Information Warfare: russian fakes for April 17th 2022

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 mostly static, the media activity is down on the weekends. The existing narratives are still present, but there is no propaganda push in any specific direction. There is a shift in portraying the war as not against Ukraine, but against NATO, and that is used as an explanation of russian military failures. Some propagandists have started to speak about withdrawing russian army from Ukraine, since the objectives of the war are already achieved. These statements will be used to measure public reaction to such a course of action.

Main fake narratives:

  • Ukraine is being controlled by the west
  • russians don’t commit war crimes, Ukrainians do
  • Ukrainian refugees are causing crime and spreading disease
  • Sanctions against russia are destroying Europe
  • The world is dominated by russophobia

FAKE: “Azov” soldiers are worshiping the old gods



Over the years, the “Azov” battalion had become a boogeyman for the russian people. It was a convenient focal point for russian propaganda efforts to accuse Ukraine of Nazism in 2014, but since then, they have gone overboard. “Azov” became the main target of russian disinformation campaign in Ukraine. If anything bad happened, “Azov” was to blame. They were accused of supporting ISIS, building nuclear bombs, slavery, worshiping the devil and (no joke) trying to revive Hitler. In russian news, “Azov” was everywhere. All the horrible things that russian propagandists invented were attributed to “Azov”, a unit with less than 6 thousand soldiers in a country with a population of 44 million.

Now, the russian propaganda says that “Azov” soldiers are pagans. Anyone coming from a democratic, secular state would have a logical question: “So what?”. But for russians, thanks to decades of propaganda, anything besides russian orthodox Christianity is scary and bad.

The other claim in this fake is that “Azov” was creating its own religion, that would separate them from the Ukrainian nation and the state. So, according to russian propaganda, “Azov”, a nationalist organization, wants to separate itself from the nation it was created to protect. It seems that russian propaganda is running out of ideas. What about aliens? Saying that “Azov” is actually full of extraterrestrial invaders should spice things up.

FAKE: Mariupol was ordered not to surrender



This one is a simple factual fake. At the beginning of the siege of Mariupol, President Zelenskyy had addressed the defenders, clarifying it that it is up to them to decide if they want to surrender, and that nobody would blame them if they do, given the situation.

The heroic defenders of Mariupol chose to fight, and they stand defiant until now.

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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