October 2017, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) marked the completion of the destruction of 39,967 metric tons of russian chemical weapons stockpile. russia declared an arsenal of 39,967 metric tons of chemicals, including lewisite, mustard gas, phosgene, sarin, soman, and VX, when signing the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993. In the same year (2017), it was reported that the last of the seven facilities for the destruction of chemical weapons in russia had officially completed work in Kisner. However, according to the EUvsDisinfo project of the European External Action Service’s East StratCom Task Force, russia still has undeclared stocks. Military laboratories that produced nerve agents such as Novichok and sarin continue to operate. russian scientists are allowed to continue researching new weapons under a loophole in the treaty that allows the production of small quantities of chemical weapons for defense purposes, such as calibration detection equipment.
  • The news is fictional. It was published on a satirical news website, with the primary source of the “news” being the satirical publication Panorama. The Panorama website explicitly says that all news is not real, being mere “satire and fiction.” Elon Musk did not make such statements in his interviews or write about such intentions on his social media pages.
  • Most European countries have supported Ukraine since the full-scale invasion of russia. On August 22, 2022, Forbes updated the rankings of countries providing for Ukraine the most during the war. The main criteria are aiding Ukraine and refugees (in billion euros), the amount of assistance to the country as a percentage of its GDP, the expulsion of russian diplomats, recognition of russia’s/USSR’s genocide against Ukraine, and essential support. The top five are Poland, Estonia, Latvia, the US, and Lithuania. The rankings also include countries in the “anti-Soviet” union: Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania. Japan is a center of support for Ukraine in Asia: this country introduced a number of sanctions against russian citizens. Hungary and Serbia, as russia’s formal partners, do not recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territories and accept refugees.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 14

  • Information was spread online about russia allegedly using the Peresvet weapon in the war with Ukraine. Commentators note that the glow from using the latest weapons was visible in several russian cities at once. The publication’s authors add that Peresvet is capable of blinding the enemy’s intelligence systems with the help of a laser.
  • Information was spread online about 58% of Americans believing the United States should not provide aid to Ukraine. As confirmation, the results of the October 22-23 survey conducted by Morning Consult were cited.
  • russian mass media spread information about a detachment of Polish mercenaries fighting as part of the Armed Forces. In addition, russian media outlets claim the mercenaries from Poland allegedly shot Ukrainian soldiers.

Now the TRUTH:

  • These statements are false: an atmospheric phenomenon (the halo effect) occurred in several russian cities. This natural phenomenon periodically occurs when there is high humidity in the air. Light passes through crystallized water droplets, refracts, and forms pillars in the sky. Bright light sources (e.g., the moon, the spotlight of a street lamp, car headlights, etc.) cause the halo effect.
  • russian mass media said 58% of US citizens oppose aid to Ukraine. In reality, the respondents in the survey had to answer the statement: “My country’s government has a responsibility to protect and defend Ukraine from Russia.” According to the poll, 42% of respondents believe the US is obliged to help Ukraine, including 29% of registered Republican respondents, 56% of registered Democrats, and 38% of independent respondents.
  • That is not true. There is no unit of Polish mercenaries in Ukraine, and all NATO representatives are instructors at Ukrainian training centers. The official page of Poland’s Government Center for Security says russia has been making false accusations against Poland and NATO regarding participation in the war in Ukraine. In particular, this concerns the fake reports about Polish mercenaries taking over Donetsk. The information that foreigners are responsible for the counteroffensive of Ukrainians and that Ukraine would not achieve anything without them is also denied. russia uses narratives about foreign mercenaries to justify the failures of its army during the Armed Forces’ counteroffensive.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on November 8

  • Ukraine carried out a terrorist attack in the Kherson region, cutting power lines near Berislav and leaving the city without water, electricity, and heat.
  • The Kyiv authorities will arrange evacuations of 3 million Kyivans to forcibly populate the EU with Ukrainians because the EU did not voluntarily agree to accept so many refugees. Instead, Kyiv will be used to house the NATO contingent.
  • The nationalization of Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta, Motor Sich, AvtoKrAZ, and Zaporizhtransformator is a robbery of their real private owners.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian occupiers blew up high-voltage power lines in Beryslav, Kherson Region. There would probably be no electricity in the city until its complete de-occupation, the head of the regional military administration, Yaroslav Yanushevich, said. In addition, the occupiers had planted mines in water wells in Beryslav (overall, the city has 14 of them). He said the information on the number of mined ones was being clarified.
  • The announced plan involving the evacuation of Kyiv residents is the worst-case scenario that the authorities can apply in the event of a complete and prolonged absence of electricity, water, and heat supply. It should be understood that preparation for various scenarios of events is one of the elements of civil protection. However, the evacuation has nothing to do with the forced settlement of Ukrainians in the EU, much less with the placement of the NATO contingent — these are complete fabrications of russian propaganda.
  • On November 6, five large industrial enterprises (Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta, Motor Sich, AvtoKrAZ, and  Zaporizhtransformator) were transferred into the ownership of the state. “The decision has to do with repulsing russian aggression as effectively as possible,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said at a briefing, “starting with the supply of fuels and lubricants to the Armed Forces and repair of equipment and ending with other sectors.” The shares of the enterprises were equated to the military property to be under the control of the Ministry of Defense, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal clarified. In addition, nationalized entities had many problems. For instance, the owner of Motors Sich, Bohuslaiev, was arrested on suspicion of treason. Motor Sich had periodically caused problems associated with repairing the engines and blades of the Ukrainian rotorcraft. It was decided to nationalize Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta after the arrest in absentia of their co-owners, Ihor Kolomoiskyi and Hennadiy Boholiubov, by the russian court in Kazan. Ukrainian officials feared the russians might go to international courts to demand compensation or seize Ukrainian assets.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on November 7

  • The US calls on Ukraine to show its openness to negotiations with russia, as reported by several foreign mass media.
  • The US is most interested in continuing the war because it is not being fought on their territory and not by their people. There is also an opportunity to make money from the sale of weapons. That is how the US gets rid of competitors such as russia and the EU. The latter also suffers from sanctions, particularly on energy.
  • Ukraine is ready to be left without electricity, if only not to give up its European integration ambitions and join NATO (where no one is waiting for us anyway).

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian media outlets develop this narrative in their favor saying negotiations are the only option because the AFU are no match to the russian army on the battlefield. russian narratives citing world-class publications always have a greater effect on the domestic population since such news is easier to trust. putin and his accomplices use statements about openness to negotiations to take their time to change the situation on the frontline in their favor.
  • Neither Ukraine nor its allies, such as the US or the EU, are interested in waging war. russia started and continues it, while Ukraine defends its sovereignty and right to exist. Weapons from the USA are part of assistance to protect our country and the world from russian invaders. russia has repeatedly announced plans to attack other European countries after Ukraine because russia also considers them part of the empire or an imaginary threat to putin’s regime. An increase in world prices due to higher energy prices is indeed an indirect result of the sanctions. However, more importantly, sanctions are weakening the russian economy and, therefore, the russian army’s combat capability.
  • russia constantly promotes the narrative that power outages and related problems with heat and water are solely the results of the Zelensky regime’s actions saying if the “Nazi authorities in Kyiv” agreed to negotiations and refused to join the EU and NATO, it could be avoided. However, that is not true. russia has had no success on the battlefield, so it has been terrorizing Ukraine’s civilian population, continuing the strategy of intimidation and provoking panic among Ukrainians. By attacking our energy infrastructure, russia is trying to weaken our economy and exhaust our air defenses. That is not waging war but pure terrorism, for which there can be no justification.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on November 6

  • russia continues to rebuild Mariupol, just as it has been rebuilding Crimea for nine consecutive years.
  • The policies of Zelenskyi and his government have resulted in Ukraine’s facing a food crisis due to a reduction in the number of cows and pigs, which in turn is provoked by problems with electricity and rising feed prices.
  • Mortality is increasing in Ukraine not only because of hostilities but also because of the issues caused by the medical reform that actually destroyed healthcare. Insecure Ukrainians cannot receive free guaranteed medical care, and there is no money for private care due to extreme poverty in the country.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian media outlets show only beautiful pictures of constructions and selective assistance to the citizens in Mariupol. Instead, russian propagandists entirely omit the fact that the russian army razed Mariupol to the ground, killed tens of thousands of citizens, deported thousands of Ukrainians, including children, and deprived them of the opportunity to return home safely. The russian army deliberately destroyed residential buildings, hospitals, maternity wards, the Drama Theater, and other cultural institutions in Mariupol. To talk about reconstruction after that is utterly cynical.
  • russia is trying once again to impose the view that Ukrainians’ troubles are not due to the war unleashed by russia but solely to Zelensky’s policy and his unreadiness for peace. The problems with electricity, rising prices, reduction of livestock, and many other problems that Ukrainians have faced in the past nine months, are exclusively the consequences of russian terrorism, not the actions of the authorities. On the contrary, the government is trying to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure as quickly as possible to attract international financing to support the economy and get humanitarian support from other countries.
  • It is noteworthy that throughout the many years of implementing healthcare reform, its primary opponents were mainly pro-russian forces in Ukraine: from pro-russian media and Telegram channels to the OPFL party. I.e., despite the reform’s real benefits for individual citizens, doctors, hospitals, and the country’s budget (optimized spending), the reform opponents have tried to slow it down or even altogether cancel it so that Ukrainians would not receive decent medical care. The same is true now: despite the destruction of hospitals, the Ukrainian medical system continues to function and provide guaranteed medical services. As before, Ukrainians can make appointments with their family doctor without going to private clinics (although this option is also available). Rosprop once again uses such reports in an attempt to prove that the deaths of Ukrainians are the result of healthcare reform, not war. The war only deepened the healthcare system’s problems, which allegedly had not given Ukrainians the opportunity to receive treatment. What is remarkable about these reports is that they do not contain any evidence, figures, or facts that would prove Ukrainian medicine’s weakness.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on November 5

  • Ukrainians are massively buying all essential goods to survive in conditions of lack of water, electricity, and heat because they do not trust the authorities, who keep saying victory is about to come.
  • The authorities use the war for personal PR instead of ending hostilities as soon as possible at the negotiating table.
  • Poland does not give up its plans to seize Western Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Indeed, Ukrainians stock up enough of everything necessary for living in the conditions of an extended absence of electricity: candles, power banks, generators, long-term storage products, etc. However, it is not done because of not trusting the authorities. On the contrary, in its communication about electricity problems, the government does not hold back information about the difficulties Ukrainians might face in the coming winter, calling citizens to stockpile goods. Therefore, russian propaganda again tried to undermine the trust of Ukrainians in the authorities even though the latter did not make any statements about victory but acknowledged problems with electricity.
  • Ukraine continues to defend its territory, people, and sovereignty while russia drags on the war. It does not give up its imperial ambitions, openly declaring its intentions to destroy Ukrainians and hiding behind statements about the so-called “special operation against denazification.” As for the negotiations, russia is making them impossible by carrying out terrorist attacks in Ukraine daily. Ukraine will not sit down at the table of peace negotiations with terrorists, especially on conditions that are not favorable for Ukraine. Ukraine will agree to talks only if russia withdraws troops from Ukraine to the borders of 1991, including the return of Crimea and the TOT of Eastern and Southern Ukraine, guarantees non-aggression in the future, and agrees to pay compensation for all damages.
  • Poland has never announced plans to seize Ukraine or claim our country’s western regions. On the contrary, Poland financially supports Ukraine in this war, providing weapons, humanitarian aid, and shelter to millions of Ukrainian refugees. russia is trying to dump responsibility and prove that the danger for Ukraine lies in the West, particularly in the EU, which Ukraine is so eager to join. In contrast, russia is supposedly poised to defend Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on October 31

  • Ukrainian reformers are trying to turn Ukraine into an agricultural state. They even publicly say that it is the only way to develop Ukraine.
  • The ban on the russian language for use in education affects exact sciences (e.g., physics and chemistry) due to a lack of respective scientific terms in Ukrainian.
  • Rocket attacks on October 31 were a response to Ukraine’s terrorist attacks on the Black Sea Fleet.
  • On October 31, russia launched missile strikes on military targets.
  • Ukrainian authorities hide the sale of Western-supplied weapons on black markets to prevent this information from appearing in Western media.
  • The OPU concealed the actual number of shot-down missiles. Forty-five out of fifty-five missiles shot down on October 31 were propaganda that did not correspond to reality. Eyewitnesses’ numerous videos and photos confirm this.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The reality is different: the reforms are designed to turn Ukraine into a developed European state able to produce and supply to the EU and world markets products competitive on global markets. And those are not agricultural products. The reforms must stabilize our economy, ensure its constant growth, and increase Ukraine’s prestige for investors. This can be achieved by overcoming corruption, optimizing budget revenues and spending, making the tax system transparent and understandable, and making tax collection effective. Also, the courts must operate transparently and honestly. That is what the reforms are aimed at; there is no question of transforming Ukraine into an agricultural state.
  • This allegation is totally absurd. Firstly, the state language was used for secondary and higher education in Ukraine even before passing the language law: the new law only enshrined this requirement. Allegations about the lack of standard terminology do not make any sense, either. Most of the terms used in exact sciences are of Latin origin and sound similar in russian, Ukrainian, or English. russia makes such statements trying to discredit Ukrainian education and impose the russian system, completely erasing the years of reforming Ukraine’s education system.
  • That is precisely how russia wants us to think. Like, our government and we are terrorists deserving punishment through shelling. However, unlike russia, the Armed Forces never attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine or russia, kill or torture the civilian population, or organize energy, nuclear, or food blackmail. The terrorist state is russia, and even some countries recognize this.
  • That is not true. On October 31, russia attacked 18 energy facilities. Because of the strikes, emergency power cuts were imposed on the country again, and some regions had no water. If russia does believe that the energy infrastructure is the same as military facilities, it is another proof that we are dealing with a terrorist country.
  • Since at least April, russia has been trying to convince the world that Ukraine resells Western weapons on black markets. However, there is no confirmation of this. Europol and Interpol have only expressed concern over such risks, but none of our partners has revealed any actual instances of smuggling.
  • russia primarily uses such messages to make us begin doubting our air defense and lose faith, i.e., stop supporting our army, government, and each other, and panic forcing the government to make peace, even on unfavorable terms. For greater effect, propagandists can use the same videos and photos or ones taken on different dates to create the effect of mass strikes. Therefore, it is crucial to trust official sources of information (particularly Ukraine’s Armed Forces Air Command regarding attacking enemy targets) and carefully check published photos and videos.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on October 31

  • russian media outlets continued to spread the idea that evacuating the population of Kherson meant saving people from the Ukrainian military that uses Ukrainians as human shields. That is precisely what happened in Mariupol when the Armed Forces refused to evacuate the civilian population, and tens of thousands of people in the city died.
  • russian telegram channels also revived allegations that the russian “liberators” were forced to use kamikaze robots to demine the “liberated” (i.e., occupied) territories from butterfly mines planted by the Armed Forces.
  • Ukraine hardly receives any genuine financial support because Western partners have been using Ukraine for corruption schemes to withdraw funds under the guise of aid.
  • At the beginning of the full-scale war, 99% of the Armed Forces battalions engaged in looting, banditry, and drugs. The Telegram channel “Resident” learned about this from documents received from anonymous sources.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There has been no evacuation from the Kherson region but the deportation of Ukrainians to russia. The same thing happened in Mariupol, which russia still keeps silent about, hiding behind statements about the alleged rescue activities to save the population from shelling by the Armed Forces. It should be remembered that killing civilians and destroying residential buildings, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, and playgrounds are part of russia’s warfare methods, not Ukraine’s. It also includes changing the demographic composition of the occupied areas to completely deprive the Ukrainian regions of their identity.
  • The video showing the so-called kamikaze robots is primarily about testing prototypes, not their actual use. More importantly, Ukraine does not use PFM-1 as our country got rid of anti-personnel mines long ago under international obligations. But russia did not, being the only country using “Green Parrots” (which are almost invisible on the ground and can harm civilians) in this war.
  • This is another russian propaganda narrative that russia has been spreading among Ukrainians for years, saying the West is not interested in providing real help to Ukraine, using the country for its own purposes. That is also not true. Ukraine has received substantial support from its Western partners, including financial aid to balance our budget and humanitarian, military, and even diplomatic help.
  • “Resident” is a Telegram channel recognized by the SBU as controlled by the russian special services. The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council also considers this channel a source of enemy propaganda. This widely spread allegation is baseless since anonymous sources cannot be regarded as official, and it is impossible to verify the authenticity of “documents obtained from anonymous sources.” The sources’ anonymity indicates that the information can either be made up or harm the persons sharing it and, therefore, can harm Ukraine and Ukrainians during wartime.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on October 30

