In this issue, we refute the fakes that doctors are being mobilized en masse in the Volyn region and that the human reproduction clinic offers clients the “reproductive tissue” of Azovstal defenders. And we also explain why the accusations of Russian intelligence that Ukraine keeps Western weapons at its nuclear power plants and threatens the world with a nuclear disaster are absurd.
With the support of the USAID Health Reform Support project, VoxCheck analyzes and refutes public health narratives spread in the information space of Ukraine, Belarus, and russia on a weekly basis.
Disinformation: Ukrainian clinic offers clients “reproductive tissues of Azovstal defenders
Allegedly the advertisement of the “Alternatyva” human reproduction clinic, in which the facility offers “reproductive tissues of Azovstal defenders”, is being distributed on Telegram channels and Twitter.
Screenshot of publication
What’s the reality?
“Alternatyva” clinic did not conduct any similar promotions. There are no similar ads on the clinic’s website or on its pages on social networks. All pages are maintained under the same name — “Clinic Alternatyva”. The full name of the clinic is used only on the logo on the main website and some promotional materials. In addition, the standard design of advertising offers published on the clinic’s pages is significantly different from the announcement about the “reproductive tissues” of the defenders of Azovstal.
An example of a clinic advertisement. Source: Facebook page of the clinic “Alternatyva”
If we turn to the legislation, Ukraine does not yet have a separate law regulating assisted reproductive materials. The project of the relevant bill was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration in January 2022. The requirements for a sperm donor are established by the Procedure for the use of assisted reproductive technologies in Ukraine, approved by the Ministry of Health.
Thus, the selection of a sperm donor is based on the phenotypic characteristics of an anonymous donor. Phenotype is such features and characteristics of an organism as gender, skin color, eye color, body proportions, and mental and emotional state. There is no mention of the dissemination of information on the type of activity of the donor. Moreover, the materials are used only after six months of frozen storage and repeated inspection. Half a year ago, the fighters of Azovstal were in Russian captivity.
Disinformation: In the Volyn region, doctors are being mobilized en masse, and there are not enough ambulances because they have all been given to the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Information is being spread online that the Volyn region allegedly regularly transfers ambulances for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as a result of which there is a shortage of ambulances. The authors also note that many doctors were mobilized to the 14th separate mechanized brigade named after Prince Roman the Great, so a shortage of professional personnel began.
Screenshot of publication
What’s the reality?
A reverse search of the photos used to illustrate this publication in Google Images showed that these photos were taken during the final meeting of the medical board of the Volyn Medical Center of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine. This post was published on January 19 on the Facebook page of the Volyn Regional Council.
The head of the center, Volodymyr Shmal, said that in 2022, the medical institution transferred nine sanitary cars to the military hospital and the medical service of the 14th separate mechanized brigade, and Lithuania provided three more as part of humanitarian aid.
However, the head of the center did not say about the shortage of ambulances. On the contrary, in November 2022, he reported that 72 brigades were working at the medical center, which were equipped with new special vehicles. And in December, the Volyn Regional Council reported that seven more teams of doctors with medical vehicles and equipment had joined the regional center of emergency medical care. On January 26, the Volyn regional administration reported that the center’s vehicle fleet was replenished with five more cars. Three ambulances were purchased from the state budget, and two more thanks to the business initiative.
The Volyn Regional Council often announces that it is handing over cars to the front. However, these are SUVs and minibuses purchased with the money of volunteers and not just ambulances. Instead, there were no official reports about the shortage of ambulances because they were given to the needs of the Armed Forces, so Telegram channels made up this news.
The fact that all the doctors in the Volyn region were mobilized was not reported either in the Volyn Medical Center of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine or in other medical institutions of the region. Instead, at the meeting on January 19, the photo of which was distributed by Telegram channels, Volodymyr Shmal said that some “emergency” doctors retired, and others went to work in hospitals where emergency medical care departments were opened. “Currently, we are replacing doctors with medical assistants who are doing a great job with the assigned tasks. Moreover, the Ministry of Health plans to replace doctors with paramedics and medical assistants,” Shmal said. He did not talk about the mobilization of doctors.
In general, doctors are subject to the same rules as workers in other professions. Medics cannot be mobilized if they are booked for the period of mobilization, declared unfit for service due to their health, have three or more children under 18 years of age to support, etc. You can find out more about the postponement of the draft in the law “On mobilization training and mobilization”.
Source: data from open sources
Disinformation: Ukraine stores Western weapons and ammunition on the territory of the Rivne NPP
Russian media and Telegram channels are spreading information that the Ukrainian military is allegedly storing Western weapons and ammunition in the territories of the NPP. The publications also state that at the end of 2022, several wagons of ammunition were delivered from abroad to the Rivne NPP through the Rafalivka railway station.
What’s the reality?
The Presidential Office denied disinformation about the alleged storage of Western weapons at the NPP, stating that Ukraine is always open to the inspection of the stations, in particular by IAEA employees.
The IAEA has already sent its employees to all Ukrainian nuclear plants. Specialists began work permanently at the Zaporizhzhia, Rivne, Chornobyl, South Ukrainian, and Khmelnytskyi NPPs. The head of the agency, Raphael Grossi, reported on January 24, 2023, that during the inspection, experts did not find Ukrainian military equipment at the NPP.
At the same time, propagandists are trying to deny the dangerous activities of the Russian military on the territory of the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP. Earlier, Energoatom reported that the Russian Federation was preparing further provocations at the occupied ZNPP, in particular, placing Grad anti-aircraft missiles on the territory of the station to fire at Ukrainian cities. In November, the Russian military restricted the IAEA mission’s access to the station in order to cover up its crimes.
Simultaneously, Russia does not provide any evidence that Ukraine stores Western weapons at its nuclear plants. The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service said that the Ukrainian authorities are allegedly placing weapons at the nuclear power plant, expecting that Russian forces will not attack them. This directly contradicts the facts: the Russians have already struck Ukrainian nuclear power plants and in close proximity to the facilities.
For example, on September 19, Russia launched a missile attack on the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant when the missile fell 300 meters from the nuclear reactors. The “South” Operational Command reported that the strike was carried out by Iskander. Previously, it was repeatedly recorded how Russian cruise missiles flew over the nuclear power plant itself. Russian troops also systematically shelled the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. On September 5, due to the Russian shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the last line connecting the plant to the energy system of Ukraine was even disconnected.
This information piece was produced with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided on behalf of the people of the United States of America. This article’s content, which does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, is the sole responsibility of Deloitte Consulting under contract #72012118C00001.
The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations