With Lies and Manipulation:
That's How Ukrainian Politicians Spent The Year 2020

Authors: VoxCheck team
The first ranking of liars was published in late 2017, covering only two months. The first ranking of liars was published in late 2017, covering only two months. The subsequent rankings have been released each year and show which top politicians lied, manipulated, or spoke truths the most during the year.

The rankings mainly aim to draw attention to the politicians' words broadcast widely in the media, lots of lies and manipulation. Therefore, the task of both journalists and consumers of information is to evaluate what we see, hear and read critically.

Hopefully, the readers of this article will fact-check the statements of political figures and not take on faith everything that the channels' frequent guests are saying.
In 2020, just as in 2019, the "gold medal" in the number of lies goes to Vadym Rabinovych. Close on his heels are Nestor Shufrych and Oleksandr Dubinskyi. Yuliia Tymoshenko ended up in the middle of the rankings in 2020 even though she provided much more factual quotes than her colleagues in Parliament. Poroshenko was twice as more truthful as the leader of Batkivshchyna, while Volodymyr Zelensky was even 60% more truthful than Poroshenko. However, the President still spoke truths in less than half of the cases. And this is a deterioration compared to 2019, when 53% of the President's statements were true.

The politicians' rhetoric became more categorical compared with the previous year: they mainly spoke untruths or truths, using manipulation but hardly ever exaggerating.

Figure 1.
The 2020 rankings of liars
How we calculated
In 2020, we watched all of the country's leading political talk shows (the detailed methodology is reported at the end of this article), picking up factual quotes, i.e., those that can be fact-checked. It is impossible to fact-check value judgments or statements about something that "needs" to be done or about the future.

42 politicians provided at least one factual quote, but we selected 21 from those with at least 10 such statements. The rankings do not include quotes without a verdict or technical errors. Overall, there are 736 quotes in the rankings.
OPFL and Servant of the People are most represented in the rankings (Table 1). Batkivshchyna and European Solidarity are only slightly behind. Only one MP represents the For Future party, namely its chairman, Ihor Palytsia. As for Holos, Serhiy Rakhmanin did have factual quotes, but they were too few to be included in the rankings.

Traditionally, the rankings are topped by Yuliia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna faction. In 2020, she provided 167 factual quotes, which is approximately twice as much as in the 2019 ranking, when we fact-checked her 82 statements. Batkivshchyna's leader often speaks on political talk shows and takes part in the Verkhovna Rada's briefings.

MP Oleksandr Kachnyi of OPFL and President Volodymyr Zelensky ended up among the three leaders in the number of quotes that can be fact-checked. Kachnyi often attended political shows, especially those aired on the TV channels sanctioned and shut down by the National Security and Defense Council, i.e. NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelensky rarely appeared on political talk shows. All his quotes included in the rankings were taken from his speeches in Verkhovna Rada and interviews.

Next, let us look at what the leaders of the ranking of liars spoke about, whether there is a difference between the "old" and the "new" faces, and, overall, what topics were discussed in 2020.
Internal poverty and external governance: how and what the "anti-rankings" leaders lied about in 2020
As shown in Figure 1, the "top five liars" include four OPFL representatives and Oleksandr Dubinskyi, whose rhetoric is not too different from theirs.

At the same time, compared to 2019, the proportion of untruths spoken by the rankings leader, Rabinovych, grew significantly, from 47% to 68%. Shufrych and Kachnyi started to use manipulation more often. Despite a slight increase in the proportion of false statements, the proportion of truths fell from 11% to 6% and from 14% to 8%, respectively (Dubinskyi and Kuzmin were not included in the 2019 rankings).

In 2020, the "top five liars" most often spread fakes and used manipulation that one can often come across in Russian media regarding the poverty allegedly caused by the collapse of the USSR, land and healthcare reforms, the IMF and external governance, as well as tariffs and public utilities. There was less talk about language issues and the Russo-Ukrainian war.
"How long can we stay poor?
A great country that was the world's 6th
largest economy in 1991, and where
cooking pots are made at Yuzhmash today."
29/09/2020 (4:52:52-4:52:59)
In 1991, Ukraine was 19th in terms of the economy's size among the world's countries (by GDP adjusted by purchasing power parity). And 23rd in terms of industrial production. And, by the way, cooking pots are not made at Pivdenmash.
"Over the six years of the Russian
aggression, there's not a single dead
Russian soldier or prisoner."

10/06/2020 (01:33:40-01:33:49)

Since the very beginning of the war, the Russian Federation has been concealing the presence of Russian military troops in eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Putin signed a decree on classified information about military losses in peacetime during special operations. There is thus no official statistics from Russia on the number of dead there.

However, the JFO press center regularly publishes information about losses in Russia's armed forces. In 2019, 619 losses of Russian occupation forces were recorded in Donbas, with 49 Russian soldiers killed in June 2020.

Furthermore, a report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner mentions 5,650 losses of "armed groups" during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Also, in Russia, there were investigations of the deaths of Russian service members in Donbas. However, Russian authorities do not recognize the results of those investigations.

The Russian soldiers that were taken prisoners in Ukraine serve as yet another proof of the aggression. And Russia did recognize these service members by agreeing to an exchange of prisoners.

For instance, in 2016, Nadiia Savchenko was exchanged for two Russian GRU officers (GRU is Russia's main intelligence directorate) — Yevgeny Erofeev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov. There were other instances where Ukraine captured Russian service members : paratroopers, GRU special forces officers, etc.

Finally, the presence of Russians in Donbas is evidenced both by the satellite photos of Russian military convoys in Ukraine and the photos posted by Russian soldiers on social networks.

"Our spirit is being killed, look! Gambling's allowed. Prostitution's been
registered, I mean, the bill to legalize prostitution. Legalizing drugs,
they've registered all that. Same-sex marriages are coming up. Wham-bam
abolished – the law that didn't allow anyone to change their patronymic –
now they enable children to change their patronymic."
14/07/2020 (05:44:49-05:45:25)
Ban on the gambling business did not lead to its disappearance but led it into the "shadow", with all the negative consequences. As provided for by the law, legalizing the gambling business means government regulation, business entities' liability, and sanctions to be imposed in the case of abuses and violations, which also contributes to replenishing the state budget.

The Verkhovna Rada does not have under consideration any bills legalizing prostitution or permitting same-sex marriages. In 2015, MPs tried to include the legalization of prostitution in bill No.3139, but the project was later withdrawn, and so it did not get onto Parliament's agenda.

The legalization of medical cannabis, whichhas been under discussion for several years, does not mean the legalization of narcotics. According to the WHO, cannabis containing the psychoactive component - tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – in up to 0.2% is not a narcotic substance, and therefore should not be regulated by international conventions on narcotic drugs. The medical version of cannabis is thus a medicine, not a narcotic drug. It has analgesic, sedative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Its legalization is needed by patients with terminal cancer and palliative care patients to alleviate the suffering, epileptic patients to reduce the frequency of seizures, and people with Alzheimer's to slow the progression of the disease.

The bill on changing the patronymic was passed in the first reading on June 3, 2020. Ukrainians got the right to change their patronymic in addition to the right to change their first name and surname. Anyone who has reached the age of 16, i.e., not a child, will be able to change their patronymic at their discretion.

By the way, in 2013, the European Court of Human Rights declared the lack of such a legal right a violation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. However, having the right to change the patronymic does not mean that Ukrainians will start to do it en masse. Those who need it will now have this opportunity

"Because the country is, in essence, externally governed. Because the so-called funds – you may call them funds, banks, IMFs – that granted loans to Ukraine are dictating their terms regarding domestic and foreign policies of our state. They tell us to appoint someone, whether someone needs to be fired, and whether someone can be appointed, like a certain Mister Leshchenko, a former journalist, to Ukrzalisnytsia's supervisory board with the salary of 300 thousand hryvnias per month for working two hours per day."
21/04/2020 (04:27:45-04:28:22)
First of all, international funds do not dictate their terms regarding the political directions of Ukraine. The IMF provides loans at a low-interest rate when a country's government promises to carry out the necessary reforms and return the funds in the future. Together with the Fund's representatives, a plan for changes is developed to improve the economic situation and achieve sustainable growth.

