Millions of Ukrainians are encountering Russian propaganda every day. It spreads through TV, radio, mass media, social networks and by word of mouth. To defeat the enemy we must fight it on all fronts. To this end, we have prepared a daily compilation of Russian fakes.
FAKE: Ukrainian nazis have cut power to Chernobyl Nuclear Plant
On the morning of March 9th, Energoatom, a Ukrainian state company that runs all four of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, released a statement about the de-powering of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant by Russian forces. By cutting power to the plant the occupying forces endanger critical safety systems, including the cooling systems for the spent nuclear fuel vault. If said vault is not cooled properly, a large emission of radioactive materials is inevitable, which would be a catastrophe on a global scale.
Russian propagandists denied that the plant was de-powered at first. After multiple pieces of photo and video evidence had surfaced, Russians stated that they, indeed, de-powered the plant, but it was a solar plant Solar Chernobyl, and all statements about the de-powering of Chernobyl Plant were just Ukrainian lies and provocations.
On the evening of March 10th, Russian officials released statements that Chernobyl Plant was indeed de-powered, bu it was de-powered by “Ukrainian Nazis” as a provocation against a peacefull Russian army. This is clearly false, since Russians have captured the plant as far as 26th of February and Ukrainian Armed Forces lack any means of accessing it.
We can see how the new Russian fakes disprove the older Russian fakes. We see more and more statements about the incredible prowess of “Ukrainian Nazis”: at every step, in every town and village, bands of these mythical characters foil the plans of Russian “liberators”, burn their armoured columns, kill their soldiers, block the roads, refuse their “humanitarian aid” and organize resistance rallies.
FAKE: British PM calls for soldiers to stay home and not fight for Ukraine
This time Russian propaganda chose the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a target of their reality warping powers.
In his address to the soldiers, Boris Johnson commented on the disappearance of some of the UK’s soldiers, who, likely, went to fight for Ukraine. The PM stressed that all soldiers on active duty cannot leave their posts, since that would be considered a desertion, which is punishable by law.
This applies only to the active military personnel, not the reservists, veterans or any other people with military experience.
Boris Johnoson also stated that he understood the desire to help the Ukrainians, saying: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a clear distinction in international affairs between right and wrong and good and evil in what President Putin is doing to people in Ukraine”.
FAKE: Sanctions against Russia will hurt only the western countries
In his article for Project Syndicate, released on March 9th, US economist Jeffrey Sachs expressed his opinion about a need for a compromise between NATO and Russia. As one of his arguments he cites Iran and North Korea as an example of the world’s inability to depose authoritarian regimes through economic sanctions only. Sachs underlines a need to find a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.
There are no mentions of anti-Russian sanctions hurting only the West.
FAKE: The West pays mercenaries to fight against Russia
Indeed, the “International Legion” is a part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As stated by Dmytro Kuleba, 52 thousand volunteers already joined its ranks. But that is not a planned campaign by the West – all applicants have volunteered, some of them lived in Ukraine and joined the ranks of the Army. The Ukrainian Government has called for foreing volunteers to join the fight, not any other government.
At the same time, Russia is looking for mercenaries to send to Ukraine. At the outset of the war Russia sent some 200 Vagner PMC mercs to Kyiv with a mission to kill president Zelensky. They were all killed. Then there were rumors that Russia is hiring Syrian mercenaries, and today the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu had announced that 16 thousands volunteers form the MIddle East want to fight in Ukraine. Aside from that, Russia is actively hiring mercenaries in its own republics: in Dagestan 180 000 rubles are offered for joining in.
FAKE: USSR had achieved colossal successes under sanctions
The USSR had collapsed on December 26th, 1991, after a deep and prolonged economic, social and political crisis, caused by the breakdown of it’s planned economy, sanctions, imposed by the West, and a failed invasion of Afghanistan.
The West had imposed sanctions against the USSR multiple times. But during the 70s, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, relations between the US and USSR had warmed and trade was reestablished. But everything changed after the USSR invaded Afghanistan, and the West imposed a new set of sanctions:
1. The work on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-2) was stopped;
2. The economic and cultural exchange was stopped;
3. The trade with the USSR was limited, supply of the most critical goods to the USSR was reduced or cut altogether;
4. The fishing privileges of the USSR in US water was reduced;
5. The sale of 17 million ton of grain to USSR was denied;
6. Money lending for the USSR in US and allied countries was limited.
Some of those sanctions had a noticeable impact, for example, the USSR annual fishing catch dropped by 75 thousand tons. The high tech import ban was also significant, since those were always a source for innovations in weapons development. Among others, the trade balance with the US had plummeted.
The main difference between sanctions back then and now is that back then only the United Kingdom joined the sanctions, other developed countries only agreed on a grain embargo that the USSR managed to deal with. But the sanctions did tank the Soviet economy, which, combined with the Chernobyl disaster and the Afghan war caused the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The current sanctions against Russia are backed by most developed countries – Russia just passed Iran by the amount of sanctions imposed against it. The IMF already announced the upcoming Russian default. This is how the economist Sergey Fursa explains the consequences of the sanctions for Russia:
“Russia is de facto in default, because they are not paying their international debts. Right now this threatens their financial system with collapse. In later perspective this will bankrupt all Russian businesses and cause oligarchs’ riches to be nationalized. In this manner Putin will take control over the whole economy, and Russian oligarchs will either join him or become nothing. As for ordinary Russian citizens – first they will be hit with devaluation and inflation, then they will lose their jobs and their standard of living will plummet”.
FAKE: German Federal Ministry of Interior banned volunteers from traveling into Ukraine
This information appeared only in Russian Telegram channels and propagandist media. No official sources are cited. No such statements were found in any German media. Additionally, Germany does not have any border control.
FAKE: Ukrainian drone was shut down over Crimea
Russian media are spreading images of a supposed Ukrainian Tu-141 drone shot down over Crimea. This drone is an old Soviet design, and both Russia and Ukraine deploy it as a part of their arsenal. They are designed to cross enemy lines and uncover AA systems. But the images clearly show the red star – a symbol present on all Russian aircrafts. Ukrainian Tu-141 had the star stripped and replaced with the Ukrainian coat of arms.
Be advised: Russia is waging a full-scale information war against Ukraine. There are multitudes of new fakes swarming through the mass-media every day. To protect you and your family, be sure to obtain and share your information only from official sources.
Official information channels:
Information about transportation and infrastructure:
Keep calm and trust only official sources. Ukraine will prevail!