Russian Disinformation Warfare: LIVE Updates

October 28, 2022
Regular updates on Russian disinformation narratives targeting Ukraine and its allies.

November 1, 2022

Medvedev stated that Ukraine's de-occupation of its territories is a reason for Russia to use nuclear weapons.

Ukraine officially declared itself an independent country on 24 August 1991. Under the Constitution, Ukraine is a unitary state consisting of 24 regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and two cities with special status: Kyiv, the capital and largest city, and Sevastopol. But Russia is occupying some part of Ukraine's territory starting from 2014, particularly Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Russia continues to blackmail the world by manipulating the use of nuclear weapons. However, now the reason for this is slightly different. Dmytro Medvedev, ex-President of the Russian Federation, and today Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, stated that Ukraine's de-occupation of its territories is a "direct reason" for Russia's use of nuclear weapons. He wrote about this on Tuesday, November 1, in Telegram.

Starting from promoting Russia’s one of the most favourite theses about "Western countries", and continuing to develop the idea of nuclear weapons, Russian politician quite seriously states that this is how Ukraine is "planning a nuclear conflict" meaning the attempts to return all territories that previously belonged to it.

“Therefore, this is a direct reason for the application of Clause 19 of the Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear deterrence,” he says in the message.

According to Medvedev, the West is pushing the world towards a global war. He also stated that "only the complete and final victory of Russia is a guarantee against a world conflict."

October 28, 2022

Before the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia continues to insist that Ukraine is "under US's influence" as one of the narratives that Russia regularly returns to.

During a speech at the Valdai Forum, Russian President Putin repeatedly emphasised that the "negotiation with the Kyiv regime is impossible" and once again sounded the words that Russia "is ready for peace negotiations with Ukraine, but Kyiv decided not to continue them." Thus Russia is trying to confirm the status as a "peacemaker" and Ukraine is an "aggressive and dangerous country" close to Russia's borders as this is convenient for explaining the reasons for so-called "the military special operation".

In addition, one more time Russia convinced about the "Ukraine's external management" somewhere else. According to Russian media, Putin recommended that the US "give a signal to Kyiv so that Ukraine solves problems peacefully."

"West is blamed for everything"

Vladimir Putin met expectations as most of his speech at the Valdai Forum was once again devoted to criticism of the West. He continued to blame the West for "escalations", mentioning Russia's "special military operations" in Ukraine as the solution for Russia's security, "conflict in Taiwan" as an example of the US readiness to defend Taiwan from China etc.

Putin said that Russia "does not consider itself an enemy of the West," providing the arguments on his own "theory" and continuing to split this time already the West into 2 camps: "one is aggressive and colonial, distorting the old ideas about democracy, liberalism and globalisation. And the second West, based on traditional Christian (and now Islamic) values. The "Russia's dialogue with a genuine, traditional West will be an important contribution to building a multipolar world order." 

Putin underlined he had no regrets about what he called "a special military operation" and accused the West of the war and of playing a "dangerous, bloody and dirty" game that was sowing chaos across the world.

Everytime Russia returns to its own narratives trying to "improve" them. The "new theory" of divided West has occurred on Valdai Forum, which might mean that Russia is trying to justify its inability to accept defeat again on the battlefield of #RussiaUkraineas well as in diplomacy.

October 27

Russia is at the war with NATO on Ukrainian territory: How Russian propaganda imagines its invasion of Ukraine

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February, speculations on negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have been circulating in the Russian media. Some outlets have reported that Russia and the United States were approaching talks on Ukraine, while others have insisted that the US has interfered with "peace talks" between the two countries.

On October 5, the Russian version of the Kremlin's outlet RT quoted Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev saying during a meeting in Sevastopol saying that "the NATO bloc is fighting against Russia."

In its supposed fight to free the Ukrainian people from so-called "neo-Nazism," Patrushev insisted that Russia was fighting against NATO itself, and "not only against nationalist formations and Ukrainian troops." According to Patrushev, NATO member states are providing Kyiv with heavy weapons, ammunition, and intelligence data, as well as training military specialists.

According to another article on the RT website, Patrushev said that the United States has thwarted attempts to negotiate between Moscow and Kyiv.

Later, on October 16, in an interview for Moscow. Kremlin. Putin, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov argued that NATO has de facto entered the Ukrainian conflict, but "this does not affect Russia's goals." 

Russian media has also quoted Ambassador Gennady Gatilov, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva, and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, who has charged that the United States is convincing Ukraine of its military strength in order to prevent peace negotiations with Moscow, calling it a "tragedy." 

Moreover, shared the message during a news programme, which said "the United States has convinced the Kyiv regime that Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield. This is a huge tragedy for our countries, as there will be more and more senseless deaths until Washington orders Kyiv to sit at the negotiating table."

National News Service argues that Kyiv refuses to negotiate with Moscow, but politicians and "experts are betting on a meeting between Putin and Biden at the G20 Summit in November." Thus, many supposed Russian experts also believe that US policy in Ukraine will change in November after the congressional elections. In a conversation with the Telegram channel Radiotochka NSN, the president of the American University in Moscow, Eduard Lozansky,  expresses confidence that if the Republicans retake control of the House of Representatives in the November elections, they will force President Joe Biden to start negotiations with Vladimir Putin.