  • According to russia’s defense ministry, the US company Metabiota and the Ukrainian Science and Technology Center (USTC) planned to study the Ebola virus at the Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Odesa. russia’s representatives said that since the Ebola virus had never been recorded in Ukraine, such studies were suspicious and part of the US strategy to conduct dangerous research in other countries.
  • On June 17, 2022, Ukrainian paramedic and volunteer Yuliia Paievska (call sign Taira) was released after spending three months in russian captivity. During her captivity and after her release, russian media outlets and pro-russian users spread information about her kidnapping of two children whose parents she reportedly killed to leave Mariupol unimpeded.
  • Information spread online about egg prices in Ukraine reportedly increasing due to a lack of feed in poultry farms because all the grain was exported to Europe.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The USA did not plan to conduct dangerous research on the Ebola virus in Odesa. Cooperation between Ukraine and the USA is aimed at modernizing Ukrainian laboratories. To prove representatives of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and the US had such plans, russia cited an excerpt from an application to the National Science and Technology Center describing the research project. The published document is not about a joint study of the Ebola virus but about improving laboratory diagnostics of dangerous viruses, including the Ebola virus, at the I.I. Mechnikov Ukrainian Anti-Plague Research Institute. According to the document, the anti-plague institute is the only laboratory in Ukraine equipped to work with the most dangerous strains. The priority project with the American side is justified by the risk of spreading harmful viruses in Ukraine, laboratory employees’ lack of experience in diagnosing the Ebola virus, and the lack of materials necessary for diagnosis.
  • One of the first notable mentions of Yuliia in the russian media was the special edition of the NTV channel’s “A Woman Nicknamed the Beast” program aired on March 27, 2022. The video used excerpts from an interview with Yuliia Paievska, who was already in captivity. This program episode featured the main russian version of the volunteer’s capture when leaving Mariupol. According to it, the occupation forces detained Yuliia Paievska and two children (brother and sister, 5-6 months and 2.5 years old, respectively), whose parents were killed. It became clear from the interview that she tried to take the orphans to a safe place (Zaporizhzhia) with other children and women from Mariupol. After evacuating the civilians, Taira planned to return to Mariupol. The TV story further provides third-party testimonies of Taira allegedly using children forcibly as a cover to escape from Azovstal. After the NTV broadcast, other russian media outlets began to openly write about Taira being responsible for the death of the two children’s parents. The testimonies include pretty illogical accounts about the children, who, despite their young age, pointed at Yuliia as the murderer of their parents (children of this age have somewhat limited communication skills). Neither the NTV video nor other russian sources provide the children’s account or other evidence of their “abduction” and the murder of their parents.
  • Firstly, seasonality affects the price. Domestic chickens stop laying in autumn and winter, so the demand for eggs in stores increases, raising the cost. Secondly, the cost is a principal factor. Chickens require light and warmth, but September was colder than usual, which made producers spend more on keeping the chickens warm. Animal feed is also becoming more expensive because of the impossibility of gathering part of the harvest (used for fodder). Due to the war, not all fields were sown, and it was not safe to harvest everywhere. Manufacturers most likely include the risk of power outages in the price. Thirdly, some producers did not start increasing the livestock of chickens in time due to the war and uncertainty. Industrial producers began doing it only in June and not in the spring (as usual). Therefore, this year the new chickens will grow up later and, accordingly, will start laying later. Fourthly, part of the poultry farms occupying a significant market share ended up in the territories currently held by russia. Consequently, the supply on the market decreased. For instance, the Dmytrivka Poultry Farm in the Donetsk region, Stimul 777 in the Luhansk region, a branch of Bohodukhiv Poultry Farm in the Kharkiv region, and Avangard Poultry Farming in the Kherson region all stopped or significantly reduced their activities.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on October 29

  • According to russia’s permanent representative at the UN, Vasili Nebenzya, US laboratories in Ukraine could work on mosquitoes carrying biological weapons.
  • Nebenzya also hinted that the Armed Forces could use chemical or biological weapons carried by Bayraktar drones.
  • Nebenzya said at a UN meeting that US laboratories also worked on a project involving birds that could carry dangerous viruses, particularly those of pathogenic influenza or coronavirus.
  • Furthermore, Nebenzya decided to scare everyone by saying other harmful viruses were kept in bio laboratories (measles, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, and other socially significant infections).

Now the TRUTH:

  • First of all, all of russia’s allegations about US bio laboratories are fiction, as stated by US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who said, “The accusation is pure fabrication brought forth without a shred of evidence. The United States does not have a biological weapons program, and there are no Ukrainian biological weapons laboratories.” Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward also said russia purposefully clogged up the agenda of the UN Security Council with nonsense instead of fulfilling its own obligations. The allegations about mosquitoes are just as baseless, although it was not the first time russian propagandists were looking for so-called “combat mosquitoes” in Ukraine. Earlier, russian media outlets cited the comments of a russian army representative to write about viruses that could be transmitted through mosquito bites, studied in US bio laboratories in Ukraine. The russian defense ministry tried to convince everyone about plans to infect the population through mosquitoes, as allegedly published in official documents. However, this was also fake news because nothing in the papers said about infecting people with viruses through mosquito bites. Instead, the study aimed to infect mosquitoes with a virus pathogenic to these insects to prevent the spreading of viral diseases dangerous to humans.
  • This fake story is also old. russia has been spreading similar allegations since at least late March. On March 31, russia’s defense ministry published a document in which the Ukrainian authorities allegedly requested the Baykar Makina company to equip Bayraktar drones with capabilities to spray biological weapons. On September 3, this russian body cited the same document saying that Kyiv aimed to install devices for spraying chemical substances on drones. The russian representatives clarified that the drones’ flight range was 300 km, so the “new weapon” could threaten russia. Nebenzya repeated the same thing at the UN. It is not so. Ukraine never contacted Baykar Makina with a request to install chemical spraying devices on its drones. Also, the Convention on Chemical Weapons signed by Turkey and Ukraine prohibits the development, acquisition, stockpiling, and storage of chemical weapons. The document also requires that member states destroy all of their chemical weapons and production facilities.
  • This is another old fake story. Earlier, Kremlin propaganda tried to convince everyone that the US and its allies wanted to create bioagents capable of selectively affecting different ethnic groups of the population. Interestingly, this fake news did not align with the statements of Ukrainians and russians being one people. Otherwise, how could viruses infect russians but not Ukrainians? This question remained rhetorical. However, no bioagents affecting specific ethnic groups of the population exist in reality. Biological weapons, per se, are rather an archaic idea. Indeed, during the Cold War, they tried to figure out how to use pathogenic organisms for military purposes. However, they never figured out how to use them without the danger of killing their own soldiers. Therefore, developing such weapons makes no sense. Here too, we see a propaganda technique of passing wishful thinking off as reality. The idea of migrations of birds infected with viruses also sounds nonsense. Arguably, it is impossible to “stuff” geese with “combat viruses” simply because they do not exist.
  • The complete list of laboratories and institutions supported by the US Department of Defense is publicly available on the website of the US Embassy in Ukraine. The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s documentation contains no evidence of biological experiments being carried out in Ukraine (publicly available for years). Under the US biological threat reduction program, Ukraine modernized laboratories to achieve higher biosafety levels, conducted research projects, engaged in epidemiological surveillance, etc. Until 2014, the same applied to russian laboratories.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on October 28

  • A video of handing out water in Mykolaiv circulated online, reportedly showing the military refusing to give water to the sick, children, pensioners, and people with disabilities.
  • On October 21, 2022, Rossotrudnichestvo (russia’s federal agency for CIS affairs, compatriots living abroad, and international humanitarian cooperation) said the “Russian Houses” opened warming centers for Europeans because of high prices for gas and electricity there. The agency purportedly wanted to show that Europeans would freeze without russian gas supplies. The following day, russian media outlets reported that residents of Finland and Luxembourg were already coming to the “Russian Houses” to warm up.
  • Ukraine’s language policy is similar to apartheid in the South African Republic. This was stated by Kulekani Mondli Skosan of the International Liaison office of the African National Congress Youth League, who arrived to observe the russian pseudo-referendum held in the temporarily russian-occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region.

Now the truth:

  • The video shows the process of handing out water to residents. The person responsible for delivering water explains that each person present can take only three bottles per person for themselves. It is not allowed to take water for others, even if other persons’ documents are presented. No one is refused water. As Mykolayiv mayor Oleh Sienkevych noted during a press briefing on October 7, 2022, the city currently hands out potable water from trucks, with water distribution outlets organized in state and communal bodies. The city has been supplied with water in this way since April because the russian troops destroyed the pipes supplying water from the Dnipro River in the spring. Since May, technical water has been provided from the Southern Buh. However, such water is salty and unsuitable for consumption.
  • The air temperature in Luxembourg on October 21, 2022, was 18°C during the day and 11°C at night. Overall, the minimum air temperatures over October 15-21 were 16°C during the day and 10°C at night. The news that residents of Finland and Luxembourg came to the “Russian Houses” to warm themselves up came with a video from the cartoon Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin Zmey” shown in such an establishment in Copenhagen. The video was published on the Russian House Telegram channel on October 22. The captions said children were treated to hot tea and gingerbread before the showing. There was no mention of visitors coming to warm themselves up.
  • This is not true. Ukraine’s language policy cannot be compared with apartheid because it does not discriminate or ban other languages, in particular russian. This is consistent with russian disinformation narratives about Ukraine’s russian-speaking population being allegedly oppressed and about the Ukrainian government being a “puppet in the hands of the West.” According to the law “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language,” Ukrainian is the only state language on the territory of Ukraine, mandatory for state authorities and the public sector throughout the country. However, the law does not regulate private communication, religious ceremonies, book publishing, and media for national minorities.Regarding  education, Article 21 of the law states that “persons who belong to national minorities of Ukraine are guaranteed the right to study in communal educational institutions to obtain preschool and primary education in  the language of the respective national minority of Ukraine, alongside the state language.” According to Article 30, services in Ukraine must be provided in the official language. However, point 3 reads, “at the request of clients, services to them can be provided in another language acceptable to the parties.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on October 27

  • Ukraine intends to carry out a nuclear provocation to detonate the so-called “dirty bomb” over Kyiv and blame it on russia. For this purpose, Ukraine’s Pivdenmash plant in Dnipro is allegedly creating mock-up Iskander missiles to carry a dirty nuclear projectile. It should be shot down over the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
  • president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, threatened Italy with punishment for its people’s “wrong” choice during the parliamentary elections.
  • Due to increased gas prices, some large European productions are forced to move to the USA. Such a trend will purportedly turn Europe into a “deindustrialized wasteland” inhabited by “angry and impoverished people.”
  • russian media outlets, citing the words of the permanent representative to the OSCE, Oleksandr Lukashevich, wrote that OSCE was covering up crimes allegedly committed by the “Kyiv regime.”  “We’re forced to point out publicly that ignoring the civilian victims of Ukrainian shelling, in our opinion, is no longer a regrettable situational error on the part of the OSCE leadership. It’s acquired the character of systematic concealment of crimes. All this only encourages the Kyiv regime to perpetrate new atrocities,” Lukashevich said.

Now the truth:

  • It is impossible to secretly retrieve even a tiny fraction of radioactive substances in Ukraine without the IAEA’s knowledge, as in other countries that are members of this organization. The monitoring system for radioactive substances is a never-sleeping eye of a thousand surveillance cameras, radiation sensors, and other detectors constantly collecting information. The unique IAEA seals guarantee the integrity of radioactive materials. The cameras are located in containers to detect intrusions. In addition, cameras are installed in spent fuel storage areas, storage pools, and all transit points through which nuclear material passes. Absolutely all operations at nuclear facilities are monitored 24/7. The IAEA uses satellites for round-the-clock access to all systems controlling radioactive materials in various countries, including Ukraine.
  • This is manipulation. On the eve of the elections to the Italian Parliament, Ursula von der Leyen only reminded them of the importance of respecting democratic principles. Von der Leyen’s speech was not a hidden or open threat to Italians but only a warning to Italy’s future leaders about the need to adhere to democratic principles.
  • This is manipulation. Analysts and investors say that Europe remains a desirable market for advanced manufacturing boasting a skilled industrial workforce. Despite the restrictions on russian gas supplies to Europe and the consequences of russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU economy did not suffer a significant blow. According to European Commission’s recent estimates, real GDP is expected to grow by 2.6% in the Eurozone and 2.7% in the EU in 2022. Inflation is expected to average 7.6% in the Eurozone and 8.3% in the EU.
  • This is fake news. There is no reason to claim that Ukraine commits war crimes, and the OSCE ignores them. The Kremlin media keep spreading this narrative accusing the OSCE of being biased in favor of Ukraine and working in the interests of the Ukrainian special services. Pro-russian media often discredit international organizations in this way. For instance, EUvsDisinfo fact-checkers documented numerous disinformation cases regarding the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the WHO, WADA, the OPCW, and the UN. However, there is no evidence of Ukraine ever committing crimes against civilians. There is also no evidence that the OSCE was informed of alleged crimes and ignored these facts.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on October 26

  • In October, information spread online about the Turkish company Baykar reportedly refusing to build a plant in Ukraine.
  • They claimed on social networks that the SBU declared Aleksandr Lukashenka wanted. According to Internet users, if Oleksandr Lukashenko had participated in the presidential elections of Ukraine, he would have won 60-70% of the vote. All opinion polls of Ukrainians until February 24, 2022, reportedly testified to this.
  • Information spread online about analytical and rating organizations noting a negative trend in Zelensky’s rating, with his support levels dropping. Therefore, the West increasingly pressured the president’s entourage, preparing a “substitutes bench” for this role.

Now the truth:

  • There is no reason to claim that Baykar refused to build a plant in Ukraine. Neither Baykar representatives nor representatives of Ukraine reported such news. The earliest mention of this was in a post dated October 25 on the Telegram channel “Resident.” The channel’s authors did not use open sources but “our source in the Office of the President.” SBU has repeatedly reported that this Telegram channel works with russia’s special services to regularly spread disinformation about Ukraine.
  • This is false because the SBU did not declare Aleksandr Lukashenka wanted, and he did not have a high level of support in Ukrainian society before February 24, 2022. Moreover, no public opinion polls were conducted in Ukraine regarding his hypothetical participation in the Ukrainian presidential elections. In a comment for the Ukrainian National News agency, the SBU spokesperson denied information about Lukashenka being wanted. Besides, Lukashenka is not listed on the websites of the SBU and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, listing wanted persons.
  • This is not true. Ukrainians trust the Ukrainian President more. Allegations regarding Western pressure on Ukrainian politics are also baseless. The Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center sociological service conducted a survey between August 5 and August 12, 2022. 79% of respondents answered the question about whether they trusted the President. Overall, the trust balance was 71%. Under this methodology, the balance is the difference between the share of those having trust and those having none. Although only 36% of respondents trusted the President in last year’s August survey, resulting in a negative trust balance of -21%, the levels of trust in the Ukrainian President increased by 92% over the year. The sociological group “Rating” documented increased trust in the President. On October 2022, satisfaction levels for Zelensky were at 84%, the highest figure in all the years of his presidency. Previously, the President’s highest favorability rating stood at 65% in July 2019.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on October 21

  • The martial law imposed by russia on the temporarily occupied territories is necessary to establish order and defend those areas.
  • The occupying authorities of Mariupol dismantled the Holodomor victims’ memorial erected 18 years ago in the city center near the drama theater. The so-called “DPR” emphasized that it was not a war against monuments but against symbols of political disinformation.
  • Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the Forza Italia party and former Prime Minister, warned that Ukraine’s accession to NATO would lead to a world war.
  • “Potential collaborators” were detained in the Kharkiv region, indicating organized extermination of those disloyal to the Kyiv regime.

