10 Disinformation of the Kremlin Against Ukraine

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Reading Time: 6 minutes


After the launch of the full-scale military aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the amount of disinformation about the Russia-Ukraine war in the Georgian and Russian-language Internet space has skyrocketed. In the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program, “Myth Detector” has been monitoring Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Georgian social media since February 2022, identifying more than 400 false and manipulative content on this topic.

Myth Detector summarized 10 of the most viral and trending articles around the topic:

Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied all allegations of killing civilians, claiming that all the photos and videos were provocative and “staged by the Kyiv regime for the Western media.” The Facebook page of the Russian “Channel One” published a story according to which footage of the city of Bucha, where people were found dead on the street, was staged. According to the anchor, one “seemingly dead” person moves his hand while the other tries to stand up after fulfilling his role. Identical footage was disseminated by Georgian-language Facebook users as well.

In fact, New York Times satellite footage from three weeks before showed the corpses of civilians in Bucha; namely, from the period when the city was under Russian control.

The website of the Ministry of Defense of Russia-owned TV channel, in addition to a number of online propaganda media outlets, have published the information that 30 meters deep below the industrial zone of “Azovstal” in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol exists a secret NATO biological laboratory under the name PIT-404, which produces biological weapons.

The claim is not based on factual evidence and is part of a large-scale disinformation campaign, according to which, US-funded bio laboratories located in Ukraine and Georgia are engaged in producing biological weapons, are conducting experiments on soldiers Further claims argue that similar laboratories do not operate in the US and countries like Ukraine and Georgia are being used as testing grounds.

An altered version of a clip prepared by a British organization was disseminated across social media. The video featured a gay military couple, and by adding shots of uniformed soldiers of the Ukrainian army, as well as the logo of the Ukrainian Land Forces, it was labelled as a recruitment video for the Ukrainian army. Before the start of the war, the fake video was distributed in Georgia by the Kremlin’s Alt-Info TV and its supporters. The fake video was accompanied by messages that the reason for the loss of Crimea was the army of such spirit.

After the launch of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, one of the most widespread methods of Kremlin propaganda was to fabricate the covers of prominent Western publications. This type of false imagery aimed to create the impression as if the well-known magazines mocked and ridiculed the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Western leaders and recognized the weakness of Europe and the United States against the background of Russia’s military might.

In March, 2022, the Facebook page “Новости и Политика” [News and Politics] published a story prepared by the YouTube channel “Аспекты.” The story alleged that Poland is preparing a plan to invade Ukraine. Viewers are urged to pay attention to the footage shown on Polish television, which shows a map in which Ukraine is divided between several countries – Poland, Russia, Romania and Hungary. According to the author, the footage was taken in different units of the Polish Armed Forces.

The false claim that Poland is planning to annex Western Ukraine has intensified since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Poland has never made a claim on the territories of Ukraine. However, the media of the Kremlin constantly tries to convey the idea that Warsaw’s military-political activity aims to divide Ukraine and annex the regions of Western Ukraine.

Amid the Russian-Ukrainian war, the leader of the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement, Stepan Bandera, has become the subject of attention for the Russian-language media and social networks, as well as Georgian-speaking Facebook users.

A graphic photo titled “Why is Ukraine a Nazi State?” has been circulating on Russian social networks. The text on the photo states that Bandera was the initiator of the ethnic cleansing in 1941, which resulted in the death of Ukrainians, Poles and Jews, but in Ukraine, in spite of all this, monuments of Bandera are still erected, and the streets are named after him. Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian propaganda media RT, also commented on the topic, noting that a significant part of the Ukrainian people are followers of Nazism.

Russian-language Facebook users have been stating that Ukraine does not exist as a country since Ukraine has no officially recognized borders, and this was addressed by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon back in 2014. The user further claimed that the territory of Ukraine, according to the CIS document, remains the administrative region of the Soviet Union, and according to the Budapest Memorandum, the country has no borders at all. Accordingly, the author of the post concludes that accusing Russia of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity is impossible.

In fact, the existence of Ban Ki-moon’s statement of that kind cannot be confirmed by any open source. Ukraine is a full member of the United Nations, and its borders are internationally recognized. CIS documents do not mention Ukraine as an administrative unit of the Soviet Union. The Budapest Memorandum also confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

A photo disseminated on social media claimed that Oleksandra, the daughter of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, had fled to Poland, calling her father a Nazi and a murderer of the Ukrainian nation. Attached to the posts is a photo of a young woman sitting in a car and crying. The disseminated screen also shows a link that says it reflects “exclusive footage”.

In fact, the person in the photo is not Oleksandra Zelenska, and the shot is cut from a video released in 2017.

According to the Russian media, the persecution of UOC serves to destroy the Orthodox identity of the Ukrainian population, because Orthodoxy is one of the main components of the “Russian world.” After the activities carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine and the decision of President Zelensky, pro-Russian actors in Georgia actively started amplifying the narrative that “Zelensky’s regime” is fighting Orthodoxy in Ukraine.

In fact, The pro-Russian narratives seek to portray the investigative activity against the UOC as a fight against Orthodoxy in general, which in fact, ignores the majority of the country’s Orthodox Christians who are the followers of the Autocephalous Church.

Various Russian propaganda online media outlets, as well as individual social media users,  have been reporting that Western media outlets have been comparing Volodymyr Zelenskyy to a black hole sucking up Western money. Information about the graffiti made in various European and US cities, where Zelensky was depicted as a money-wasting reptile or a black hole, was also widely disseminated

In fact, the footage circulated by media outlets was altered, and the photos with graffiti images in different cities were faked by one particular Instagram account. No such graffiti was not created in any of those cities.


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