The World Bank assists in implementing economic reforms through consultations, joint economic research and approval of loans to carry out reforms.

The EBRD provides targeted loans for private and public projects. Financing is provided in the following three main areas: the financial sector, energy and infrastructure.

Secondly, a candidate for a state representative sitting on the supervisory board must meet several requirements. The government decided to appoint Serhiy Leshchenko to this position on December 18, 2019. International institutions never talk about names but procedures and rules only, including appointment rules. Therefore, the decision to appoint Leshchenko to UZ was approved by the Cabinet independently. Leshchenko's salary was indeed over UAH 300 thousand a month.
"What is the role of the 15 American laboratories working with biological material in Ukraine? According to some sources, they're working with bacteriological weapons. 15 American labs in Ukraine <...> it might be possible that Suprun was planted into the Ukrainian… Cabinet of Ministers to oversee or give cover to these 15 American laboratories. What is the current Minister, Smirnov, going to do? I think the same. Because Poroshenko's policies are continued by President Zelensky, which means that some Suprun 2 will appear in Ukraine."

01/04/2020 (48:07-49:00)
In reality, there is no evidence of US laboratories operating on the territory of Ukraine or producing biological weapons. The US Embassy in Ukraine dismissed this information, reminding of the existence of a US-Ukraine cooperation program in biological threat prevention since 2005 (Ulana Suprun has nothing to do with this program).

This agreement was signed to prevent the spread of technology, pathogens and expertise that could be used to develop biological weapons. Under the program, the United States can provide support to Ukrainian laboratories. Information that Renat Kuzmin tried to convey does not correspond to reality and has been debunked by Ukrainian media.
The COVID-19 crisis, land market and local elections: what are the most discussed topics in 2020?
Politicians started 2020 by addressing quite familiar topics. On TV, they mainly spoke about electricity and gas tariffs, the state of the economy, Ukraine's cooperation with the IMF, foreign policy, etc.

Already in February, the entire focus of the political debate was moved to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus sparked a discussion on healthcare reform. Unfortunately, lies and manipulations surrounding it are not getting fewer in number.
On the contrary, many politicians said that due to the ongoing process of healthcare reform, Ukraine has been going through the pandemic worse than if no reform were underway.

The main topics for manipulation were abolishing the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, a reduction in the number of hospitals and patient capacity. According to the politicians, all of this failed to prepare the healthcare system for the pandemic.

"A couple of words about why it happened with… the preparation for the coronavirus. First, because actually, there was no operational epidemiological service, it was liquidated during the time of Petro Poroshenko, to start with."
27/04/2020 (33:30-33:43)
Not only Ukraine but the entire world was not ready for the pandemic. The Sanitary Service was finally abolished in Ukraine in 2017 because its tasks were performed by the Ministry of Health, the Labor Service and the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (i.e. in point of fact, the Sanitary Service was a backup body). Currently, the functions of the epidemiological service are performed by the Center for Public Health and the Ministry of Health, with sanitary and epidemiological laboratories still operating as before.
"And they spent five years on this medical reform. And you know how it should be. That when the epidemic hit, and if you've got your healthcare reform right, you wouldn't need volunteers, ordinary people to provide hospitals with everything they need. You'd have a working healthcare system that would provide complete protection against the COVID-19 disease".
25/05/2020 (54:21-54:47)
No country was 100% ready for the pandemic. For many countries, the pandemic became just as challenging as it was for Ukraine. The problem is not Ukraine's healthcare reform but global unreadiness for pandemics.