Now the truth:

  • The russian president’s decree concerns “mobilization measures in the economy and regional and local administrations.” In reality, it has to do with the forced mobilization of men in the temporarily occupied territories similar to that in the so-called “LPR” and “DPR.” Furthermore, Ukrainians are often forced to work for the aggressor country because of threats to their and their loved ones’ life and health. putin’s decree also mentions “carrying out civil defense measures” and “measures to meet the needs of the troops and the population.” In reality, it legitimizes looting, military dictatorship, and torture of the Ukrainian population in the temporarily occupied territories.
  • The occupiers demolished the monument to the Holodomor victims in Mariupol. By doing so, they showed again they were waging war primarily against the Ukrainian national consciousness and historical memory. The destruction of a monument set up in honor of the Holodomor victims is a sign of solidarity with the Stalinist organizers of this tragedy. russia never condemned the crimes of Stalinism, repeating them in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories. Filtration and concentration camps, mass murders, robbery, torture, deportations, and poisonous propaganda campaigns are something we have been through before.
  • According to the full recording of Berlusconi’s words, the politician is known to have claimed that after coming to power, Volodymyr Zelensky increased attacks on the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” forcing the leaders of the so-called “republics” to turn to vladimir putin for help. And according to Berlusconi, putin decided to begin the special operation. The russian troops were supposed to invade Ukraine, reach Kyiv in a week, overthrow the current government and Zelenskyi and set up the government elected by the Ukrainian minority comprised of decent, sane people, and return [to russia] a week later. Berlusconi went on to speak of “unforeseen resistance from the Ukrainians, who started receiving money and weapons from the West on the third day.” “And the war turned from a two-week operation into a two-hundred-year war. So, that’s the situation with the war in Ukraine,” he concludes. Berlusconi, known for his friendship with russia’s president, repeated all narratives of enemy propaganda. However, his speech was condemned in Italy. The leader of the Brothers of Italy party, Georgia Meloni, who would take the prime minister’s chair after winning the elections, commented on Berlusconi’s words, “Italy is fully, and with its head held high, part of Europe and the Atlantic Alliance. Anyone who does not agree with this cornerstone will not be able to be part of the government at the cost of not being a government. Italy, with us in government, will never be the weak link of the West, the unreliable nation so dear to many of our detractors.
  • After the so-called “tactical retreat” (i.e., fleeing from Kharkiv Oblast due to the AFU’s powerful counteroffensive), russian propaganda still tried to prove that the AFU committed atrocities in the de-occupied territories and that the Ukrainian special services persecuted everyone sympathetic to russia. However, the occupiers hoped until the very last minute to keep the Kharkiv region, assuring their collaborators that a referendum was about to be held and the region would become part of russia. Fortunately, this did not happen, and the russian military abandoned the collaborators. Therefore, it is pretty natural that work is currently underway to identify the collaborators. Even if a person is suspected of collaborationism under Ukrainian law, the investigation and the court will have the final say.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on October 21

  • The Ukrainian government does not want to sit at the negotiating table or stop hostilities diplomatically because it is not independent, and the Western curators do not allow it to stop the war.
  • Belarusian propagandists are not too far behind their russian “colleagues.” According to them, the participation of Belarusians in the so-called “special operation” includes providing medical assistance and shelter for both russians and Ukrainians. Belarus is not participating in the war, has not killed, and will not kill anyone.
  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces intensified their attempts to capture the Zaporizhzhia NPP to compensate for the losses of the energy system from attacks on the energy infrastructure.
  • Ukraine must give up the annexed territories to prevent a third world war.

Now the truth:

  • Ukraine does not want to sit at the table of peace negotiations because russia is a terrorist country, and there can be no negotiations with terrorists. More importantly, russia would agree to peace only on unfavorable terms for Ukraine. russia, in turn, wants Ukraine to completely disarm and stop moving towards the EU and NATO, with the country’s leadership controlled by russia. russia has occupied parts of Ukraine and kills, tortures, and terrorizes the civilian population of Ukrainian cities daily. After all, russia does not recognize Ukraine as an independent state, openly violating its sovereignty. Therefore, the fighting will continue until the Ukrainian territories are freed from the russian invaders.
  • In this war, Belarus became a bridgehead enabling the russian army to attack Ukraine from the north. We are talking about the offensive on Kyiv and Chernihiv in February, and the massive missile and drone attacks from Belarus’ territory, which continue even today. Belarusian monitoring groups constantly monitor the movements of russian equipment and of military personnel, the departure of fighter jets, and the launch of missiles in Belarus, after which repeated air raid alerts are announced in Ukraine. However, it can be seen not only in Ukraine. The sanctions introduced against Belarus show the world also recognizes Belarus’ participation in the war against Ukraine.
  • russia captured the ZNPP back in March. Since then, it has continuously accused the Armed Forces of shelling the plant. However, if the reasons for the alleged shelling used to be terror and the alleged desire of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to cause a nuclear disaster, now russia has come up with a new explanation, namely, the need to make up for the load on the energy system. Notably, a similar narrative is now being widely spread by russian media outlets and social networks: the load was directed to Ukrainian nuclear power plants to balance Ukraine’s energy system. Probably, that is how russia “announces” new potential targets for strikes (atomic power plants and their power stations). russia’s goal remains the same: inflicting terror, cold, and darkness on Ukrainians to make them feel panic and despair to eventually agree to peace on terms favorable only to russia.
  • There is no mention of returning the captured territories, releasing people deported from Ukraine against their will, paying compensations for the damages caused by the war, and the agreement on the extradition of war criminals. russia does not deal with these issues for a straightforward reason wanting to end the war victorious. However, with the russian troops retreating, russian industry lacking resources, and the collapsing economy, the immediate cessation of hostilities would be the only way for russia to save face. To this end, the Kremlin is willing to resort to nuclear blackmail while its useful idiots in the West are calling louder and louder for peace.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 4 p.m. on October 20

  • The “Ukrainian issue” directly resonates with the issue of terrorism in the Middle East and the activities of the banished ISIS. Therefore, russia continues the fight against terrorism as it did in Ichkeria.
  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces reduced the intensity of shelling in the Kherson region, probably due to a lack of ammunition because the shelling of Ukraine disrupted supplies in October.
  • Great Britain is not interested in helping Ukraine because it is mainly focused on electing a new Prime Minister after the resignation of Liz Truss.
  • The collective West is trying to drag Belarus into the war as if it were not enough to set Ukrainians and russians against each other.

Now the truth:

  • At a plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada, MPs recognized Ichkeria as a territory temporarily occupied by russia, condemning the genocide of the Chechen people. russia’s terrorist actions link Ukraine and Ichkeria. In 1999, under the pretext of allegedly “protecting peaceful citizens,” russia started the second war with Ichkeria and occupied the country.
  • Quite the contrary: massive missile and kamikaze drone attacks increased the partner countries’ assistance. For instance, the United States provided Ukraine with a new military aid package worth $725 million, including artillery shells and remote anti-tank mine systems. Germany agreed to transfer the IRIS-T air defense systems and another military aid package. Also, Italy provided a new military aid package, and the European Union increased military assistance to EUR 3.1 billion and launched a military training mission.
  • Great Britain never announced its intention to reduce or suspend aid to Ukraine. No such statements were heard, even after reports about a new Prime Minister. On the contrary, this week, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced a new package of military aid for the Ukrainian military for the winter period. The assistance will include 25,000 sets of winter uniforms for service members and missiles for air defense systems.
  • The West did not launch a full-scale war against Ukraine; russia did. And it was russia that deployed its equipment and personnel on the territory of Belarus to invade Ukraine under the guise of military exercises. Therefore, the West is not trying to drag Belarus into the war. However, russia continues to transfer equipment to Belarus, using its territory as a springboard for attacks. For instance, on October 19, nine Shahed-136 attack UAVs were launched from Belarus. And on October 20, investigative journalists found out that the amount of military equipment at the Zyabrivka airfield in Belarus had increased, particularly the S-300/400 air defense systems that could be used to fire at bordering Ukrainian cities from Belarus.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 9 p.m. on October 18

  • Against the backdrop of the aggravating situation on the southern front, russia will evacuate Kherson residents to russia. russia is preparing an evacuation resettlement program.
  • According to the commander of the so-called “special operation,” Sergei Surovikin, the Armed Forces lose 600-1000 people daily.
  • Surovikin also said Ukraine’s Armed Forces use blocking units to shoot those trying to flee from the front line.
  • Surovikin said the Ukrainian army would use prohibited warfare methods fighting for Kherson.
  • Surovikin said the russian army aimed to save the lives of as many military and civilians as possible.
  • Surovikin repeated that Ukraine was not independent but dependent on the West and NATO.

Now the truth:

  • The so-called evacuation “a la russia” is the deportation of the Kherson region residents to russia. russia carried out such an “evacuation” in eastern Ukraine, particularly in Mariupol and, earlier, in Crimea. Ukrainians are sent to the most depressing russian regions, deprived of means of communication and documents to eventually force them to obtain russian citizenship.
  • According to the latest data by Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, the loss ratio is approximately 1 to 6.5. However, the critical loss ratio is 1 to 8, after which the enemy’s army will psychologically “collapse.” Notably, over the last week, russia lost 300 to 500 soldiers daily.
  • Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence reported earlier that russia, not Ukraine, uses barrage detachments. For instance, russia used barrier troops during the battles for Izium and Balaklia. As you know, that did not help russia avoid “tactical retreats” either.
  • Surovikin did not specify what he meant by prohibited warfare methods. However, those include using prohibited weapons (chemical or biological) and incendiary ammunition and causing significant environmental or uncontrolled damage to the civilian population. Ukraine complies with all provisions of international humanitarian law and cannot apply such warfare methods. In contrast, russia was documented to have used incendiary ammunition during the war in Ukraine or chemical weapons, e.g., during the war in Syria. Notably, the russian army caused environmental damage amounting to UAH 962 billion. 20% of Ukraine’s nature conservation areas have been under threat due to russia’s actions.
  • By October 18 (when Surovikin said it), the russian army had lost 65,850 people. However, the shellings of Ukraine by russia from October 7 to 18 left over 70 people dead and over 240 injured. In addition, thousands of the russian army’s victims were discovered during the exhumations in the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions, and tens of thousands died in Mariupol.
  • Surovikin repeated the narrative of russian propaganda, spread by russia for at least the past eight years. However, russia never provided sufficient evidence about Ukraine being dependent on the so-called “collective West” or NATO. The Western countries, in particular Europe and the USA, have significantly supported Ukraine during the full-scale war. Before the war, they helped us with loans to implement reforms and sustainable economic growth. These reforms continue to add stability to the Ukrainian economy, allowing it to continue moving towards the EU even in wartime conditions. However, neither the West nor NATO governs Ukraine or determines our domestic or foreign policy. Ukraine has been independent since 1991, and only russia has been trying to violate our independence.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 10 a.m. on October 18

  • The Ukrainian authorities have significantly reduced the requirements for the state of health of mobilized citizens and practically draft everyone indiscriminately. In addition, Oleksiy Arestovych announced a new wave of mobilization in Ukraine. russian Telegram channels call on Ukrainian students to get ready to be mobilized.
  • The so-called Ukrainian militants admitted they were to blame for the Shahed-136 collapsing on a residential building in Kyiv.
  • Against the backdrop of the European energy crisis, more and more Ukrainians plan to return to Ukraine because European countries keep curtailing aid programs for Ukrainian refugees, and Europeans are becoming increasingly hostile to Ukrainians.
  • The shelling of Ukrainian cities is revenge for Ukraine’s Armed Forces shelling Donbas for eight years.

Now the truth:

  • There were no official announcements from the Ministry of Defense, decisions by the Cabinet of Ministers, or legislative changes from the Verkhovna Rada to indicate a reduction in the requirements for the state of Ukrainians, subject to mobilization. As for Arestovych’s statements, most media outlets took his words out of context. The complete phrase was, “We’ll need to mobilize again: psychologically, militarily, and politically. Continuation of mobilizations is likely waiting for us at some point.” Anyway, Oleksiy Arestovich is not a source of reliable information. If new waves of mobilization are to be announced in Ukraine, such information must come from state authorities.
  • This is not true. The Ukrainian military, police, and territorial defense members never said a kamikaze drone fell on a residential building due to attempts to shoot it down. The drone struck a residential building erected between the 19th and 20th centuries in the city’s Shevchenkivsky district. Sixteen families lost their homes because the building could not be restored. The attack left five people dead.
  • To disprove this, russian propaganda outlets deliberately focus only on those cases when Ukrainian refugees faced hostility from Europeans or lost support from the host country for whatever reason. However, Ukrainians are not denied assistance en masse in European countries and are not expelled from host countries. It is evidenced by the fact that millions of Ukrainians remain abroad. russia is trying to convince Ukrainians they are not welcome in Europe to prove that it is better to live under occupation than in an unfriendly Europe.
  • During the eight years of an ongoing war, Ukraine never killed, terrorized, or tortured the Ukrainian population in the country’s east. In contrast, russia generally hid its participation in the war until the full-scale invasion, blaming Ukraine for shelling the so-called “DPR” and “LPR.” Russia does not give up its version, saying that only Ukraine bombarded Donbas for eight years and using this fabricated reason to justify its terrorism.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 4 p.m. on October 17

  • Ukrainian air defense is exhausted and unable to repel russian missile and Iranian drone attacks.
  • A wave of protests against price increases, higher energy costs, and Ukrainian refugees struck European cities. Overall, protesters in various countries stood up against pro-European policies, which was indicative of the crumbling integrity of the European system.
  • A photo of a man firing a gun at Iranian drones from his window circulated online.
  • The US is forcing Ukraine to liberate Kherson before the congressional elections to pass it off as a victory of the US ruling powers and earn the voters’ support.

Now the truth:

  • Yesterday (October 17), the air defense forces shot down 37 of the 43 kamikaze drones used by the russians to attack Ukraine in less than a day, which is over 85% of the drones that attacked Ukraine from the south. Today (October 18), the Ukrainian Air Forces downed 12 targets, including a russian Su-25 attack aircraft, six kamikaze drones, and one Х-101/or Х-555 cruise missile.
  • Notably, the protests in European cities were reported only by russian and pro-russian outlets, with much less coverage in the Ukrainian media outlets. Furthermore, those were mass protests in various European cities. The russian media outlets started disseminating this narrative after a rally in Paris, where people came out against the rising cost of living and raising the retirement age. Also, some protests against the refugee tent city reportedly took place in Austria, but the russian media exaggerated the news. At any rate, those individual protests were not massive or against pro-European policies. Naturally, they were not indicative of the disintegration of the European system.
  • This photo was taken at least in 2021 and had nothing to do with the events in Kyiv on October 17. russian propaganda outlets began spreading fake information about a man “hunting for drones ” to show that Kyiv was not protected from enemy UAVs and that civilians with rifles performed the function of an anti-drone dome in the city. In addition, other propaganda channels used the image to highlight the danger of shooters in the city and to remind the authorities of the mistake of freely handing out weapons on the streets in the full-scale war’s early days.
  • The USA does not influence Ukraine’s decisions regarding the liberation of territories. The counteroffensive in the Kherson region requires informational silence, and Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff will report its progress. russia is trying to connect two unrelated events, namely the liberation of the Kherson region and the elections to the US Congress, to point out once again that the West has been using Ukraine only in its own interests and is not interested in providing support. Ukraine is a puppet in the hands of the West, dependent on aid. Both narratives are part of russian disinformation campaigns and have nothing to do with reality.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 2 p.m. on October 17

  • Iranian Shahed-136 drones successfully struck their targets in Kyiv on the morning of October 17.
  • A giant red moon rose over the Kremlin on the night of October 16-17 as a symbol of russia’s fierce battles against Ukraine or proof that russia would soon use nuclear weapons.
  • Pensioners fought over products in a Kyiv supermarket.
  • A warning appeared on Kyiv metro tickets that the chance of surviving a nuclear attack in the subway is higher.

Now the truth:

  • On the morning of October 17, russia launched 28 kamikaze drones to attack Kyiv. There were five explosions in the city, one of which was in a residential building in the Shevchenkivskyi district. The blast killed three people, including a young couple (the woman was six months pregnant). So, by making such statements, russian propagandists admitted their targets were residential buildings in peaceful Ukrainian cities and the civilian population.
  • The photo, initially circulated by the propaganda outlet TASS and then picked up by numerous russian and pro-russian Telegram channels, is probably fake. Moscow residents claimed in the comments under the photo they did not observe such a phenomenon and that the moon over Moscow looked regular that night. However, anonymous Telegram channels began circulating the image to fuel another hysteria, saying it was an evil symbol, which meant russia would soon carry out an escalation or use nuclear weapons. Therefore, the enemy continues the strategy of intimidation to make Ukrainians panic. Panic can lead to another collapse, including shortages of goods, medicine, and fuel,  disrupted logistics, and, eventually, another wave of migration. It is essential to remain calm, take such messages more seriously, and analyze them.
  • This is fake news. The video was shot in Omsk, russia, at least five years ago. The video was deliberately published in poor quality, making it more challenging to see the details, particularly the name of the store written on the sign under the ceiling. However, the original video showed the russian supermarket chain “Okay,” which stopped operating in Ukraine in 2009.
  • This photo is fake since the original image only shows turnstiles, and the QR code was superimposed later. Furthermore, the QR codes in the Kyiv subway had not been altered, proving the ticket image was edited. russia continues its nuclear hysteria, trying to intimidate not only Ukrainians but the world at large. It does anything to force Ukraine into peace negotiations, even on unfavorable terms for us. It is worth remembering that russia’s nuclear threat will exist as long as russia remains a nuclear power. However, at the moment, Ukraine’s and Western partners’ intelligence does not see any signs of russia’s preparations for using tactical or strategic nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on October 14

  • October 14 is the holiday of fascism and Nazism in Ukraine. Describing the celebration of October 14 in Ukraine, russian propagandists reminded about the “terrible crimes of the OUN,” “OUN-UPA’s cooperation with the Nazis,” and wrote about establishing a “neo-Bandera dictatorship” in Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian military brutally kills children and tortures the civilian population.
  • The Armed Forces are suffering huge losses. The Ukrainian army lacks equipment, and its personnel is demoralized.
  • A memo was reportedly distributed to the Ukrainian military about protection from abuses by representatives of the foreign legion’s LGBT community.

