Disinformation as if the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine is still Active

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On July 4, 2023, Facebook user Irakli Antidze published a post with the following caption: “No one has fired the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, he is still there today.”

Screenshot 2 Disinformation as if the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine is still Active

The claim that the Russian ambassador to Ukraine is still in Ukraine is false. In January-February 2022, Russia evacuated all diplomats and their family members from Ukraine, and on February 24, Ukraine officially severed diplomatic relations with Russia.

Russia started withdrawing diplomats and their family members from Ukraine in January. Within a month, 30 people and 18 family members left the country, both from the embassy in Kyiv and from the consulate in Lviv. On February 23, all diplomats remaining in Ukraine were evacuated.

As a result of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Ukraine decided to cut off diplomatic relations with the aggressor country. However, in order to protect the rights of Ukrainian citizens and political prisoners in Russia, the Ukrainian authorities decided to retain consular functions.

On April 20, 2023, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv terminated the land lease agreement with the Russian Embassy and applied to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to return the diplomatic institution to Ukrainian ownership.

Myth Detector has written about disinformation about the continuation of work by the Russian Embassy in Ukraine in the past as well. For more, see:

Notably, Russia has not had a full-fledged ambassador to Ukraine since 2016, and this function was filled by temporary officials. Until the middle of February 2022, this position was held by Alexander Lukashik, who was appointed to another position in September of the same year. After the Russian-Ukraine diplomatic relations were broken, Vladimir Zheglov is considered the head of the embassy, who officially holds the status of ambassador’s adviser. In August 2022, he was awarded an honorary certificate by the President of Russia. However, due to the fact that the embassy has not been working for more than a year, its status is formal, and Russia has neither a full-fledged ambassador in Ukraine at this stage nor a temporary representative.

About the Source

Irakli Antidze is infamous for sharing anti-Western, anti-Ukrainian, and anti-vax content. Many of his posts have been flagged as fake news by fact-checking organizations.

Screenshot 3 Disinformation as if the Russian Ambassador in Ukraine is still Active

The disinformation amplified by Irakli Antidze has been fact-checked by Myth Detector in the past.


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Disinformation
Country: Russia, Ukraine
Source

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