Healthcare reform is in no way associated with the country's vulnerability to pandemics. This reform provided for more efficient use of funds (e.g. the principle of "money follows the patient"). This principle enabled the hospitals treating patients with Covid-19 to receive more funds.
During the whole year, there were discussions around the need to go into lockdown in Ukraine. Some politicians argued that the Government was "dealing a death blow" to Ukraine's economy by introducing another lockdown. Others said that strict quarantine restrictions were belatedly introduced, due to which the country had higher incidence and mortality rates. There was also much controversy surrounding the "coronavirus budget".
"Parliament allocated nearly 66 billion hryvnias. And instead of
spending it on tests, oxygen, doctors and, say, on the vaccine,
right, what did they do? Right, they buried it [the money] in the
asphalt instead of saving people."

19/11/2020 (28:50-29:03)

Out of the "coronavirus" 66 billion, the largest part (35 billion) was indeed allocated for the Ministry of Infrastructure. However, UAH 16 billion was spent on the Ministry of Health, including providing medical staff with individual means of protection, paying higher salaries, purchasing equipment, and on the construction, renovation, and repairs of admission wards of hub hospitals in the hospital districts.

Construction of roads increased domestic demand for labor and industrial products used in road construction. Thanks to this, the economy declined by less than it could have (according to the NBU estimates, by 1.2 percentage points). Ukraine is not the only country in which the Government increased spending on infrastructure to support the economy. And although you could question whether the "coronavirus" money was spent wisely, it is not true to say that it was not spent on the things listed by the quote's author.

"Israel killed its economy when it locked down the country. It was a stupid, unfounded decision."


According to Israel's central bank forecast, two scenarios were considered for the economic situation development: optimistic and pessimistic. The optimistic scenario assumed that the disease could be taken under control without applying many additional restrictions. In this case, the forecasted reduction in GDP in 2020 was 4.5%. Under the pessimistic scenario, it was assumed that economic activity would be moderate as a result of additional restrictions due to higher incidence rates. Accordingly, GDP would decline by 7%. However, this did not mean "killing" the economy. All the economies around the globe suffered because of the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to IMF data, Israel's economy suffered less than the economy of other developed countries.
Some manipulated talking about healthcare and the coronavirus and disseminated fake news about COVID-19 vaccines live on television. For instance, Oleksandr Dubinskyi said that the coronavirus disease is the same as the flu.
"The coronavirus is no different from the flu. And if you get the seasonal flu, then the growth rate of seasonal flu patients is more or less equal to the rate of spread of the coronavirus."

13/10/2020 (01:12:19-01:12:30)

Doctors, scientists and the WHO have proved several times that the coronavirus disease and influenza are different both in terms of the course and spread of disease. Specifically, one COVID-19 patient can infect up to 5 people while one flu patient — less than 2. The ten cycles of transmission of flu viruses can make 56 people ill, while this figure is 2,000 for COVID-19.
The representatives of the Opposition Platform – For Life party used disinformation to advertise the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and discredit Western vaccines. Particularly frequent statements about the really "efficient" Russian drug were heard on the now-closed Medvedchuk's pool of channels, namely 112, NewsOne and ZIK.
"Look, Viktor Medvedchuk goes to Moscow and arranges for the Russian vaccine to be supplied to Ukraine out of turn. And it's despite the fact that every fourth country in the world is in the queue for the vaccine. No, the US Embassy in Ukraine prohibits the Ukrainian state from buying the Russian vaccine."
Firstly, Ukraine will not buy the Russian vaccine, not because of the US Embassy's prohibition, but because the vaccine has not ultimately proven its efficacy and safety. And also because Ukraine is in a state of war with Russia.