Now the truth:

  • It has nothing to do with reality. The OUN-UPA fought against anyone invading Ukrainian territories. For Ukrainian nationalists, restoring Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty was vital. The UPA’s struggle against the German occupiers and their allies is evidenced by numerous German, Soviet, Polish, and UPA documents. The activities of the UPA were assessed by both the German and the Soviet sides as an anti-German uprising. This manipulation uses the method of selectivity. In this particular case, the emphasis shifts from celebrating Pokrova Day and Cossack Day to celebrating the founding of the OUN-UPA, which russian propaganda equates with Nazism and fascism.
  • russian propaganda outlets have been spreading numerous fake stories about the brutality of the Ukrainian military since at least 2014, aiming to discredit the Ukrainian army mainly in the eyes of the residents of the temporarily occupied territories and the foreign community. Instead, they try to show that the russian army is an army of liberators freeing Ukrainian regions from fascism. However, it is a lie. The russian military commits war crimes, tortures, and brutally kills the Ukrainian population, destroys civilian infrastructure, and sometimes does not even hide its intentions.
  • On August 22, 2022, the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said around 9,000 Ukrainian service members had died during the full-scale war with russia. On September 23, 2022, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the French publication Ouest-France that, according to his estimates, Ukraine lost 50 soldiers a day. However, it is obviously beneficial for russian propaganda to overstate the Ukrainian army’s losses. However, russia keeps publishing data without confirmation, and even its calculations citing international structures were false. Ukraine constantly receives equipment from Western countries. Just this week, Germany and Spain announced they would provide Ukraine with air defense systems, and France would send more Ceasar self-propelled howitzers.
  • russia often discredits representatives of the LGBT community, particularly those serving in the Armed Forces. According to russia, LGBT propaganda reigns in Europe and has now reached Ukraine infiltrating the Ukrainian army. However, there is no confirmation of the Ukrainian military distributing a memo on protection from violence on the part of LGBT community representatives. The memo must have been faked and deliberately circulated by russian propagandists to once again discredit the Ukrainian army and the support it receives from foreign partners.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on October 12

  • russia now deliberately strikes during the day so that the Office of the President cannot suppress information about the missiles’ strikes and give the public the illusion of all rockets and drones being shot down.
  • According to putin, the rise in energy prices in Europe is reportedly unrelated to the so-called “special operation.” Only Western policy is to blame for this.
  • putin also said, “the regime in Kyiv has been using terrorist methods for a long time. They then post things online, realize their mistake, and immediately delete them.”

Now the truth:

  • This is not the first time that russia has launched missile strikes in broad daylight. For instance, the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk, the railway station in Kramatorsk, and the Darnytskyi carriage repair plant in Kyiv were all attacked in full daylight, like many others. Moreover, the logic of such reports is also warped. If the Office of the President even wanted to conceal something, it couldn’t influence russia’s decisions on when to launch missiles over Ukraine. However, after rocket attacks, the authorities reported every time the locations of impact, the number of victims, and the damage done, or spoke about the projectiles shot down by air defense. Besides, it is almost impossible to hide the facts of failures in repelling attacks, destructions, or casualties in a situation where anyone can publish information online.
  • putin lies. An increase in energy prices mainly occurred due to the sanctions imposed on russia. However, sanctions are not just part of the West’s policy but a way to limit russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the entire world. Limiting russia’s opportunities to sell energy and make money from it should also reduce russia’s military capabilities. For instance, the missiles fired over Ukraine on October 10 cost $400-700 million, which russia could compensate for in just 2-3 days by exporting energy. The sanctions aim to deprive russia of the opportunity to earn from the entire world to wage war against Ukraine and the world itself.
  • putin continues his rhetoric accusing Ukraine of terrorism. Notably, russian propagandists began using this rhetoric back in August after the murder of Darya Dugina. russia needs to create an image of Ukraine as a terrorist state to justify attacks on our country, killing civilians and destroying our infrastructure. It is a manifestation of russia’s weakness on the actual front lines, where it cannot defeat or repel the Armed Forces being forced to terrorize the civilian population.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION  as of 1 p.m. on October 12

  • Poland began its aggression against russia and Hungary by carrying out a terrorist attack on the Druzhba gas pipeline.
  • On October 11, Ukraine’s Security Service “forbade” Ukrainians to publish photos and videos from the impact locations so the media outlets would only have information about the operation of the Air Defense Forces. On October 12, the SBU decided to suppress any information about rocket attacks.
  • Telegram channel “Kharisov about politics” shared a photo allegedly proving that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, recorded his address to Ukrainians in a studio against the “green background,” which could be filled in with any image.

Now the truth:

  • The Polish pipeline operator reported a leak in one of the threads of the Druzhba oil pipeline. The leak was discovered on the evening of October 11 on one of the two strands of the pipeline’s western section. However, the reasons for the leak and the involvement of Poland, Ukraine, or anyone else remained unknown. Propagandists immediately linked two unrelated facts: detecting a leak on the Polish territory and Poland’s being guilty of damaging the gas pipeline.
  • It is generally not recommended in Ukraine to publish photos and videos from missile impact locations so the enemy cannot adjust the fire. However, Ukraine’s Security Service did not directly prohibit Ukrainians from publishing information about missile strikes on particular days. In fact, on October 10, russia launched an almost unprecedented missile attack on Ukraine’s territory. The strike was repeated on the following day, October 11, albeit on a smaller scale. Because of this, the air defense forces could repel it better. On October 10, the Ukrainian air defense successfully shot 43 out of 83 missiles fired on Ukraine and downed 20 out of 28 missile strikes on October 11. On October 12, i.e., today, the intensity of rocket attacks was even lower. Thus, russian propagandists use such reports to manipulate cause and effect. There were fewer reports of missile attacks, air defense operations, and impacts, not because of SBU’s control but because of the lower intensity of the attacks.
  • The photo from the post was taken in June when Zelensky was recording a holographic address to technology entrepreneurs. The image can be found, in particular, in The Times.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on October 11

  • That more than UAH 200 million were raised for kamikaze drones in Ukraine over a few hours proves that all Ukrainians support the Nazi government and the Nazi army.
  • Ukrainian air defense cannot cope with russian missile and drone attacks.
  • russia’s strikes on peaceful cities in Ukraine on October 10 were revenge for the Crimean bridge.
  • In response to the attacks on Ukrainian towns on October 10, Ukraine’s Armed Forces began attacking civilians in Donetsk more brutally.

Now the truth:

  • It took the Serhiy Prytula Foundation just over 7 hours to collect UAH 206 million for RAM II kamikaze drones. In addition, it took the Come Back Alive foundation the same amount of time to raise UAH 5.9 million yesterday. The blogger Ihor Lachenkov collected UAH 16.5 million to transfer to the Serhiy Prytula and Come Back Alive foundations. In contrast, the russian media outlets and bloggers never once reported a single successful collection for the needs of the army during the 7.5 months of full-scale war, although regularly announced. russian Telegram channels often post calls for donations, but unlike calls for cruelty against Ukrainians, they are not popular among russians. Therefore, the occupiers can only envy our unity and try to use our successes to their advantage, e.g., finding another reason to accuse us of supporting Nazism to justify attacks on peaceful cities in Ukraine.
  • No air defense system in the world can provide 100% protection, even the Israeli Iron Dome. However, it cannot be said that the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense did not cope with the occupiers’ attacks. On the morning of October 10, Ukrainian air defense shot down 43 of 83 missiles fired on Ukraine and at least 13 Iranian Shahed-136 drones in just one day. As of 9 a.m. today, air defense forces destroyed at least four cruise missiles (X-101/X-555). During the morning air raid alert, they reported on active air defense in the Kyiv, Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, Odesa, and Mykolaiv regions and other areas of Ukraine.
  • This is precisely the opinion russia has been trying to impose on us. russia’s president putin specifically spoke about it yesterday, picturing Ukrainians as terrorists blowing up bridges and gas pipelines that should be treated accordingly (i.e., by terrorizing the civilian population). Therefore, Ukrainians would be pushed to force their government to sit at the table to make peace. However, the russian strikes on Ukraine on October 10 were hardly carried out in revenge for the Crimean bridge. According to the GUR, russia planned the attacks as early as October 2-3 (the bridge was damaged on October 8). John Kirby, the strategic communication coordinator of the US National Security Council, expressed the same opinion. According to him, the russians most likely planned on launching a massive missile attack on Ukraine even before the Crimean bridge was struck. Secondly, Ukraine did not admit its involvement in the Crimean bridge and russian gas pipeline explosions. Ukraine’s connection to these events was not officially discussed in the world either. Thirdly, October 10 was the new general Sergei Surovikin’s first “working day” in the so-called “special operation.” The attacks on the energy infrastructure were likely related to changes in the russian military command structure. After all, russia announced it would attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure long ago. Such reports began to appear at least as early as the summer in propaganda outlets and on social networks.
  • In contrast to the russian military, Ukraine’s Armed Forces do not terrorize the civilian population of Ukrainian cities. What’s more, it makes no sense for Ukraine to strike Ukrainian localities in response to russian attacks. At the same time, the Armed Forces continue their offensive to liberate Ukrainian territories in the east and south of the country and destroy the occupiers’ ammunition warehouses.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on October 10

  • Volodymyr Zelensky was reportedly evacuated from Kyiv.
  • Belarus launched an offensive in the north of Ukraine.
  • Simultaneously with the missile strikes, the Ruscist offensive began all along the front lines.
  • In Ukraine, the entire infrastructure was utterly destroyed.
  • The embassies were verbally informed about the start of the evacuation.

Now the truth:

  • russia circulated the same fake news both on February 24 and shortly after, saying the President and the country’s entire leadership were evacuated long ago. The ruscists never provided any confirmation for their allegations. Today, the President of Ukraine recorded a video message from Bankova at 11:02 a.m. as the air alert continued in Kyiv.
  • This is also not true and is a form of intimidation. UC North registered no breakthroughs or offensives from the territory of Belarus or russia. The head of the Chernihiv RMA said the situation on Ukraine’s state border remained under control.
  • The information was not confirmed by the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces or any other source. The Armed Forces continued their offensive controlling the liberated areas.
  • This is not true. Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, reported damage to eleven infrastructure facilities. At 1:00 p.m., the power supply began to be restored in Kharkiv, and work continued to eliminate the consequences of the strikes in Kyiv. The Office of the President and Ukrenergo warned about possible temporary power outages.
  • The information was also not confirmed. The US Embassy advised its citizens to leave the country, but there was no talk of evacuating the Embassy. However, the russian strikes damaged the building housing the German consulate in Kyiv.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on October 7

  • Zelensky’s statement about a “preemptive strike against russia” was a cry for help, explained former US intelligence officer Scott Ritter.
  • Elon Musk said russians constitute the majority in Ukraine’s eastern regions. According to him, these people preferred russia.
  • Kyiv can flood the Zaporizhzhia NPP by provoking uncontrolled water discharge at several hydroelectric power plants.

Now the truth:

  • Zelensky spoke about large-scale danger coming from russia and the importance of responding to it preventively, which means publicly explaining the consequences to russia, increasing sanctions pressure on russia, and providing armed aid to Ukraine. Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office, commented on the reaction to the “news” of russia’s ex-president Dmitry Medvedev, foreign affairs ministry, and the dictator’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. According to him, President Zelensky said nothing about a pre-emptive nuclear strike on russia, and russians “invented this news to make much of it.”
  • In response to Senator Lindsay Graham’s tweet, Elon Musk tried to prove that Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions were more pro-russian because they supported the pro-russian Party of Regions in 2012. However, this in no way indicates that these regions wish to be part of russia more than Ukraine. After russia occupied areas in the eastern regions of Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014, the political preferences of Ukrainians changed significantly. For instance, in February 2022 (before the full-scale invasion), 10.8% of Ukrainians in southern Ukraine and 18.6% in the east supported the pro-russian OPFL.
  • russia came up with another idea of how to accuse Ukraine of nuclear terrorism. This time, according to the new version of Rosprop [russian propaganda], Ukraine would flood the ZNPP by dumping water from several hydroelectric power stations. Firstly, no facts or open-source reports indicate preparations for such actions at Ukrainian hydropower plants. Secondly, russia usually launches such campaigns accusing Ukraine of specific terrorist attacks when it prepares similar provocations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on October 6

  • The transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was Khrushchev’s mistake, and russia now has to correct it.
  • NATO promised Gorbachev it would not expand eastward to the borders of the USSR.
  • Kyiv is preparing a “new Bucha” in Lyman, Donetsk region.

Now the truth:

  • Elon Musk expressed this idea on his Twitter. However, this is nothing but a historical myth. The so-called “Khrushchev’s mistake” does not exist. The term was invented by russian propaganda in 2014 to account for the occupation and annexation of Crimea. Transferring Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 simultaneously solved two problems for Crimea and the Soviet Union: the economically depressed region after World War II and the deportation of the Crimean Tatars came under the care of Ukraine. The USSR once again used symbolism, timing the transfer of Crimea to coincide with the so-called 300th anniversary of the “reunification” of Ukraine and russia. russia still uses this symbolism in its propaganda. The decision to transfer Crimea was made not only by Khrushchev but also by the USSR’s entire collective leadership.
  • In the fall of 2021, russia continued increasing its military presence near Ukraine’s borders. Then, russian officials and the media reinvigorated the narrative of NATO breaking its promise not to advance its infrastructure eastward. putin repeatedly said it to international partners. When Gorbachev was in power, the issue of the non-expansion of NATO was never raised. Some NATO officials said NATO would not station its troops on the territory of East Germany. In 1990, Gorbachev could not discuss the membership of Eastern European countries in NATO at all. Soviet politicians never expressed fears that NATO might expand to the east.
  • russia uses such allegations to justify its crimes committed in the temporarily occupied territories and shift the blame onto Ukraine in advance. It is not the first time russia has used such methods. Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Kremenchuk, Kupyansk: according to propaganda outlets, the Ukrainian military tortured Ukrainians in every city attacked or occupied by russia and then issued statements saying it was the russian army’s doing.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on October 5

  • According to the Turkish publication Daily Sabah, the US will throw Ukraine under the russian bus as soon as it suits them.
  • The Armed Forces are becoming more and more like “gangs,” not the army. Besides, the Armed Forces chronically lack equipment.
  • 133 foreign observers from 28 countries, including Germany and Italy, came to the “referendum” held in the so-called “DNR.” These were real diplomats and experts recognized by the UN.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The Daily Sabah article cited by russian Telegram channels was published in the “Opinions” section, meaning the report only reflects the position of its author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire media outlet or the country. Notably, russian media outlets pick up only those pieces from the global information field that correspond to their narratives, namely that there is no real support for Ukraine and that its partners merely use Ukraine for their own benefit. This narrative is not new for russian propaganda, being used by russia in many European media outlets since at least 2014 to convince the world of Ukraine’s weakness as a state and its allegedly weak ties with the global community. However, the facts indicate that support for Ukraine (financial, military, humanitarian, and communication) is unprecedented. Most of the world’s developed countries are opposed to russia, imposing sanctions against this country and severing economic ties with it.
  • russian Telegram channels probably have to come up with baseless allegations about equipment shortages in the Armed Forces in response to the apparent fact that russia has become the largest “supplier” of heavy weapons to Ukraine in 2022. The truth is that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has received nearly 400 tanks, 700 armored vehicles, and 170 artillery systems as spoils of war, which is more than the largest partner countries ever supplied.
  • The SBU intercepted russian documents regulating the pseudo-referendum held by russia on the temporarily seized territory of the Donetsk region. Local occupation administration representatives reportedly tried to invite 16 foreigners to participate in the fake events as foreign “observers.” Among them were citizens of two European and Central Asian countries. Thus, the enemy tried to artificially increase the presence of foreign “guests” at the pseudo-referendum to “formalize” it in the international arena. Most importantly, russia has been trying to convince russians, Ukrainians, and the entire world of the legitimacy of pseudo-referenda for two weeks now. However, an actual manifestation of people’s will requires no “information campaign,” and its results are immediately recognized by other countries worldwide.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on October 4

