Information Warfare: russian fakes for March 29th 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.

Today, the russian information space is dominated by the narratives about the russo-Ukrainian negotiations in Turkey and the Ukrainian war crimes. The statements made by the negotiators provoked a slight panic among the russian populace, who, thanks to state propaganda, were expecting a total russian victory. The official statements concerning the war are creating a notion that the AFU is destroyed and that the military goals of the war are achieved. There are announcements about a “planned troop withdrawal” from the directions where the Ukrainian forces were already pushing the enemy back. There is a tendency to mock US President Joe Biden – russian propaganda reacts painfully to personal insults aimed at Putin.

Main fake narratives:

  • The Ukrainian army is destroyed, victory is close
  • Joe Biden is going mad
  • World is blind to Ukrainian war crimes
  • Sanctions against Russia are destroying Europe
  • Ukrainian biolabs
  • Russophobia is dominating the world

FAKE: 52% of French people understand the russian reasons for invading Ukraine



Russian propaganda keeps up the attempts to convince russians that the world supports their actions in Ukraine. The poll that is misquoted by russian propaganda states that a total of 52% of respondents believe at least one of the russian excuses for the invasion. As an example, 30% of respondents believe that Ukraine was encouraged to join NATO, and only 10% believe that the power in Ukraine is held by the Nazi junta. The claims that 52% of French people believe, and, therefore, support russia, is a distortion of the poll’s results. 

The much quoted Le Mond article, that russian propagandists use as a confirmation of their “Ukraine is full of Nazis” narrative, actually states the opposite: “Azov” battalion represents less than 2% of the AFU, only 10% to 20% of their fighters are actual members of the radical right, and no political forces aligned with “Azov” have any sway in Ukrainian politics and society. 

FAKE: Russian army does not attack civilian targets



A couple of hours after this statement was made, russia had launched a cruise missile into the building of the Mykolaiv regional public administration. Information about the missile strike had spread through russian propaganda channels, with comments mocking the citizens of Mykolaiv and the Governor, Vitaliy Kim (see picture below). The building is a civilian target that has no military significance. As of now, 9 people had died and 22 were wounded as a result of the missile strike. The rescue efforts are still ongoing.

FAKE: A significant part of the inhabitants of the occupied territories are ready to apply for a russian passport



The demonstrations against the occupiers continue in the regions controlled by the russian army. Russian propaganda is still attempting to create an image of “liberation”, and uses all the tricks in the book: staged rallies and scenes of distribution of humanitarian aid, imported actors “grateful” for their “liberation”, creation of military administrations using pro-Russian politicians, statements about the transition to rubles and more. We see attempts by russia to quickly integrate the occupied territories and create a good story for the internal audience. 

FAKE: Dmytro Kuleba called for the worldwide ban on the letter ‘Z’



Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in his tweet (see picture below) had called for the world “to criminalize the use of the ‘Z’ symbol as a way to publicly support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. ’Z’ means Russian war crimes, bombed out cities, thousands of murdered Ukrainians. Public support of this barbarism must be forbidden.” Nobody is proposing a ban on the letter itself, this is blatant russian manipulation aimed at exposing Ukrainian officials as fools.

FAKE: The Washington Post agrees that Ukraine uses civilians as “human shields”



Once again, we see an attempt to warp and misuse statements made by foreign journalists to advance Kremlin narratives. Russian propagandists had cut pieces out of The Washington Post article about the defense of Ukrainian cities, thus totally twisting its meaning. For example, when William Schabas said that “Ukraine cannot use civilian neighborhoods as ‘human shields,’” he added that he was not suggesting this is what is happening.

The article talks about how the defense of the Ukrainian cities could weaken Western and Ukrainian efforts to hold Russia legally culpable for possible war crimes. There is no doubt that Russian forces are behind the most horrific acts of the war, but to defend Ukrainian cities, the army must place combat vehicles and defensive positions inside the city. This creates a dilemma: since it is impossible to evacuate all the civilians, the only way to fully adhere to international law is to surrender the cities to russian forces, which is unacceptable to Ukrainian people.

Civilians who still live in the militarized areas of Kyiv told the journalists that even though they are scared, they understand the need to defend their homes and that they support Ukrainian soldiers. “We Ukrainians have to fight back” – said one of the civilians.

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

· CinC AF of Ukraine 

· Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine 

· Ministry of Defense of Ukraine 

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

· Security Service 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 

· 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!

The material was prepared by ZMiST. Please follow ZMiST on Twitter and Facebook.

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