Secondly, "every fourth country in the world" does not line up for Sputnik V.As of February 2021, only 13 countries signed supply contracts out of 194. Among them are Belarus, India, China and Kazakhstan.
"The American Pfizer vaccine that's so much advertised today and presented as a solution to the problem not only shows its inefficiency, but I'll be sincere with you, it's dangerous. Because six of those people who participated in the American vaccine testing programs have already died."
The Pfizer vaccine's effectiveness is confirmed by studies conducted according to international standards. The vaccine of Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech passed Phase III trials, where the vaccine proved that it is 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

There were no severe side effects among more than 40,000 adults who took two vaccine doses. There were deaths among those who received the vaccine, but they were not associated with vaccination. After all, many people were inoculated, and, naturally, some of them died during the year. However, "after" does not mean "due to".
Besides the pandemic, politicians actively discussed the land market. In March 2020, Parliament passed the law lifting the moratorium on the sale of land. However, some politicians did not give up the fight against it. It was argued that, as a result of opening up the market, all of Ukraine's land would be bought by foreigners or oligarchs. Or that land prices in Ukraine were understated compared to other countries. Very often, such narratives were part of the Batkivshchyna and OPFL factions' rhetoric.
"There (in the law on circulation of agricultural land — ed.) they've retained the foreign banks' right to own land. And I'm willing to ask you this: if they leave it there, where do our Ukrainian farmers… during the time of economic, financial crisis, epidemics, when almost the entire world falls, where do they get the money to compete with the Western, big global banks to buy their miserable 100 ha?".
30/03/2020 (46:11-46:36)
Foreign banks can obtain the right to own land only to collect this land as collateral. Banks, however, must sell the land within two years. The law provides that only citizens of Ukraine or legal entities whose members/participants are exclusively Ukrainians can own agricultural land. Purchases by foreigners will be possible only under conditions of positive results of a referendum on this issue.
"And if our neighbors from so-called Eastern Europe have the cost of land of an average of 10 thousand euros per hectare already today."
14/01/2020 (04:02:23-04:02:31)
Land prices in Eastern European countries vary from EUR 3.1 thousand per hectare in Estonia, and EUR 3.4 thousand in Slovakia to EUR 7.5 thousand in the Czech Republic and EUR 10.3 thousand in Poland, i.e. EUR 10 thousand is not the average price. Low land prices in Ukraine are a consequence of there being no land market.
Many false statements and manipulations were also spawned from the so-called "anti-Kolomoisky" law, passed in May 2020.

Among other popular topics discussed in 2020 were the local elections, the Constitutional Court's decision to abolish anti-corruption laws, utility prices, the war in Donbas and releasing the prisoners of war.
The "new" and the "old": who was more honest?
The new politicians often say that they are qualitatively different from the previous authorities. Such statements proved accurate, although not without remark. Four of the five most honest politicians are the following Servant of the People MPs: Maryna Bardina, Oleksandr Kachur, Halyna Yanchenko, and Davyd Arakhamia. Among the top five, there is also Iryna Herashchenko of European Solidarity. The previous rankings of the new most honest politicians included only Dmytro Razumkov and Volodymyr Zelensky.
"There are not so many countries left in the world, about a dozen, that don't have a land market yet, in which there is a moratorium on land. These are North Korea, Venezuela, Congo, and Tajikistan."
14/01/2020 (03:42:31-03:42:56)
When this statement was made (January 2020), the land market did not operate in at least 7 countries, such as Congo, Cuba, North Korea, Tajikistan, Venezuela, Belarus and Ukraine.
"As for land, actually, the law will apply in part, in a very limited part beginning in July next year. It will work only for people, for those like us, not for companies. People will be able to buy land if they want to relocate to a village, begin developing a small farm there. Each person can buy up to 100 hectares of land."
04/08/2020 (05:25:58-05:26:20)
Indeed, citizens of Ukraine will get the right to purchase agricultural land starting on July 1, 2021, while legal entities founded by Ukrainian citizens will do so in two years, in 2024. Natural persons will be able to own up to 100 ha and legal entities 10 thousand ha, starting in 2024. Communal and state land cannot be sold.
"The chairperson from our political party submitted a bill to increase
the minimum subsistence level to at least 40% of the average salary.
It should be about 5 thousand hryvnias for each citizen".
22/01/20 (02:01:11-02:01:27)
We are talking about bill No.1175-3 initiated by H.Tretiakova (Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans) in September 2019. It proposes to set the size of the subsistence minimum at not less than 40% of the average monthly salary for December of the year preceding the year of drawing the State Budget of Ukraine for the next year. The average salary in December 2019 amounted to UAH 12.264, i.e. the 40% is UAH 4.905.