  • The occupation authorities do not allow the residents of the annexed territories to leave not because of partial mobilization but, reportedly, due to “the legal formalization of the accession of new subjects of russia.”
  • Western politicians spread fake news about russia being entirely responsible for the explosions at the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines.
  • The office of the President of Ukraine is ready to produce a dirty nuclear bomb to deter russia. A headquarters has been created with the involvement of atomic scientists and military personnel to urgently set up a group developing nuclear weapons.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Even before the pseudo referenda, the Minister for Reintegration, Iryna Vereshchuk, said the occupation authorities in Crimea had started illegal mobilization. They began massively mobilizing Crimean Tatars and other indigenous peoples of Crimea to participate in the war on the occupiers’ side. In addition, the russian invaders had plans to announce the mobilization in the captured Kherson region, as evidenced by the enemy’s documents, said Oleshkiv city mayor Yevhen Rishchuk. The mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said during the telethon that in the temporarily occupied city, men of all ages are approached on the street and “asked” to go to the commandant’s office to register, with some kept there for several days.
  • On September 26, Nord Stream 2 (which was never put into operation) got depressurized in the waters of Denmark. On September 27, measuring stations in Sweden and Denmark registered strong underwater explosions on the russian Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. The Swedish and Danish authorities discovered a gas leak in the Baltic Sea. Later, Germany said the gas leaks were the result of deliberate actions. Denmark also did not rule out sabotage of the gas pipelines. Sweden said the reasons for the gas leak were unclear. The European Union and NATO called the large explosions in the Baltic Sea a deliberate act of sabotage. The United States said during the UN Security Council meeting on September 30 that it was not involved in sabotaging the gas pipelines. Only Poland and Ukraine named russia as the culprit. Therefore, Western politicians did not claim russia was responsible or guilty for the gas leaks on its own gas pipelines and did not accuse it of sabotage. This opinion was publicly voiced mainly by Ukrainian politicians. The investigation into the causes of the explosions and gas leaks continues.
  • Ukraine cannot produce, store, or use nuclear weapons under the Budapest Memorandum. Unlike russia, Ukraine adheres to its international obligations. russia uses such rhetoric in an attempt to shift the blame for nuclear terrorism away from itself and onto Ukraine. It is not the first time that russia has tried to convince others that Ukraine is making a dirty nuclear device. Of course, russia never provided any objective factual evidence. In the same way, russia still insists that Ukraine’s Armed Forces keep shelling the ZNPP without giving any proof of this and simply shifting the blame away from itself. Anyway, after putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons, propaganda outlets have to justify themselves by convincing others that russia has no intention of using nukes. According to them, if someone does use it first, it will be either the United States or Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on October 3

  • In his speech regarding annexing Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories to russia, putin said there was every reason to believe that the West would not seek a constructive way out of the food and energy crisis.
  • putin also said the West allegedly denies moral norms, religion, and family. “Do we want russia to have ‘father number one, two, and three’ instead of ‘mom and dad’ and schools imposing perversions on children that lead to degradation and extinction, as if there were genders other than women and men?”
  • “Firm promises not to expand NATO to the east turned out to be dirty deceptions,” said putin.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the West does not want to resolve the food or energy crisis. For starters, of course, putin does not see russia’s fault for creating a global food crisis, and he is ready to blame only Ukraine or the West supporting Ukraine in this war for this. Secondly, the West is trying to find and has already found ways to export Ukrainian grain to reduce the risks of a food crisis. And thirdly, concerning the energy crisis, the rise in energy prices in Europe and the potential risk of a reduction in energy supplies are also provoked by the war started by russia. The world does not want oil and gas from the aggressor country. Besides, limiting the prices of russian energy carriers and reducing their purchases undermines russia’s economy and, accordingly, its ability to wage war. First off, the LGBT propaganda putin talked about is non-existent. It is impossible to impose the choice of gender on a person as it is determined by biological, social, and psychological factors, not chosen depending on which gender is propagated. Moreover, LGBT community representatives do not impose “perversion” or same-sex marriages. The former has nothing to do with LGBT, and the latter is a personal choice. In russia, LGBT propaganda is often feared as a sign of the “decaying West.” Moreover, representatives of the LGBT community are discriminated against in russia, being associated with the “perversions” putin mentioned.
  • putin and all his supporter propagandists often bring up the idea that NATO allegedly promised Gorbachev not to expand to the east. However, that is a myth, repeatedly refuted by NATO and Gorbachev himself. Interestingly, while Putin is waging war against Ukraine to prevent the Alliance’s expansion to russia’s borders, Sweden and Finland have applied to join NATO. The latter borders russia in the north.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on September 30

  • Information spread online about an alleged leak of secret documents from the American think tank RAND. According to the document dated January 25, 2022, the West’s aggressive foreign policy in Ukraine would lead to russia’s military intervention, and Washington would recognize russia as an aggressor state to apply a ready-made sanctions package.
  • Information circulated across the Internet that a US report about the results of inspecting Ukrainian units trained in the UK was leaked online. The report noted the Ukrainians’ poor small arms and tactical training, low morale, and motivation.
  • Photos of the alleged menu of a Lviv restaurant circulated online, listing such items as the “Horlivka Madonna” cocktail and the “Alley of Angels” set of shots.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The RAND Corporation is a non-profit research organization developing analytical materials with recommendations for solving public policy issues. RAND denied the information about the leak calling the document a fake. In addition, unlike the organization’s other reports, the report’s author and title are not indicated in the published paper. The material’s exterior design (layout, font, etc.) is also different. The report was allegedly forwarded to European think tanks and US government agencies, including the US State Department, the CIA, and the National Security Agency. However, the organization does not cooperate with them.
  • This is fake. The respective form is designed for the military’s monthly personal performance review and can be found in the public domain. The report’s text contains several grammatical, spelling, and lexical errors. The report’s content is manipulative. True, it says that the Ukrainian soldiers arrived without the proper training. However, the British training program for the Ukrainian military is designed precisely for those with minimal or no combat experience.
  • Errors in the menu text indicate that its author does not speak Ukrainian. In particular, chili pepper is mentioned in the recipe of the “Horlivka Madonna.” According to Ukrainian spelling rules, “chyli” (chili pepper) is written with the letter “y.” The description of the “Moskva Cruiser” cocktail makes no sense at all. Firstly, the sentence “A glass of beer contain a shot of vodka” is grammatically incorrect. Secondly, the description of other cocktails consists only of a list of ingredients without specifying the preparation method. According to this logic, it should be “beer and vodka.” Among the signature snacks, one can see “Assorti Brusketiv.” However, according to the declension rules, the form “brusket” would be grammatically correct. In addition, the recipe for the Margarita cocktail says “oange peel” instead of “orange peel.” Some Internet users assumed the menu in the photo was from the Lviv thematic establishment Kryivka. However, the restaurant denied those allegations.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on September 29

  • Information circulated online about Poland and the Baltic states being frightened by MiG-31 carrying hypersonic Kinzhal missiles in Kaliningrad. The outlet also claimed that “the Poles, Estonians, and representatives of other small European states realize they’ve overstepped the mark by attacking russia and are now afraid of retaliatory actions on its part.”
  • According to russian media outlets, Poland and the Baltic countries do not have as many weapons as russia and have exhausted their arms stockpiles by supplying them to Ukraine. These countries doubt the US will help them should the need arise.
  • Residents of the Zaporizhzhia region were forcibly made Ukrainians by receiving Ukrainian passports. Here is a quote from father superior Ioann: “The majority feel they’re russians. How did we become Ukrainians? They gave us passports saying we were Ukrainians without asking us about it. And all of us, roughly speaking, were deprived of our citizenship. But people feel they’re russians.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • On August 18, 2022, russia’s defense ministry reported transferring three MiG-31E combat aircraft equipped with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles to the Kaliningrad region. However, none of the countries were frightened by russia’s actions. For instance, Secretary of State of Poland’s Ministry of Defense, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, said Article 5 of the NATO Treaty would be automatically applied in the event of a real threat. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said russia has always posed a threat to its neighbors, and currently, the military potential of Kaliningrad has significantly decreased due to personnel and weapons reductions. Estonian and Latvian media outlets did not react very actively; only a few online news outlets reported transferring the missiles and their descriptions.
  • Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia do not doubt the US will help them in case of russian aggression. Joe Biden said the US would defend every inch of NATO territory under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Simultaneously with this statement, Biden announced the transfer of additional US troops to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to strengthen NATO’s positions in the east. The principle of collective defense of NATO member states enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty establishes that an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members.
  • On December 1, 1991, the All-Ukrainian referendum on Ukraine’s independence was held, during which most residents of the Zaporizhzhia region (like the other 24 regions of Ukraine) voted in favor and confirmed their desire to live in an independent state. According to the 2001 All-Ukrainian census data, 1,364.1 million Ukrainians lived in the Zaporizhzhia region, i.e., 70.8% of the region’s total population. russians were three times less, namely 476,800 people (24.7%). Moreover, nationality was determined during the census by interviewing respondents without requiring documentary confirmation. That is, in 2001, almost 1.4 million residents of the Zaporizhzhia region considered themselves Ukrainians.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of  2 p.m. on September 27

  • International observers at the pseudo-referenda confirmed that all procedures aligned with democratic norms. Residents of the regions could transparently and openly exercise their will and choice.
  • Residents of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and the so-called “DNR” and “LNR” massively said on camera to russian journalists they were glad their areas would become part of russia, and they would finally have a peaceful life.
  • russia never really threatened anyone with nuclear weapons, as stated, in particular, by the deputy minister of foreign affairs of russia.
  • Even some deputies of the state duma of russia, deputies of local government bodies, and russian civil servants agreed to voluntarily go to the frontline during the mobilization. In contrast, the Verkhovna Rada deputies do not go to the frontline but enrich themselves further during the war.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Let us take a closer look at the “international observers.”  Among them were citizens of russia, belarus, Syria, Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Togo, and South Africa, i.e., representatives of the countries with pronounced pro-russian views. Some “observers” even openly supported falsifications during the pseudo-referenda. Overall, what happened last week in the temporarily occupied regions was a farce and a total falsification by russia. International organizations, e.g., NATO, the UN, the EU, and almost all countries in the world (except for russia’s satellites) did not recognize these fake referendums’ results.
  • The residents of the temporarily occupied territories featured in the russian mass media stories could actually be fake persons, actors, or even intimidated local residents forced to say on camera what the occupiers told them to not lose their lives. Besides, the media outlets distort reality since their stories only feature those whose answers or comments are supposed to support the agenda (i.e., joy for pseudo referenda). They leave out those who did not participate in the referendum and did not want to see russia on Ukraine’s territory.
  • During his speech on September 21, russian president vladimir putin directly stated he would be ready to use weapons of mass destruction should there be a danger for his country. As the last seven months of full-scale war show, almost anything can look like a threat to russia in the eyes of russia’s schizophrenic leader. Therefore, Ukraine and its Western partners realistically view the danger of using nuclear weapons. The justifications by putin’s minions now look entirely lame.
  • No, russian MPs and officials will not go to the frontline voluntarily or forcibly. That will be so only in the fantasies of russians themselves. Instead, national minorities, the poorest russians who do not have any social guarantees and protection, and residents of Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories, which russia wants to annex after the pseudo referenda, will fall under partial “mo-bury-zation.” Although russia announced plans to mobilize only 300,000 russians, particularly those with combat operations and military service experience, investigative journalists discovered that russia intends to mobilize at least three times as many people and send them to the front lines to use them as cannon fodder.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on September 26

  • Information circulated online about a Deutsche Welle article allegedly saying the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP does not violate the Geneva Convention, being entirely legal. Therefore, according to the propagandists, the article’s authors believe the station should become a target for shelling since it provides electricity to the russian military.
  • russian media outlets spread information about a cemetery of russian soldiers in the Slovak village of Ladomirova who died in Slovakia during the First World War reportedly bulldozed.
  • Information circulated online about Dutch admiral Rob Bauer stating at the heads of defense meeting in Tallinn on September 17 that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had plans to expand to the borders of russia several years earlier. NATO is said to be currently implementing this plan.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The German edition’s journalists did not call for shelling the station. They tried to understand whether the nuclear plant could be a military object according to the Geneva Convention of 1949. After the occupation of the ZNPP on March 4, russia has regularly shelled the plant and accused Ukraine of nuclear terrorism. We have already refuted the occupiers’ allegations about Ukraine Armed Forces allegedly striking the plant’s radioactive waste storage facility, violating the IAEA resolution, and Kyiv using nuclear blackmail.
  • On the village’s official page, its mayor Vladislav Cuper said the graves were not destroyed. He emphasized that the authorities decided to restore the concrete curbs near the graves because it was already impossible to take care of them due to their state. Cuper provided up-to-date photo evidence with the crosses and the tombs intact. Cuper also noted that during the visit of the russian ambassador, he intended to discuss the plan to restore the cemetery. However, he was confused that such a statement would sow hatred among people. Moreover, after bratchikov’s remarks, the Ladomirova mayor was threatened with murder.
  • This is not true. At a press conference, the Chair of the Military Committee, Rob Bauer, announced the implementation of the “deter and defend strategy,” which the Alliance approved in 2020. According to the plan, the national interests of the member countries would be more closely interlinked with NATO plans, and military leaders would have a common frame of reference for both Alliance wide threats and regional threats. In addition, the admiral said that the organization plans to enhance the effectiveness of the rapidly deployable forces.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on September 21

  • russian media outlets cited the russian foreign minister lavrov as saying on September 21, 2022, that the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions have the right to self-determination according to the UN Charter, so they should allegedly vote in referenda on joining russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is manipulation: according to the Charter, peoples have the right to self-determination, but states must not violate the territorial integrity of any other country. russia violates the UN Declaration to justify the pseudo referenda held in the temporarily occupied territories. The world community condemned the so-called “referenda” in the temporarily captured territories. In particular, the US emphasized that the referenda were a false pretext for russia to annex parts of Ukraine. According to the European Union, illegal “votes” cannot be considered the free expression of the will of the people living in these regions. So lavrov’s words are another attempt by russia to justify illegal referenda on temporarily occupied territories.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on September 19

  • According to russian media outlets, the head of Mykolaiv Regional State Administration, Vitalii Kim, allegedly fled from Mykolaiv to Odesa. They claimed that Kim escaped due to the increased shelling of Mykolaiv. This was purportedly proved by the last video message on his Telegram channel on September 11.
  • Everyone can receive compensation of UAH 7,000 from the Unified Compensation Center for the Return of Unpaid Funds. Payments are allegedly made through the eHelp platform in partnership with the Ministry of Social Policy.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On September 20, Vitalii Kim denied the information about his departure, recording a video message for his Telegram channel. He also said the shelling of Mykolaiv became less intense, the Armed Forces kept advancing, and new fortifications needed to be built on the territory of the Kherson Region. In the video messages for September 20 and August 30, one can see Ukraine’s State Coat of Arms, the Coat of Arms of Mykolaiv, and the Flag of the Mykolaiv Oblast on the wall behind Vitalii Kim, which indicates that the videos showed his office.
  • This is a sham because there is no such assistance program. There is no information about payments made via the Unified Compensation Center for the Return of Unpaid Funds on the website of the eHelp platform. Moreover, there is no Unified Compensation Center for the Return of Unpaid Funds in Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on September 17

  • russian media outlets spread a comment by russia’s state duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin regarding the military registration of women in Ukraine. On September 5, the official said that all Ukrainian women, including pregnant women and those with young children, would undergo military registration and would be “sent to slaughter.” Therefore, Volodin urged them to leave the country while it was still possible.
  • Pro-kremlin mass media spread the speech by russian propagandist Dmitri Kiselyov accusing European leaders of supporting Ukraine. He said suspending Nord Stream 1 would lead Europe to an energy crisis. Reportedly, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz could save the situation by putting Nord Stream 2 into operation.
  • the self-proclaimed president of belarus, aleksandr lukashenka, said the Ukrainian people were allegedly being robbed and black soil and other resources exported from Ukraine to the EU.
  • russian media outlets spread information about the Poles allegedly filing 1,500 lawsuits to Ukrainian courts demanding the return of the apartments they lost in Ukraine during World War II. The piece cited a statement by Polish activist Konrad Renkas.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is not true. According to Ukrainian legislation, a woman on the military register acquires conscript status and is in the Armed Forces and other military formations reserve. In addition, on September 6, the Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov, issued an order suspending the law on mandatory registration of women for military service until October 2023. MPs can use the time to finalize the document and legalize the voluntary nature of the registration of women. The draft law proposes retaining mandatory military registration only for women with a medical profession, said Fedir Venislavskyi of the parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence.
  • This is not true. European countries have enough gas to get through the winter period. russia uses the gas issue to blackmail Western leaders supporting Ukraine. The French Minister of Energy, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, said russia uses gas as a weapon of war. According to an Engie representative, gas imports from russia currently amount to 4% compared to 17% before the war in Ukraine. France has expanded its energy supply, so the reduction in gas imports from russia will not significantly affect gas supplies from other countries.
  • This narrative was often used by russian and pro-russian media outlets and politicians as an argument against opening the “land market.” They said that as soon as the law was passed, the authorities would immediately sell and take away Ukrainian black soil. Last year, the Belarusian dictator expressed a similar opinion. However, the politician never provided any proof. Black soil is not exported to Europe. After all, the transfer of the fertile soil layer is regulated by the Land Code and requires approval from Ukraine’s State Committee on Land Resources (Derzhkomzem).
  • This is fake because Poland does not demand that Ukraine return its lost property. Poland legally resolved the restitution issue back in 2005. In 2005, Poland passed a law establishing a straightforward procedure for returning property and compensating Polish property owners in the territories that were part of the Soviet Union after 1939. According to the 2005 law, the Polish state pays compensation for property lost in World War II. In addition, Konrad Renkas began talking about Poles returning their property in Ukraine back in 2015. Konrad Renkas created the organization “Restitution Kresy,” which he used to propose to return the property lost during the Second World War to Poles. The activist also worked as a deputy head of the pro-russian party Zmiana. In 2020, Konrad Renkas told a russian newspaper the industrial potential of Ukraine was allegedly being discussed among Americans, Germans, and Brits. He emphasizes that Ukraine must pay all of Poland’s bills, i.e., restitution.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 6 p.m. on September 16

