Information Warfare: russian fakes for March 17th 2022 (at 18:00)

Millions of Ukrainians are encountering Russian propaganda every day. It spreads through TV, radio, 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” are torturing locals and pow’s



This fake is a part of the russian narrative about the atrocities of the mythical Ukrainian Nazis. Versions of this story appear regularly, dating back from 2014, all of them unsubstantiated and lacking evidence.

FAKE: Ukrainian soldiers don’t get paid.



Here we see Russia reflecting its situation onto Ukraine. From intercepted calls of russian soldiers, it is clear that they are not getting their promised combat pay. Ukrainian soldiers are getting paid once per month, at the end of the month. Since the war started 22 days ago, soldiers that have joined the Armed Forces during the war have not yet served a month. Moreover, the soldiers’ pay in Ukraine had increased by 30% since March 1st. 

FAKE: Mariupol Drama Theater was destroyed by “Azov”



On March 16th Russian Air Force destroyed Mariupol Drama Theater, which was used as shelter by hundreds of citizens of the ruined city. The plazas around the theater were painted with giant letters spelling “Children” in russian (see photo), that could even be seen on the satellite imagery. This didn’t help, as the theater was demolished with by a heavy bomb.

Immediately, after russian propaganda started to spread fake messages about the “Azov” battalion setting up a base there, and holding hundreds of people hostage. As we see, this story is surprisingly similar to one about the Mariupol maternity clinic, which was also bombed by russians. This is, once again, an attempt to redirect the blame for the russian war crimes onto Ukraine.

There is an ongoing wave of fakes about the destruction of the theater. Initially, the fakes were about how “Azov” fighters evacuated the theater before blowing it up. Apparently, this was created to accuse Ukraine of faking the information about high casualties when the news about the bombing reaches media. Or, like they did with the maternity clinic, to claim that they did bomb the theater, but it was an “Azov” base, so no biggie. After news had spread that the shelter below the theater had whistand the airstrike and the entrance was cleared from debris, russian propagandists had stated that, since nobody had died, it doesn’t matter who really bombed the place. There are no more mentions of the mythical “Azov” base.

FAKE: Armed Forces of Ukraine are shelling Kherson



This is a typical russian deflection: in truth, Ukrainian forces do not fire upon Kherson, but the russians do fire upon the neighboring Mykolaiv.

Mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhaiev in his statements always underlines that Kherson is a part of Ukraine, and refuses any forms of cooperation with the occupiers. Mass protests against the occupiers flare up almost daily in Kherson, despite the terror tactics of the russians.

The only obstacle for doing business in Kherson is the occupation by russian forces, which had cut the city from the rest of Ukraine.

FAKE: Ukrainian General Staff had prohibited the public from posting information about the consequences of russian bombings to avoid panic among the civilians and the military



Russian attacks on civilian and military target are not a secret, but a reality that millions of Ukrainians live every day. Every minute, Ukrainian cities and villages are bombed. But, like with the Blitz, this destruction does not break the spirit of Ukrainians, on the contrary – it hardens their resolve.

Ukrainian General Staff did indeed prohibit the public from posting detailed information about the consequences of the russian bombings, but that was done so that russians could not adjust their fire using Ukrainian news and social media.

FAKE: The information about the evacuation routes is not passed to the locals



This is yet another russian fake about the evacuation from the occupied or encircled cities. At first, russian propagandists said that the evacuation routes were open, when there were none, or they led into Russia or Belarus. Then, that the evil Nazis were stopping people from leaving or held them hostage, even when the evacuation columns had formed multiple times in Mariupol but were unable to leave because russian artillery was shelling the evacuation routes. Then, that the Nazis were firing upon the evacuation columns, even though that was actually done by russians. Now – that nobody tells the locals about the evacuation, even when the information about the evacuation is one of the main topics of the newscasts, and is spread through all available channels, from internet to radio and TV.

All of these “evacuation fakes” were intended to create a narrative about Ukraine that isn’t concerned about its people, while the russians are destroying Ukrainian towns, killing men, women, and children.

FAKE: US Congress took offense at President Zelensky attire 



Peter Schiff did indeed write this tweet. But Peter Schiff is not a congressman. He once was a candidate from Connecticut, but lost the election. Now he is a radio host and a financial analyst. Schiff was hit by a wave of criticism in response to his tweet. 

The US Congress reacted to President Zelensky’s address with a standing ovation.

FAKE: Ukraine’s collaboration law was created to terrorize its people



The collaboration law was created during the war against Russia, and is aimed at countering the russian elements that for years attempted to destroy Ukraine’s statehood and prepare conditions for successful russian invasion.

By the way, in Russia, spreading the information about the war in Ukraine that differs from official sources will cost you up to 15 years in jail.

FAKE: Russian invasion of Ukraine had stopped World War III



The narrative about Ukraine posing a threat to Russia is complete nonsense. It’s just another attempt to justify the horrible russian war against Ukraine. Nobody threatened Russia, on the contrary, it is Russia who threatened other countries, Ukraine first, to achieve its imperialist ambitions.

Ukraine didn’t invade Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine.

FAKE:  Out of 33 thousand evacuated from Mariupol, most decided to go to Russia



Just on March 15th around 20 thousand people were evacuated from Mariupol. Evacuation columns are still moving to Zaporizhia. The information about 99% of evacuees choosing to go to Russia, after russian army attempted to kill them and destroyed their homes, is classic Kremlin bullshit.

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:

· Office of the President of Ukraine

· General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces 

· Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine 

· Ministry of Defense of Ukraine 

· Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine

· Ministry of Internal Affairs

· National Police of Ukraine 

· State Emergency Service of Ukraine

· State Border Guard Service of Ukraine 

· Centre for Strategic Communication

· Centre for Desinformation Resistance

· State Special Communications Service of Ukraine 

· Ukrainian Ground Forces 

· Ukrainian Navy

· Territorial Defense Forces 

· CinC AF of Ukraine

· National Bank of Ukraine

Information about transportation and infrastructure:

· Ministry of Infrastructure 

· Ukrainian Railways  

· Airspace of Ukraine 

· State Agency of Automobile Roads of Ukraine 

· Boryspil International Airport

· Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority

· Danylo Halytskyi International Airport Lviv

· State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety

Keep calm and trust only official sources. Ukraine will prevail!

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