On March 23, 2020, the project was sent back for revision.
"During this year of Zelensky's presidency, according to the Ministry
of Defense, more than a hundred Ukrainian soldiers have been killed."

22/05/20 (02:14:55-02:15:01)
From May 20, 2019 (Zelensky's inauguration day) to May 22, 2020, the combat losses in the Ukrainian defense and law enforcement agencies amounted to 104 people.
How different are the lies of the "predecessors" from those of the "new faces"?
The new and old politicians differ in the number of statements per year and the veracity of those statements. However, when they resort to lying, they use similar manipulative techniques.

Take, for example, Volodymyr Zelensky (51 statements, 45.1% truths) and Petro Poroshenko (18 statements, 27.8% truths). When the current President needs to mention his team's achievements, he uses manipulation by the previous government and, conversely, exaggerates the recent results.

"Now, in our country, a civil servant earns a maximum of 47 thousand hryvnias. And it used to be millions. We have changed that."
22/04/2020 (05:37-05:46)
On April 13, 2020, amendments to the state budget were approved in connection with the quarantine that limited the salaries paid to employees of budgetary institutions to 10 times the minimum wage. But this restriction is to be applied temporarily during the quarantine period. Also, this maximum amount does not include the amounts additionally paid for rehabilitation, financial assistance to tackle social issues, etc.

In February 2020, there was talk about limiting the salaries of ministers and heads of state-owned enterprises (but not all civil servants). By the way, when it comes to "million UAH salaries", it is not about government agencies but the management of such enterprises as NJSC Naftogaz and Ukrposhta. However, the imposed restrictions did not apply to them.

Besides, research shows that civil servants' low salaries could cause corruption, with improper benefits making up for low official wages. Overall, to attract qualified people to the civil service, it is necessary to provide them with decent salaries.
"We began reviving vocational training that has been
destroyed for the last 20 years."
20/10/2020 (01:28:15-01:28:21)

The previous government started the reform of vocational education. At the time, as part of decentralization, the "resetting" of the education system began. Educational institutions received greater autonomy in the use of funds and can now attract additional funding for infrastructure and form educational programs themselves. Vocational training has been increasingly funded from the state and local budgets since 2015.

In 2016-2019, 145 training centers were established at the government's expense, based on institutions of vocational education.

However, the number of individuals entering the institutions of vocational training has been in decline since 2010. The number of educational institutions also gradually goes down due to the growing demand for higher education. So, not many people want to get vocational training in the first place. And, secondly, many former vocational schools or colleges turned into higher education institutions during the 1990s-2000s.

The Honcharuk government launched a pilot project of funding vocational and technical education. It continued the reforms started by the previous government.
"You remember the Mariupol-Zaporizhia road, right?
We built it in 3 months."
22/04/2020 (25:33-25:38)
The road was not built but repaired – these are two different things in terms of time and expenditure. Part of the road (60 km) began to be repaired back in 2016.
Petro Poroshenko often manipulates commenting on the policies of today's Cabinet or the Office of the President. Although there are reasons for objective criticism, the desire to show the opponents negatively prevails over the principle of reliability.
"Before the coronavirus, in December 2019, crisis-like phenomena started occurring in Ukraine's economy, we saw a drop in the industry, we saw the creation of a committee on rescuing the economy from Servants of the People, yet Poroshenko is to blame for it."
15/06/2020 (57:55-58:20)
In 2019, there was indeed a decrease in industrial production in Ukraine by 1.8%. However, such indicators were affected several external and internal factors such as lower prices for metallurgical products on world markets; a warm winter that reduced the heating costs; stagnation of the machine-building industry; closure of the Russian market and the difficulties associated with entering the new, foreign markets; and the strengthening the hryvnia exchange rate.