  • A video circulated online showing children greeting Armed Forces of Ukraine members with Nazi gestures. In the video, one can see a plaque with the name of said region, i.e., the Kharkiv region.
  • russian media outlets wrote about the Ukrainian authorities’ plans to murder Italian journalist Mattia Sorbi, who was wounded in the Kherson region. According to russia’s defense ministry, two Ukrainian special services members dressed in the uniform of the Armed Forces promised Sorbi to accompany him to the line of contact between Ukrainian and russian troops. According to Sorbi, as the car approached the area of hostilities, the soldiers left the vehicle and directed the journalist onto a mined road.
  • russia once again accused Ukraine of planting mines in the Black Sea. russian media outlets wrote about a Romanian military ship allegedly blown up by a Ukrainian mine. They called this the first case since the beginning of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is fake. It is an episode from a French TV Channel’s video story denying (!) the information that the children used Nazi salutes. The video shared by a user is an excerpt from the report by Info France 2 on September 2, 2022. The reporter spoke about a children’s checkpoint in the Kharkiv region set up to support the Ukrainian military.
  • This is not true. First, the russian defense ministry’s statements contradict the reports of Sorbi’s colleagues. Secondly, Sorbi himself categorically denied the version of a murder planned by the Ukrainian side, saying there were no Ukrainian soldiers with him. Thirdly, the Mykolaiv Regional State Administration explained that Mattia Sorbi went to the combat zone bypassing the rules, i.e., without a military escort.
  • On September 8, a Romanian minesweeper came across a floating mine in the Black Sea. The following day, the Romanian Navy’s press service said the minesweeper was notified about the mine by the GSP ship Falcon. The mine detonated while being neutralized by the Romanian minesweeper. The explosion resulted in no casualties, and the crew of 75 soldiers successfully arrived at the port of Romania. Romania’s press service did not say whose mine was found in the sea and did not blame Ukraine for this incident. russian media outlets have repeatedly written that Ukraine allegedly mined the Black Sea. On March 21, the russian federal service announced that Ukraine had reportedly set up over 400 Soviet-style mines in the Black Sea. Ukraine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs denied this information. The mines discovered in the Black Sea are not registered with the Navy of Ukraine. russia uses sea mines from warehouses it seized in 2014 in Crimea. Ukraine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs noted the mines were discovered on March 26-28 in the waters of the Black Sea by Romania and Turkey.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on September 16

  • Kyiv aims to equip Bayraktar drones with a system for spraying chemical substances. Representatives of russia clarified that the flight range of this drone is 300 km, so the “new weapon” can threaten russia.
  • Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Mark Milley, said during a press conference on September 8 at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany that as a result of the full-scale invasion, the Armed Forces lost tens of thousands of people: killed and wounded.
  • Citing an article by The American Conservative, russian media outlets wrote that the US recognized aid to Ukraine as a mistake. The publication’s editor-in-chief, Patrick Buchanan, reportedly wrote in his article that the US should stop its participation in the war in Ukraine because the policy of expanding NATO to the east was wrong from the very beginning.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Bayraktar drones are used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and inflicting fire damage on the enemy. The drones have also been used to extinguish forest fires by detecting the ignition’s source. That is, this model does not allow for installing containers for water or other liquids. In addition, according to the convention on chemical weapons signed by Turkey and Ukraine, the development, acquisition, stockpiling, and storage of chemical weapons is prohibited. The document also requires member states to destroy all chemical weapons in their possession and their chemical weapons production facilities.
  • The American general did not talk about combat losses but civilians who died due to countless russian missile and artillery strikes. “In this time, in the last six months, the Ukrainians have withstood brutal assaults on their capital and other major urban areas throughout their country. They have sustained countless missile strikes and artillery barrages. They’ve borne the brutal costs of thousands, tens of thousands of casualties killed and wounded. Many civilians have perished due to indiscriminate Russian attacks. There’s almost 15 million refugees and internally displaced persons. Significant infrastructure in Ukraine has been damaged. The Ukrainian people have suffered tremendously, and yet they remain a free, independent, and sovereign country,” said Mark Milley. The US officials did not mention the Armed Forces’ losses at the press conference. According to national data, about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in the war with russia as of August 22.
  • The American Conservative’s article did not say the US recognized its aid to Ukraine as a mistake. Reference was made to the article ‘Winners and Losers in the Ukraine War,’ authored by founding editor Patrick Buchanan. In the article, the author analyzes the successes and failures of both russia and Ukraine. In particular, he claims that russia lost a large number of soldiers and military equipment, and “the reputation of the Russian army as a near-invincible force in any land war in Europe has been shattered.Politically, Russia has isolated itself from much of Europe, been hit with severe sanctions, and watched as Europe and NATO unite against it. 

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 11 a.m. on September 15

  • Ukrainians are to blame for russia’s attacks on infrastructure: it is russia’s revenge for Ukraine’s war against the civilians of Donbas and the so-called “LPR/DPR.”
  • Ukrainian refugees are a hotbed of Nazism in Europe.

Now the TRUTH:

  • No, Ukrainians are not to blame for the atrocities committed by russia. Ukraine did not wage war against the civilian population of Donbas; there has never been a civil war in Ukraine. Quasi-republics “LNR/DPR” are entities illegally formed by russia on Ukraine’s territory. In 2014, russia sent its troops to the east of Ukraine, which it had to defend. Ukrainians never supported cruelty towards other Ukrainians but were opposed to russia occupying parts of our territory. russia’s attacks on strategic and critical infrastructure are acts of terrorism against Ukraine, aiming to kill as many Ukrainians as possible and undermine our resistance.
  • Despite propagandists’ dismissing the term “denazification” a while ago since not even all russians were able to pronounce and understand the word, russia has not abandoned the narrative about Nazism allegedly flourishing in Ukraine. Naturally, Nazi, neo-Nazi, or fascist ideologies do not thrive in Ukraine, and the law prohibits propagating such ideas. However, russia makes further attempts to target the West with the narratives to create an image of Ukrainian Nazis and justify the war and the so-called “denazification.” That is how russia morphs from an aggressor into a kind of liberator, saving not only Ukrainians but almost all of Europe from Nazism. In addition, russia continues its campaign to discredit Ukrainian refugees so that they are stigmatized in European countries and cannot receive proper support from our partners.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on September 15

  • terrorism does not exist in wartime because it is exclusively a peacetime concept.
  • Ukrainian Nazis organized repression and genocide of russians in Izium and Vovchansk left by the russian army.
  • The Ukrainian military unsuccessfully directed fire hitting the Karachuniv reservoir in Kryvyi Rih.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russia has always sought justification for its terrorism against Ukraine and Ukrainians: from shifting responsibility for shelling the civilian population and infrastructure onto Ukraine’s Armed Forces to looking for “military targets” in every destroyed residential building. russia uses new rhetoric to explain that terrorism is typical in wartime. russia must be resorting to such statements because all previous versions did not work for the Ukrainians or the West. However, no matter how hard russia tries to justify its terrorism, there is no justification for it. Moreover, the russian army has systematically been committing war crimes against Ukrainians, which must be tried before an international tribunal after the war. Propaganda outlets call countering the collaborators remaining in the de-occupied Kharkiv region repressions and genocide of russians. The russian army left local collaborators behind when “regrouping the russian troops,”  i.e., fleeing from Izium and Vovchansk. Now, they only remotely wish them success in the fight against Nazism, apologizing they “didn’t have time” (i.e., didn’t plan to) to take them with them. Publicly supporting an aggressor is subject to criminal liability for collaborationism in Ukraine. Suppose there are Ukrainians left in the Kharkiv region who publicly endorsed the enemy and its so-called “special operation” and called for a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In that case, they will face an appropriate investigation for possibly committing a criminal offense.
  • On the evening of September 14, russia launched a missile attack on one of the hydro-infrastructure facilities in Kryvyi Rih. Besides damaging the city’s infrastructure, residents of some streets of Kryvyi Rih had to be evacuated until the consequences were eliminated. The attack aimed to commit another act of terrorism against the civilian population, to make people panic, and therefore, to put pressure on the authorities regarding peace negotiations, even on unfavorable terms for Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on September 14

  • The West is no longer interested in Ukraine; in some places, Ukrainian authorities are already annoying European politicians. It is time Europe cared for its citizens, who are at risk of freezing in winter due to sanctions and suffering from a sharp rise in prices.
  • A refugee woman from the Kharkiv region told the russian media that only russia helped local residents in difficult times while Ukraine did not care about its citizens.
  • The Armed Forces want to carry out provocations in Izium similar to those in Bucha.
  • russian schoolchildren will be taught the so-called “special operation military ” in history lessons. It is a new standard introduced by russia’s education ministry. Schoolchildren will also need to know and understand other events from russian and world history, e.g., “the reunification of russia and Crimea.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • russia has promoted this narrative among the European audience for the past few months suggesting that problems might arise in their countries due to their support for Ukraine. russia is trying to impose such hyperbolized fears even though Europeans will neither freeze nor starve because of their supporting Ukraine. This campaign’s global goal is to force Europeans to pressure their governments to stop supporting Ukrainian refugees and give weapons and financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Overall, this wave of disinformation could strengthen pro-russian sentiments in Europe and increase Europeans’ sympathy for pro-russian politicians, who, with electoral support, will be able to continue to lobby for russian terrorism.
  • There is no real reason to believe that Ukraine did not help the residents of the Kharkiv region in any way and that the occupiers cared about their well-being. Suppose a refugee from the Kharkiv region did say that, then her words must have been taken out of context. Or, she must have been forced to say precisely those words for the russian media. She might not even be a refugee from the Kharkiv region but some bogus person. The occupiers have been terrorizing, torturing, and killing the local population in every temporarily occupied Ukrainian city, so there can be no help from the enemy.
  • After the de-occupation, it became clear that more than a thousand civilians died in Izium, and 80% of the infrastructure was destroyed. However, russia calls almost every de-occupied settlement “new Bucha” because it has been the only justification for cruelty that russian propaganda can offer so far. russia is once again rewriting history. Moreover, it will now teach its propaganda to schoolchildren. The most dangerous thing is that such a “school program” can be taught by russian teachers in temporarily occupied Ukrainian cities. Therefore, russia’s goal is to zombify the populace from childhood by convincing them that Ukraine is just a failed project of the West. It also aims to show that the current war is being waged by russia against NATO, and the so-called “special operation” is an act of liberating “fraternal nations” from Nazism.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on September 13

  • The Armed Forces almost wholly destroyed the center of Sviatohirsk
  • russia continues to restore Mariupol: russian buses and household waste containers are brought into the city, and monuments to russian figures are reinstalled.
  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces regularly plant landmines in the center of Donetsk. Dozens of civilians have already sustained injuries.
  • The West does not share Kyiv’s optimism about the counter-offensive refusing to provide new weapons.

Now the TRUTH:

  • On the evening of September 12, Vitaly Markiv, a National Guard of Ukraine member, released a video from Sviatohirsk that might indicate the city’s de-occupation. Because of this, russia once again resurrected the narrative about the “Ukrainian Nazis” allegedly destroying the city. Sviatohirsk in the Donetsk region had been partially occupied by russia since June. The city mayor volunteered to head the occupation administration and actually surrendered the city to the russian occupiers. The russian army destroyed part of the city. The occupiers kept shelling and ruining the Sviatohirsk Lavra, where hundreds of civilians were hiding.
  • Allegations about restoring Mariupol are only an illusion created by russian propaganda. Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, explained that russia is unable to provide adequate humanitarian aid. After the cameras are turned off, the collected garbage is thrown out into neighboring yards. The city port is expected to be closed, and pensioners who have lost their documents cannot count on any help. From time to time, cars with TV screens cruise around the city, zombifying the city’s residents. In contrast to these realities, propagandists arrange demonstrative performances and parades, to which they bring loyal audiences from russia or other temporarily occupied regions.
  • The Ottawa Convention prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines, and Ukraine signed and ratified it in 2006, whereas russia did not. In 2013, Ukraine announced the destruction of 3 million “butterfly” mines and reported their elimination again in 2020. Based on intelligence data, the UK Ministry of Defence said russia was probably using the anti-personnel mines to protect its troops’ defensive lines in Donbas. These mines have the potential to inflict widespread casualties among both the military and the local civilian population. Usually, the russians scatter mines in Donetsk precisely during the hours of darkness, which makes them difficult to spot on the ground or asphalt. The invaders put local residents in grave danger for the sake of new provocations directed against the Armed Forces.
  • On the contrary, Western research centers praised Ukraine highly for its achievements in the counter-offensive. For instance, the Institute for the Study of War estimated that Ukraine’s counter-offensive over the past few days allowed it to return more territory than russia had managed in all operations since April. The CNA think tank in Virginia called the counter-offensive one of Ukraine’s most significant victories. The events in the east and south of Ukraine show the Western partners that Ukraine can effectively use the provided weapons and support. However, The Wall Street Journal warned that the liberated territories must be controlled, which requires considerable human and organizational resources. In such cases, it is essential not to get the troops spread out too far because the enemy might successfully counterattack by recapturing part of the liberated lands.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of noon on September 12

  • Only now has russia begun striking civilian infrastructure, unlike the Armed Forces that have been shelling the civilian population and infrastructure for seven months.
  • After russia attacked critical infrastructure, all of Ukraine spent the whole night in a blackout.
  • Ukraine shot down 9 out of 11 missiles, putting the Kharkiv, Zmiiv, Pavlohrad, and Kremenchuk thermal power plants out of operation. Therefore, Ukrainians fired at themselves.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Attacks on the thermal power plant on the evening of September 11 were not the first terrorist act committed by russia in attacking Ukraine’s civil infrastructure. russia greatly damaged the Luhansk thermal power plant in the town of Shchastia several days before the start of the full-scale war, the Okhtyrsk thermal power plant in early March, and the Sievierodonetsk thermal power plant in June. In addition, as of March 8, 422 enterprises, 2,472 educational institutions, 934 health care institutions, and 131,300 residential buildings were known to have been destroyed by russia.
  • Due to russia’s attacks on the infrastructure, several regions were indeed left without electricity and some places without water and communications. However, the situation was not as catastrophic as russia tried to paint to its audience. As a result of rocket attacks on the energy infrastructure, there was no electricity in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, with a partial loss of electricity and water supply in the Poltava region and a voltage drop across the power grid in the Sumy region. However, electricity and water supply were restored within a few hours, with repair works continuing in some areas as of the morning of September 12. However, this does not deny that russia deliberately fired on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure to once again try to demoralize and frighten Ukrainians and cause further damage to the country.
  • Interestingly, russian propagandists simultaneously spread several contradictory versions about attacks on infrastructure. According to one version, russia carried out several successful strikes, and “it [was] only the beginning.” According to this version, the strikes aimed to demoralize Ukrainians by leaving them without electricity, water, and heating during the cold season. According to another version, russia did not acknowledge the attacks blaming them on the Armed Forces. Nevertheless, the fact remains that russia attacked Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. There was a confirmed attack on the Kharkiv thermal power plant, where the fire was extinguished only on the afternoon of September 12. At the same time, russia announced new strikes on the energy infrastructure, and russians supported the russian army’s brutality and called for further terrorist attacks in their comments under the reports of shelling.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on September 11

  • The Armed Forces have no success in the Izium direction; it is only PSYOP to intimidate the enemy. The russian army planned to regroup troops from Balakliia and Izium to protect Donbas.
  • russian Telegram channels distributed a video showing children in Zaporizhzhia allegedly asking the Ukrainian “Nazis” not to open fire at their homes.
  • Zelensky is putting pressure on the West to provide weapons faster, threatening to blow up the ZNPP.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russia’s defense ministry is trying to hide the russian army’s defeat in the Kharkiv region behind yet another euphemism and “gestures of goodwill.” The so-called “regrouping” is the russian army’s escape from the Kharkiv region after the Armed Forces’ successful counter-offensive. Accordingly, propaganda outlets have no choice but to call the counter-offensive “Ukraine’s PSYOP.” However, the facts speak for themselves: since early September, 3,000 square kilometers have been returned to the control of Ukraine. In the past day alone (on September 11), Ukraine’s Armed Forces liberated 20 settlements.
  • russian propaganda again uses emotional pressure techniques by using children in its campaigns. Footage with children has to evoke more emotions in viewers to make them trust what they see and hear. A notorious example of russian manipulation is the crucified boy story. However, the russian narrative is disinformation per se: the Armed Forces do not harm Ukraine’s civilian population, and even more so, they do not kill children.
  • Ukraine does need continuous support from its partners to ultimately defeat russia. This support can come in the form of money, weapons, or humanitarian aid. Diplomatic support remains essential. However, Ukraine does not demand any of this from the West through blackmail, particularly nuclear blackmail. Moreover, Ukraine has nothing to do with shelling the atomic power plant. The nuclear danger for Ukraine and Europe is evoked only by russia continuing to attack the nuclear plant and deploy military equipment and ammunition there.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 4 p.m. on September 9

  • The Economist allegedly wrote that a civil war might soon break out in the United States. In the post, users attach the cover of an issue under the heading “United States of America.”
  • russia’s foreign affairs ministry representative, Ivan Nechaev, said Ukraine was regularly shelling the Zaporizhzhia NPP to deliberately provoke a large-scale artificial disaster. According to the occupier, the Ukrainian side was showing “maniacal zeal,” seeking to harm Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and violating the IAEA General Conference resolution.
  • On August 22, The Guardian published an article by Philip Short, “After six months of bloody and terrible war, what exactly does Putin want from Ukraine?” Russian media outlets and social network users began spreading their manipulative interpretation of the article’s content, claiming the piece said that russia was provoked by “a mindless desire to expand NATO to the east and a promise to accept Ukraine into its ranks.” According to them, NATO would no longer be able to stop russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The cover and title of the magazine are genuine, but the article’s authors do not predict a civil war in the USA. Instead, the journalists emphasize that “America is not going to have another civil war, as some feverish pundits speculate.”
  • This is not true: first, Ukraine is not shelling the power plant but only the military facilities that russia deliberately deployed nearby. Second, the IAEA adopted a resolution condemning russia’s actions and calling on the occupiers to bring the plant back under Ukrainian authorities’ control.
  • This is manipulation. The British journalist’s article actually mentions the NATO summit in 2008 (then, they discussed Ukraine’s need to become a fully-fledged member of the alliance) as one of the reasons for turning putin’s attitude towards Ukraine “toxic.” But he calls NATO’s potential enlargement merely the tip of the iceberg without claiming that there is no chance of stopping the russian machine. 

