Information Warfare: russian fakes for May 20th, 2022 (at 18:00)

Millions of Ukrainians are encountering russian propaganda every day. It spreads through TV, radio, mass media, social networks, and 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 still focused on the evacuation of Azovstal. Propagandists say that the Ukrainian military will collapse after the surrender of Azov due to bad morale and high losses. They were saying that many times before, but it is Day 86 of the war, and the Ukrainian army is still fighting.

kremlin officials claim that Ukraine is paying for western weapons with grain. As proof, they point to shipments of grain being transported into the EU by rail. Only, since russia is blocking Ukrainian sea trading routes, this is the only way for Ukraine to export grain. And Ukraine exports a lot of grain and other food produce. Creating land export routes for Ukrainian food products is necessary to avoid a global food shortage this year.

The biolab narrative is still being pushed, russia is now accusing almost everyone in the world of being involved in creating viruses that specifically target russians.

kremlin issued a statement that the war presents no danger to Crimea. The fact that the statement was made at all suggests that russian government is considering Crimea to be in danger, and in need of reassurance. 

Main fake narratives:

  • The US was developing bioweapons in Ukraine
  • Poland is planning to capture western Ukraine
  • Ukrainian soldiers are surrendering en masse
  • The west is controlling Ukraine
  • russians don’t commit war crimes, Ukrainians do
  • Sanctions against russia are destroying Europe
  • The world is dominated by russophobia

FAKE: House of Culture in Lozova was used as a military base



The House of Culture, in Lozova, was struck by a russian cruise missile. Seven people are wounded, including an 11-year-old.

russian propaganda celebrates the missile strike, calling the House of Culture a legit military target. As with all the attacks against civilians, russia claims that the building was used as a base for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. That is false. There was no military presence in the building, or, for that matter, in that entire area of the city. russia is deliberately attacking civilians to demoralize Ukrainians and break their will to fight.

FAKE: US Nazis are fighting for “Azov”



This fake is consistently used by russian propaganda. It both allows russia to incriminate EU and NATO countries as Nazis and explains how and why Ukraine is so successful in defending itself. 

At the outset of the invasion, propaganda assured russians that the “Azov” battalion was the only credible threat in Ukraine, and after it was defeated there will be no one left to fight. But reality proved them wrong. So, instead of admitting their mistake, propagandists doubled down: now the whole Ukrainian military were “Azov” nationalists, who, in their hundreds of thousands, infiltrated all facets of Ukrainian society. After all, the “normal” Ukrainians would not fight the “glorious russian liberators”, would they?

Add to the mix the “NATO trained Nazi mercenaries”, who, according to russian propaganda, flocked to “Azov” from the western world in tens of thousands, and you get a perfect propaganda narrative. A narrative in which Europe and the US turned evil and russia is beset by the endless hoards of Nazis. It sounds comical, but this is what russians believe right now.

As to the proof – Europe and the US don’t use Telegram, so a chat in Telegram would be highly unlikely. Additionally, when westerners, who supposedly fight for Ukraine, repeat the narratives of russian propaganda word for word, it makes it obvious that the whole thing is fake.

FAKE: There is no national consensus behind Stockholm’s decision to join NATO



Yes, there is. The only thing one needs to do to disprove this fake is to check the opinion polls in Sweden. According to all of them, more than 50% of the population is in favor of Sweden joining NATO. That is, by definition, national consensus. Plus, a motion to join was initiated and voted by the democratically elected Parliament, which represents the people of Sweden. But, hey, it would be a waste of breath to explain to russians how representative democracy works.

Why make a statement like this in the first place? To convince Swedes not to join NATO? A russian explaining to Swedes what Swedes really think – not going to fly. To make it seem like Sweden is getting dragged into NATO against its will? Considering that joining is voluntary, that would mean that Sweden is forcing Sweden into NATO against Sweden’s will. So, yes, this fake is just stupid.

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 Defense 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 Disinformation 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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