The industry's decline was a kind of a global trend: in 2019, industrial production in the EU fell by 1.1%. The manipulation here lies in the fact that Servants of the People were supposed to be held "guilty" of the economy's fall, although it was caused by the objective factors listed above.
"Tell me, please, why is it that we've started cutting the size of the armed forces of Ukraine for the first time since the time of Yanukovych? Why us? Why the heck did we decide that they could be cut? Paratroops, naval infantry units, fighter squadrons. Right, they'll tell me. We're reducing staff positions and transferring combat officers to the positions of canine handlers and the like. Friends, this is certainly unacceptable."
06/07/2020 (56:50-57:26)
In June, reductions were reported in the Armed Forces. Subsequently, the General Staff explained the situation saying they were conducting the optimization of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and that it should not be seen as a "reduction".

One of the main reasons for the optimization is a discrepancy between the nominal strength of the Armed Forces and the indicators defined by the Law On the Strength of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (according to which it should not exceed 250 thousand people). However, the optimization does not include reducing any combat units or ervice members. It only concerns a reduction in positions that have been vacant for a long time.
"And because of the chaos and wrong managerial decisions to which you… (turning to Shmyhal — Ed.) you were not heading the government, and these positions, maybe, you do not bear responsibility, but they cast the situation into chaos. We now see that the government, authorities, the budget etc., have fallen short of over 50 billion hryvnias in revenue since the beginning of the year."
04/05/2020 (12:14-12:18) (12:26-12:41)
In January-April 2020, the budget received 33 billion instead of 50. It was primarily due to the strengthening of the national currency (the exchange rate incorporated in the budget was lower than the actual rate), a reduction in imports and lower gas prices. Besides, lockdown began in March, which led to a reduction in economic activity and, accordingly, lower tax revenues.

As before, politicians are not good "friends" with the truth: only 160 out of 736 quotes reviewed within the rankings were true (22%). OPFL lied the most, perhaps because they mostly relayed the false narratives of Russian media.

The "new" politicians lied less in 2020 than the "old" ones. However, the proportion of truths in the President's statements dropped (if it is "due to" acquiring political experience, the trend cannot be seen as positive). The main topics for discussion in 2020 were the coronavirus, healthcare reform and the vaccines associated with it, as well as the land market.

All the fact-checked quotes will eventually be available in the Anthology of Deception, an online VoxCheck tool containing the project's fact-checking results.

Appendix. Methodology
Sources of monitoring the political figures. We selected the following biggest political talk shows aired on popular information TV channels (reaching 0.5%+, with audiences aged 18-54):
– Freedom of Speech on ICTV;
– Pulse on Channel 112;
– Ukrainian Format on NewsOne;
– Right to Power on 1+1;
– Freedom of Speech of Savik Shuster on TRC Ukraine.

In addition, we included the speeches delivered by Volodymyr Zelensky in the Verkhovna Rada, the documentary "One Year of President Zelensky" from the Office of the President, and the interview "The Fall of 2020: Victories and Challenges" with the President of Ukraine on the channel Ukraine.

By the way, the TV channels very noticeably gave preference to these or those parties (see Figure D1 below), which is not surprising given the structure of ownership of these channels.
Monitoring period: January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020

Compiling the rankings. To compile the ranking of manipulators and liars, we selected politicians whose speeches we could identify at least ten factual quotes for the specified period.

General rules for selecting statements for the rankings:
1. Quotes to be fact-checked should contain statistics and data that can be checked using open sources. We do not review confidential data that is not publicly available.
2. VoxCheck does not fact-check opinions or value judgments not based on specific facts.
3. We do not check quotes taken out of context.
4. Some quotes received the verdicts "technical error" (lapsus linguae) and "without a verdict". Such statements were not included in the rankings.

Figure D1. Factual quotes of politicians, breakdown by media and party

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