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 8 p.m. on September 5

  • 70 thousand Czech Republic citizens protested against supporting Ukraine. Similar rallies are expected in France, Germany, and Italy.
  • American journalist Jackson Hinkle, a holder of an “alternative opinion” regarding russia’s war with Ukraine, believes the demolition of the monument to Soviet Army soldiers in Riga is an attempt to rehabilitate Nazism.
  • Evidence of conducting experiments on Ukrainians was found in the Pharmbiotest bio-laboratory in Rubizhne. According to the lab’s documents, experiments were conducted for years, due to which the population of the Luhansk region decreased by 150 thousand people per year. This actually means that Ukraine committed genocide against the population in Donbas.
  • vladimir putin: “The tragedy happening in Donbas today is the result of the activities of the neo-Nazi regime that came to power by force in 2014 and started hostilities in the region.”

Now the TRUTH:

  • On September 3, there was a protest rally of 70,000 participants in the Czech Republic, according to police reports. The organizers demanded the government’s resignation and negotiations on purchasing gas and oil from russia. Some participants carried posters against the EU, NATO, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the “green course” for Europe, and the government’s refusal to cooperate with russia. Prime Minister Fiala said the demonstration was initiated by forces declaring their pro-russian position and opposing the interests of the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Prime Minister, the protests were the result of russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns. However, by announcing the same protests in other countries, propagandists confirm they are influencing the public opinion of Europeans, interfering in the political life of European citizens, and preparing for new propaganda campaigns.
  • The so-called US journalist Jackson Hinkle is a Kremlin mouthpiece for the Western audience. He does not express alternative views but views favorable to russia. It should be noted that a search for “Jackson Hinkle” yields results only on russian and pro-russian resources. russia has repeatedly used supposedly Western experts, who are mere propagandists repeating the same russian narratives. On the one hand, such individuals as Hinkle can influence the Western audience and, on the other hand, create an illusion for russians that their position is supported abroad.
  • No experiments on people are conducted in Ukraine. In particular, they have never been carried out in the Luhansk region or Donbas. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, russia has regularly exploited the idea of experiments reportedly conducted on Ukrainians in biological laboratories. According to propaganda outlets, these experiments’ goal was the alleged genocide of Ukrainians sponsored by the West or the testing of Western drugs on Ukrainians (drugs, vaccines, or “warfare drugs”). All this has been allegedly done to use Ukrainians as expendables to save the lives of Europeans and Americans. Such allegations are part of the narratives about Ukraine’s external governance and the West allegedly having no interest in Ukraine and Ukrainians, merely using them in its own interests. Pharmbiotest in Rubizhne is a scientific and diagnostic center conducting clinical research and providing medical care to residents of Rubizhne, Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Kreminna. Participation in clinical research is possible only voluntarily and on the condition that the candidate meets the research requirements. Overall, there are only 500 volunteers in the Pharmbiotest database, so the center could not impact the decline of the population by 150,000 people per year. On the other hand, a decrease in the population of the Luhansk region over the past eight years could be influenced by hostilities in the east of Ukraine, shelling of Ukrainian territories by russian troops, occupation, and migration from the war zone. After all, according to the State Statistics Service (despite limited access to population records in the temporarily occupied territories since 2014), the population of the Luhansk region did not decrease by 150,000 people annually.
  • The change of power in 2014 occurred because the then president, putin’s minion Yanukovych, decided to change the European vector of Ukraine’s development to a pro-russian one. Ukrainians disagreed with this and fought for their freedom and the right to develop in a civilized and democratic direction, electing the proper government. The same trends have persisted in society for the past eight years. It was russia that started the war in the east of Ukraine by occupying part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and holding pseudo-referendums to create quasi-republics “LNR” and “DNR.”

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 1 p.m. on September 5

  • the russian duma’s speaker Vyacheslav Zlovdan believes Washington and Brussels demand that Zelensky fight to the last Ukrainian. Women and children are merely expendables for them. Therefore, women should go abroad to avoid being affected by the innovation of registering women and sending them to the frontlines.
  • In Melitopol, the inscription of the city’s name on the rotunda on the Victory Square was changed from Ukrainian to russian in response to numerous requests from the city’s residents.
  • If you follow Ukraine’s version that russia was once part of Kievan Rus’, then russia is waging war for its independence from the Kyivan regime.
  • According to another pseudo-historic version from propagandists, russia invested considerable funds in Ukraine during Soviet times. It paid off all the debts of the USSR as its legal successor. Therefore, Ukraine, as a former USSR republic, is a separatist state feeling comfortable about its obligations being paid and its development financed by others.

Now the TRUTH:

  • In fact, neither the “collective West” nor Zelenskyy aimed to eliminate all Ukrainians in the war, including women and children. Despite the Cabinet of Ministers expanding the list of specialties for which women had to register for military service at the end of 2021, the Ministry of Defense explained already in July 2022 (i.e., during the full-scale war) that the Armed Forces did not need to increase the number of registered women. Currently, Parliament is working on a draft law to allow women to register for military service only voluntarily. However, it seems that the russian state duma’s authorities “missed” the news.
  • According to surveys conducted in late 2021 by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation regarding language and language law, 55.5% and 58.5% of respondents in the south and east of Ukraine, respectively, consider the Ukrainian language to be their native language. In the south and east, almost half of respondents who indicated Ukrainian as their mother tongue mainly communicates in russian at home. The gap shows that in the south and east, the perception of Ukrainian as a native language is often more of a marker of identity, with the actual use of languages being different due to historical reasons. Therefore, there is no real reason to believe that most Melitopol residents would indeed like to change the inscriptions in the city from Ukrainian to russian.
  • russia is waging a war of aggression. Despite propaganda outlets’ attempts to invent new justifications for attacking Ukraine, the fact remains that russia wants to occupy the entire territory of the country. Neither the president nor his propagandists hide their intentions in this regard by threatening to occupy other European countries. On the other hand, the russians’ attempts to call this war a struggle for their independence might mean that the so-called “denazification” and “demilitarization” versions no longer work for them. Therefore, to strengthen support for the so-called “special operation,” russia is borrowing (again!) ideas from Ukraine: this time regarding the struggle for independence.
  • For starters, russia, as the legal successor of the USSR, received many rights and obligations, particularly regarding compensation and satisfaction to the victims of Soviet crimes. It is expressly provided for in the agreement on succession regarding the USSR’s external state debt and assets. However, propaganda outlets omit this fact, trying to once again shift the blame for the so-called “separatism” and unwillingness to follow the totalitarian russian regime and willingness to build its own democratic country onto Ukraine.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on September 2

  • The West, in particular the UK, sabotages the conclusion of a peace agreement between Ukraine and russia in order to continue testing, advertising, and selling its weapons in Ukraine.
  • Ukraine imposes censorship of events at the frontlines. That is how the Ukrainian authorities try to hide the real problems by maintaining the illusion and staging the counter-offensive on Kherson.
  • Information spread online about the German publication Welt allegedly calling on Kyiv to acknowledge the loss of Donbas and the hopelessness of its attacks on Kherson, citing the article by the journalist Christoph Schiltz published on August 22, 2022.

Now the TRUTH:

  • The West does not sabotage the conclusion of a peace agreement, but it does not insist on it either because any peace concluded now with russians will not benefit Ukraine. russia would not agree to return the captured territories to Ukraine and would violate any non-binding agreements. Moreover, peace with russia would not be beneficial for the entire world either since it would actually mean the world does not recognize russia to be the aggressor and terrorist country. Therefore, russia would continue to function fully on the world stage. The goal of Ukraine and the whole world in the war against russia is to halt russia’s aggression and terrorism and limit its influence in the world.
  • There is no illusion of a counter-offensive on Kherson; Ukraine’s Armed Forces are gradually recapturing territory in the Kherson region. However, this operation is carried out in conditions of information silence, in particular, to not provoke the enemy or reveal our plans to them. Limiting the spread of military information in wartime is entirely appropriate since doing otherwise would harm the military and the country as a whole. On the other hand, russia is trying to distort reality and prove that if no one is talking about the counter-offensive, then it does not exist. Notably, despite the information silence about the situation in the Kherson region, russia comments on this topic the most, allegedly trying to convince russians and Ukrainians remaining in the temporarily occupied territories that nothing is actually happening.
  • This is manipulation. In the article, the journalist did not address the Ukrainian government or call on it to abandon its military goals. The conclusions made in the piece are the author’s opinion. He believes Ukraine has almost lost Donbas and some of its southern territories. However, in his opinion, the situation can be changed by increasing the West’s supplies of ammunition and weapons, especially MLRS, tanks, and air defense systems.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on September 2

  • The russian military does not torture, hold captive, or kill employees of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and Enerhodar. On the contrary, russian troops care for the safety of the citizens and ZNPP employees.
  • ZNPP employees testified that the Armed Forces attacked the plant, threatening nuclear safety.
  • russia does not shell residential areas and civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv; the strikes targeted only the Armed Forces’ places of deployment.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russian troops have occupied Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhia NPPs since early March. Facts about russians likely torturing the plant’s employees have been repeatedly reported by journalists citing ZNPP employees. Holding the plant’s workers under occupation contradicts nuclear safety requirements since they cannot perform their duties under normal conditions being constantly in danger instead.
  • ZNPP employees are being held under occupation, and the russian troops can threaten them for spreading the truth about what is actually happening at the ZNPP. Therefore, it cannot be said that the testimony of an employee about the ZNPP allegedly being shelled from the Ukrainian side is true. The employee could have been forced to say this on camera to once again support the narrative that Ukraine, not russia perpetrates nuclear terrorism.
  • The russians are shelling Kharkiv with missiles every day. Almost every time, this results in damaged residential buildings and civil infrastructure and dead and injured. However, russia continues to propagate the narrative about shelling exclusively military facilities, e.g., weapons depots or the Armed Forces deployments. Each time, it is merely an excuse for russia to kill Ukrainians and destroy the big Ukrainian city. On September 4, three people were injured in the city’s Novobavarskyi district due to a rocket attack by the occupiers. The projectile hit the ground, but the blast wave damaged private homes and a 10-story apartment building. Several more people were injured due to shelling in the area.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on September 1

  • Ukrainian Nazis engaged in shelling to disrupt IAEA delegation’s visit
  • Information spread online about the European Parliament reportedly discovering no evidence of russia sponsoring terrorism. MEP Gunnar Beck from the Alternative for Germany party is said to have stated this in an interview with the russian propaganda outlet Izvestiya.
  • Propaganda outlets spread information about alleged harassment and persecution of russian journalist Alina Lipp’s relatives in Germany, reporting the “truth” about events in Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories.

Now the TRUTH:

  • There is no objective evidence that Ukraine shelled the ZNPP since the Ukrainian military could only respond to russian shellings, not cause intentional damage to the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Moreover, Ukraine is absolutely not interested in disrupting the IAEA delegation’s visit because they must guarantee nuclear safety for Ukraine and Europe. Instead, it is to russia’s advantage to continue shelling the nuclear power plant during the IAEA visit to prove that Ukraine carries out atomic terrorism, with russia supposedly protecting the plant from possible attacks. russia has been trying to convince the whole world of this since the first days of the plant’s occupation.
  • Gunnar Beck cited the Saeima’s decision to recognize russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying it was “not backed by facts” or “strong evidence.” However, the Latvian Parliament named several instances of russia’s terrorist activities in the world: supplying weapons to the Assad regime in Syria, poisoning the Skripal family, shooting down flight MH17, and using arms and munitions prohibited by international standards to attack public places and civilians in Ukraine “with disproportionate cruelty.” The EU, UN, the US, and other countries have repeatedly condemned russian strikes on Ukraine’s territory, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.
  • Journalist Alina Lipp was born and raised in Germany; her mother is German, and her father is russian. Lipp was into environmental issues and a member of the Alliance 90/The Greens party in Germany. Since 2014, she has been spreading propaganda among the population of Germany and russia. In her Telegram channel, Lipp constantly says that in 2014 Ukraine was taken over by “fascists” allegedly killing the civilian population of Donbas. The main goal of russia’s invasion is presented as “protecting” the residents who have reportedly been “killed” by Ukraine for eight years. russia uses the same narrative to “justify” its invasion of Ukraine. There is no information to confirm that the journalist’s relatives are being persecuted. The German prosecutor’s office blocked Lipp’s account, which she used to collect funds to support her activities, transferring them into an account at a russian bank. Paypal also blocked the accounts of Lipp and her father, living in Crimea.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on August 31

  • Seizing as much territory as possible is crucial for the President’s Office to present this to Western partners as a trump card in the case of financial and military aid for Ukraine. Without great territorial success, it would complicate the process of negotiating aid deals for Ukraine and weaken the lobbyists’ position in the presidential office.
  • The attack on Kherson was only Kyiv’s psychological operation, not actual actions.
  • The Ukrainian military used NATO weapons to break the roof of the Zaporizhzhia NPP’s special-purpose facility, storing nuclear fuel.

Now the TRUTH:

  • First, note that pro-russian channels call the return of Ukrainian territories “seizing.” Second, returning Ukrainian lands is necessary not to gain help from partners but to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Of course, Western partners should see that their assistance is practical. However, the liberation of Kherson is primarily needed by Ukraine and Ukrainians, not to demonstrate something to Western partners.
  • It is to russia’s advantage to call the attack on Kherson PSYOP to prove that Ukraine’s Armed Forces have had no real success in the Kherson region, and all statements about freeing Kherson are nothing more than government talk. In reality, Kherson and the area are being liberated in silence so the enemy does not learn about the army’s plans and cannot disrupt them. Such statements may also be russia’s response to the Armed Forces destroying the russian army’s logistics routes, e.g., the Antonivka Bridge. In this way, russia tries to distract the audience’s attention from the AFU’s real successes.
  • By spreading such statements, russia pursues several goals: firstly, it tries to accuse NATO of supporting the so-called “nuclear terrorism” of Ukraine, and secondly, it continues the narrative that Ukraine has been shelling the ZNNP, with russia only protecting the station. Both allegations are false. Western partners provide us with weapons to contain russia, which is an enemy not only of Ukraine but also of all of Europe and the civilized world. The safety of all of Europe, including NATO member countries, depends on whether Ukraine survives this war. As for shelling the plant, russia has been lying about the situation at the ZNPP for five months without providing sufficient evidence of the Armed Forces carrying out the strikes. Each time, russia’s evidence of alleged shelling by the Ukrainian side turned out to be falsified or downright fake.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 10 a.m. on August 30

  • A photo circulated online showing a British warning about preparing for a cold winter because Ukraine needed more gas. On the billboard, a message read, “You’ll be cold this winter because they need it more,” printed over Ukraine’s flag’s blue and yellow colors.
  • The information was posted on pro-russian Facebook pages about Turkey reportedly recognizing the threat of developing biological weapons in Ukraine, sponsored by the United States. They cite a screenshot of a news story on one of the Turkish TV channels as evidence.
  • russian media outlets spread the news of Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, sending a letter to Poland with a proposal to rename the street in Warsaw where the russian embassy is located in honor of the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, Stepan Bandera.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Independent fact-checkers from Reuters debunked this fake news. According to their data, the photo was shared by Facebook and Twitter users. The post received over 20,000 likes and almost 5,000 shares on Twitter. However, the original billboard showed a poster for upcoming concerts in Manchester. The poster can be found on the website of the UK advertising agency KMS Media.
  • This is manipulation. The TV channel’s story was not about Turkey’s official statement but russia’s accusations against Ukraine. The Tele1 channel’s story featured no Turkish government or intelligence statements, nor did Turkey’s official representatives confirm russia’s allegations about bio-laboratories. In the Tele1 channel’s piece, they just spoke about russian accusations toward Ukraine and the USA. Since Tele1 did not refute russia’s allegations or provide Ukraine’s position, russian propagandists used the TV story to “present” the Turkish side’s official position. However, the TV channel’s story is not the Turkish government’s official statement (there was even no mention of Turkey’s reaction to the russian fake news).
  • This is fake: the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied information about correspondence with Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry regarding renaming the street in honor of Bandera. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated so on Twitter. The fake information was spread on Telegram by a pro-russian “hactivist persona,”  who had also disseminated content on the alleged deportation of Ukrainians from Poland. Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcin Przydacz, confirmed the letter was fake. Ukrainian state bodies also denied information about a request to rename a street in Warsaw.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on August 29

  • Strikes on the Antonivka Bridge in Kherson are ineffective because the entire bridge is intact and continues to be used by the russian military. US money goes down the sink in Ukraine, so the USA will soon stop supporting the Armed Forces and delivering weapons to Ukraine.
  • Ukraine continues to shell the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The damaged units cooling the reactors increase the risk of a nuclear disaster. In addition, Ukraine cut off the last power transmission line linked to the ZNPP.
  • Ukrainian refugees in Spain can become Big Pharma experimental rats and organ donors for illegal transplants.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Of course, russia will not admit that Ukraine’s Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out successful strikes on the Antonivskyi Bridge: practical enough to make russia’s formations gradually withdraw from Kherson and the region. Instead, russia tries to use the allegedly ineffective strikes on the bridge to its advantage, accusing Ukraine again of wasting the West’s money. However, if this were true, the USA and the EU would not continue supporting Ukraine and providing military and financial aid.
  • russia continues to shell the ZNPP to maintain the narrative of Ukraine being a terrorist country and divert the global community’s attention from recognizing russia as a source of terrorism. Fortunately, world leaders do not believe russia’s disinformation and therefore do not deem Ukraine to be behind attacks on the ZNNP. russian shelling damaged power transmission lines, posing a direct threat to Ukraine’s and Europe’s nuclear safety.
  • russia once again tried to convince us that Ukrainian refugees are not welcome in Europe and can even be dangerous. To this end, russian propaganda can exaggerate and distort refugees’ entirely true stories by inventing conspiracy theories, e.g., about Big Pharma and experiments on Ukrainians. Such fake news items aim to undermine Ukrainians’ trust in Western assistance and incline them to decide to stay here under russia’s occupation.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on August 28

  • Young people are unwilling to fight for Ukraine and die for Zelensky. They enter into conflict with the police and the military distributing summonses, particularly in Arkadia in Odesa.
  • Ukraine’s Armed Forces killed Oleksii Vadaturskyi in Mykolaiv with an S-300 missile on orders from another oligarch.
  • The US does not recognize that Ukraine sold Western weapons in the black markets to not lose their voters’ confidence before the fall elections.

Now the TRUTH:

  • First off, getting a summons does not mean being sent to the front lines, and most importantly, it is not a form of punishment, say, for resting on the beach. The summons obliges its recipient to visit a territorial recruitment and social support center (formerly an enlistment office) to update personal data, including one’s whereabouts, state of health, family composition, place of work or study, etc. The law does not regulate where summons can be served. Therefore, one can get them anywhere: at checking points, near a store, in a park, at their workplace, at home, at a gas station, etc. Summonses are authorized to be served by: territorial recruitment and social support center employees (the current name for enlistment offices), local self-government representatives, heads of educational institutions, and employers.
  • Overnight into July 31, russian troops shelled Mykolaiv. According to Dmytro Pletenchuk, regional military administration press officer, russian troops launched combined missile strikes on Mykolaiv that night, firing from the Smerch MRLS and S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. A pre-trial investigation into the death of the director general of the agricultural firm Nibulon, Oleksii Vadaturskyi, is underway. One version of the investigation is targeted murder. According to an adviser to the OPU head, Mykhailo Podoliak, the russian missiles hitting Vadaturskyi’s house were most likely not an accident.
  • The US Defense Department assured that they had no doubts about the weapons provided to Ukraine being adequately used. A US Defense Department representative said at a briefing on July 15 that the US side did not track the arms. “We feel pretty good that the Ukrainians are using the weapons that we’ve provided to them and have not seen any indications that those weapons have gone anywhere else other than to fight against the Russians,” the Pentagon representative said, commenting on rumors about alleged arms smuggling out of Ukraine. It makes no sense for Ukrainian authorities to smuggle weapons provided by Western allies since the country needs them to survive the war with russia. Notably, russia was the first to spread allegations about arms smuggling, not US or EU representatives. Therefore, russia tries to impose on the West the opinion that Ukraine reportedly resells weapons in black markets. In contrast, American and European institutions assure they do not see any signs of selling weapons to black markets.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 3 p.m. on August 27

  • The Pentagon announced they would no longer provide HIMARS to Ukraine. US Undersecretary of Defense Secretary Colin Kahl reported this at a journalists’ briefing.
  • Ukraine regularly fires on the Zaporizhzhia NPP and deliberately provokes a large-scale artificial disaster. Ukraine reportedly violated the resolution of the IAEA General Conference.
  • russian media outlets released a video showing Odesa residents waiting in queues for bread while Ukraine exported all of its grain.

Now the TRUTH:

  • This is manipulation. In reality, Colin Kahl said a stable supply of ammunition for HIMARS already available in Ukraine was the Pentagon’s priority, not the provision of new missile systems.
  • Ever since seizing the station, the russians have tried to shift the blame for shelling the ZNPP onto Ukraine. However, all their reports turned out to be false. Back in March, the IAEA passed a resolution condemning russia’s actions in Ukraine. They mentioned the resolution of the IAEA General Conference on attacks on nuclear facilities within the context of their being violated by russia.
  • In reality, there is no evidence that the people featured in the video were actually standing in line for bread. There are no large grocery stores in the yard near the residential building shown by the propaganda outlets. Also, there are no permanent points for handing out humanitarian aid at this address in Odesa.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on August 25

  • Ukraine struck the Chaplyne railway station in the Dnipropetrovsk region using American HIMARS. This was necessary to make Zelensky’s speech more effective before the UN Security Council.
  • Ukraine needed some victories before Independence Day to divert attention from real failures on the frontlines and its participation in the terrorist attack in moscow, killing darya dugina.
  • dugina’s portrait, crossed on the Myrotvorets website and captioned “liquidated,” is evidence of Ukraine’s involvement in her murder. vasili nebenzya, russia’s representative at the UN Security Council, spoke about this at the UN.
  • The Crimea Platform makes no sense because, apart from promises and slogans, there is no real benefit from it.
  • During the 31 years of independence, Ukraine has come to the point of complete non-independence since its attempts to integrate with the West only resulted in Ukraine merely becoming its appendage. Now the West is using Ukrainians to wage war against russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • russia fired missiles on the village of Chaplyne in the Dnipropetrovsk region twice in one day. The first enemy projectile destroyed a private house, burying three people (a woman and two children) under the rubble. The 11-year-old boy could not be saved. Then the russians fired a missile on the railway utility buildings and three more on the railway station. As of the evening of August 24, about five wagons were burned on the spot, and there were 22 human casualties, five of whom burned in the car.
  • Gee Willikers, the FSB said Natalia Vovk (a woman accused of murdering dugina) was a member of the Azov regiment. Right in time to justify russia’s recent recognition of Azov” as a terrorist organization and the upcoming illegal trial of the battalion’s POWs. Her case became another milestone in the big russian lie, namely the narrative that Ukraine should be recognized as a terrorist state at the international level. For starters, moscow now has, at least in its own eyes, the right to refuse negotiations without pretending to the russians and the civilized world that it wants peace. Propaganda outlets write that “the Kyiv regime has become a terrorist state.” There can be no negotiations with terrorists; they must be “destroyed, regardless of borders and distances.” Second, it can now articulate its key goal – the liquidation of Ukraine – even more fearlessly. “For some, their own statehood is not only not useful, but also harmful,” pro-Kremlin Telegram channels wrote. At dugina’s funeral, odious propagandists glorified russia’s “greatness” and fascism. Kiselyov said: “What should be russia’s response? Uncompromising denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.” Third, it is a way of getting the russians’ full support for even greater brutality against Ukraine. For russian society, Ukrainian authorities are now terrorists threatening them at home in russia. The russians can support the invasion even more, including missile strikes on “decision-making centers” and civilians or a trial over the captured Azov members.
  • russia’s representative in the UN Security Council, vasili nebenzya, is spreading fake news again. Although dugina is marked as liquidated on Myrotvorets, the site does not reflect Ukraine’s official position. darya dugina shared her father’s ideas, actively appearing on pro-Kremlin channels and supporting russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She said it was necessary to be tougher in conducting the war in Ukraine because the russians were fighting too carefully. And military tribunals had to be held in every Ukrainian city: Donetsk, Mariupol, etc.
  • The Crimean Platform made Ukraine’s partners finally pay attention to russia’s occupation of Crimea and recognize that Crimea should be Ukrainian. Diplomatic support for the return of Crimea laid the foundation for the financial and military support of Ukraine to return the temporarily occupied territories. Naturally, the Crimean Platform is not a quick solution for returning Crimea long awaited by society. However, overcoming the enemy without international support would be much more complex and time-consuming.
  • During its 31 years of independence, Ukraine became free from the post-Soviet past and russia’s influence. Ukraine chose a pro-European path of development, building democracy instead of a totalitarian regime characteristic of the countries that were part of the USSR. Ukraine must implement reforms as Western countries advise to become an EU member. That is what russia calls “external governance” over Ukraine. russia does not like this path of development, trying to seize Ukraine and return it to its control.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 2 p.m. on August 23

  • russian philosopher aleksandr dugin, whose daughter was killed last week, never called for the extermination of Ukrainians
  • According to russia’s FSB, darya dugina (a daughter of the philosopher Oleksandr Dugin) was killed by Natalia Vovk, a Ukrainian citizen and member of the Azov battalion and the National Guard of Ukraine.
  • Britain insists that Ukraine continue nuclear terrorism at the NPP so that NATO has a reason to bring in its troops and attack russia.

Now the TRUTH:

  • Many years ago, Western experts defined dugin as one of the prominent Kremlin ideologues promoting fascist ideas. aleksandr dugin is called the ideologist of the so-called “Neo-Eurasianism” movement. The far-right philosopher advocates the idea of creating a “Eurasian superpower,” supposedly with russia at its center, by absorbing (i.e., destroying) neighboring countries, including Ukraine. That is how the “Eurasian empire,” the russian believes, would stand up against the US and NATO. According to Dugin, neighboring countries cannot exist as separate, independent states: they must dissolve to become part of the new superpower. Any national ideas and manifestations would interfere with the idea.
  • russia’s FSB identified dugina’s murderer in just 44 hours. As luck would have it, the long-suffering Azov regiment was not spared here either. However, the special services’ arguments are weak and devoid of logic. Natalia Vovk’s ID, shown by russian media outlets, is probably a photo-edited and fake item.
  • These russian allegations are devoid of logic. For starters, it makes no sense for Britain, NATO, or any European country to insist that Ukraine provoke an accident at the ZNPP since Europe could also suffer from a cloud of radioactive dust. Second, the russian military carries out nuclear terrorism by keeping the plant’s workers under occupation, deploying equipment and ammunition at the ZNPP, damaging the devices and sensors that should signal a radiation leakage, and threatening to disconnect the ZNPP from the Ukrainian grid.

russia’s THREATS, PROVOCATIONS, and DISINFORMATION as of 9 a.m. on August 22

  • Social media posted information about how well Ukraine was prepared for the russian invasion. Users claimed Ukraine should have purchased 120 NASAMS-3 air defense systems instead of implementing the Big Construction program. One hundred and twenty systems reportedly cost $2.6 billion (UAH 72 billion), i.e., 15% of the total amount spent on Big Construction.
  • russian media posted information about alleged plans to draft pensioners into the Ukrainian army. They made this conclusion based on an interview with the ex-head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Mykola Malomuzh.
  • Social media disseminated information about events like mass protests, changes of power, and “state defaults” due to the world’s economic, fuel, food, and resource crisis due to occur within the next 12 months. All these problems would arise because of the “Ukrainian crisis.” Users also said the crisis could have been avoided had Ukraine fulfilled the Minsk agreements.
  • Information spread online about Ukrainians burning down a wooded area in Spain after they burned a russian flag on camera. Users reported seeing the news feed of the Spanish TV channel RTVE read, Ukrainian refugees burned the area by setting fire to a russian flag on camera. 

Now the TRUTH:

  • The issue of purchasing weapons is not only economic but also political. In order to gain access to modern weapons, consent from the countries having these weapons is required. Before russia’s full-scale invasion, NATO countries refrained from passing air defense systems to Ukraine, except for man-portable air-defense systems (Manpads) like Stinger. And even during the russian attack, Western countries did not immediately open access to advanced weapons. Only on July 1 did the USA announce it would pass 2 NASAMS batteries to Ukraine. Until February 2022, Ukraine repeatedly expressed interest in buying Western air defense systems. For instance, back in August 2018, Valery Chalyi, the then ambassador of Ukraine to the USA, said Ukraine was looking into purchasing American air defense systems worth $750 million per unit. The ambassador did not specify the systems’ model, saying Ukraine expressed the request during negotiations with the USA. In September 2021, Oleksiy Reznikov, then Minister for Reintegration of the Occupied Territories, said Ukraine had asked the U.S. to strengthen its air defense capabilities. In December 2021, Minister of Defense Reznikov once again called on Western countries to hand over new weapons, particularly anti-aircraft missile complexes. That same month, CNN reported that Ukraine’s representatives argued for the need to receive U.S. air defense systems (e.g., Patriot). However, the United States was concerned that passing such weapons would provoke russia. In other words, even if Ukraine had had “extra” money to buy Western air defense systems, it is unlikely that NATO countries would have agreed to pass them to the Armed Forces.
  • Mykola Malomuzh did not mention retirees during his July 21 interview. He said: “Now we need to prepare for a strategic offensive. To accomplish this we must prepare mighty reserves. I emphasize again that we’re mobilizing many service members, including reserve members with military experience. Those with experience in the ATO and serving in hot spots and even Afghanistan.” Reserve conscripts are citizens fit for military service in terms of health in peacetime or wartime who have not reached the age limit for being in reserve. The age limit depends on the military rank (60 years old for junior and senior officers and 65 years for high-level officers). During martial law in Ukraine, citizens aged 18 to 60 (except high-level officers in the reserve of up to 65 years of age) who can perform military duty can be mobilized. Men in Ukraine retire at 60, provided they have the required pensionable service record. (Someone with an insufficient pensionable history can retire later). It should be mentioned that on March 24, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada adopted draft law No.7180, allowing military members (privates, sergeants, starshynas, and junior and senior officers to serve up to 65 of age if voluntarily requested. According to applicable laws, the maximum service age for these soldiers is 60 years old. The bill was voted for and submitted to be signed by the president on April 2. However, as of August 19, the document still remained unsigned and thus was not yet in effect.
  • The primary source was a post on the Telegram channel Legitimny dated July 15, 2022. The channel’s authors did not indicate the source or provide any arguments for why Ukraine is allegedly responsible for the possible crisis. Earlier, the SBU said the Telegram channel collaborates with russian special services, regularly disseminating disinformation about Ukraine. russia carried out aggression against Ukraine back on February 20, 2014. Another stage of russian aggression (i.e., a full-scale invasion) began on February 24, 2022. russia is to be held responsible for aggressive actions because Ukraine did not resort to provocations or violate russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Although russia also accused Ukraine of violating the Minsk agreements, it had repeatedly violated all peace agreements itself. In particular, russia and its controlled forces in Donbas had violated the ceasefire regime and recognized the quasi-republics of the LPR/DPR prior to the large-scale invasion.
  • The banner with the news feed in the shared video was edited. In a program on July 22, the news feed read: “Detienen a un conductor de vtc por abusar de una pasajera en Madrid mientras conducía drogado ” (“VTC driver was arrested for abusing a passenger in Madrid while driving under influence”). There was no mention of Ukrainian refugees purportedly burning the area or setting fire to a russian flag on camera. The