Russian media has used arguments from "political propagandists" like Rostislav Ishchenko, who spoke about possible negotiations between Russia and the United States on Ukraine. Ishchenko argues that both Russia and the United States can easily afford a relatively long confrontation, and that even if Russia blows the Armed Forces to smithereens, the United States is ready to throw a 400,000-strong army of the Poles and the Balts into battle. "The Americans have not run out of resources in Europe yet, and they will constantly put them on the negotiating table and say: "We understand that Ukraine has run out, but look at this, think about it, do you want to continue further? Now you will send your mobilised people home, and everyone will be fine. Otherwise, they will go to war again, and new waves of mobilisation will still be needed. And then the threshold of confrontation rises. These are NATO countries, which makes it even closer to a nuclear war. Do you need it? This is how they will extort from us the concessions they need."

Russian propaganda is trying to raise the stakes of its invasion of Ukraine, saying that Russia is actually waging war not against Ukraine, but against the "collective West" and "NATO." An important part of this narrative is that the US is pushing Ukraine to continue this war and obstructing possible "peace talks" with Russia. Russian propaganda spread the narrative that Ukraine is a "failed state" for decades, and is now trying to cover forits weakness in facing this "failed state" behind statements that Russia is actually waging war against a much stronger enemy.

October 24

Since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia's media has been discussing the possibility of using nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of October, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Secretary propagandist, Maria Zakharova, stated that "the West was fueling a nuclear war," stressing that every person on the planet must realise "that the puppet and unbalanced Zelenskyy, pumped up with weapons, has turned into a monster whose hands can destroy the planet." Russian propaganda websites even used comments from political propagandist Sergei Markov, who continued blaming America and NATO for "provoking the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Ukraine at any cost to add points to the team of US President Joe Biden in congressional elections." An important question now is whether Russia is setting up nuclear weapons facilities in Belarus. RIA Novosti published an article that quoted  Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy head of the Russian delegation at a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, saying Russia "doesn't yet plan to transfer technology to Belarus to convert aircraft into nuclear weapons carriers." He assured that there were no such plans at present, and "it is also not planned to equip Belarusian systems with nuclear warheads physically, nor to move such warheads to Belarusian territory." At the same time, he confirmed that Russia was transferring nuclear-capable Iskander-M complexes to Belarus and converting part of the Belarusian fleet of Su-25 aircraft to be technically capable of carrying nuclear weapons, justifying these moves by "the possible advancement of NATO's nuclear infrastructure to the east."

Despite statements from Ukraine's official representatives like Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Secretary of the NSDC Oleksiy Danilov rejecting any Ukrainian intentions to develop nuclear weapons, Russia continues to insist on the opposite. According to Russian TV channel NTV, Moscow has been concerned about "Ukraine's statements about the possibility of reviewing its nuclear-free status," which "would mean an attempt to acquire nuclear weapons to the detriment of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) regime." Meanwhile, at the First Committee of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Russian official Konstantin Vorontsov said Russia is not threatening Ukraine with nuclear weapons.  Moreover,  political propagandist Sergei Markov expressed the opinion that during "the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kherson Region, the US could launch a nuclear strike on Ukraine and blame Russia for it."  In October, Russian officials accused Ukraine of  "attempt[ing] to create banned weapons," and Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu raised phantom alarms about supposed Ukrainian nuclear attacks during a series of phone calls with world leaders. Shoigu told his French counterpart about a Ukrainian "dirty bomb" and that "the Kyiv regime is ready to use it, to blame Russia, and [to draw] NATO countries into a direct armed confrontation with Russia." In addition, Shoigu tried to argue that "the Ukrainian authorities were asking Britain to share nuclear technologies with Ukraine."  They themselves came up with and  they themselves believed.

The Russians are now playing a "mirror game:" what Russia is accused of, it wants to accuse others of. Ukraine doesn't have nuclear weapons, has been nuclear weapons-free since 1994, and doesn't have any technologies to restore them (which Ukraine's official representatives have repeatedly affirmed). However, Russia initially threatened Ukraine with a nuclear attack, and is now trying to convince the world that Ukraine itself seeks to do this on its territory in order to blame Russia and expose Russia as a terrorist state.

An absolutely Orwellian strategy: "call the victim the aggressor, and the aggressor the victim."

OCTOBER 21, 2022

How Russia accuses democracies of fabricating "fake news"

As Russia is known for spreading fake news and propaganda, its officials are now doing their best to accuse the democratic world of doing the same.

Fedor Strzhizhovsky, Spokesperson of the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN, accused the UN of spreading rabid and absurd fakes about Russia. "Moscow considers it unacceptable to spread "rabid fakes" through UN platforms," Fedor Strzhizhovsky said, speaking at a meeting of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly. Strzhizhovsky was commenting on a recent statement by  Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten about alleged sexual crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. According to him, "speaking such nonsense calls into question the level of expertise of UN officials who make such statements unsupported by facts." Strzhizhovsky also spoke about "unprecedented informational aggression of the collective West against Russia, as well as other states pursuing an independent line of foreign policy." Meanwhile, according to him, "Russian media are subjected to direct bans and blocking of broadcasting, freezing of bank accounts, intimidation, defamation, and pressure from special services," asserting that journalists are subjected to criminal persecution with real prison terms. According to Strzhizhovsky, Western (primarily American) IT giants have finally revealed their true essence. He claims that the leadership of some of them, in particular the Meta corporation, "did not hesitate to openly admit to the direct interference of American intelligence services in management processes."

"Internet intermediaries from the cluster of virtual monopolists of the digital services market have actively joined this unprecedented information aggression, which has finally destroyed the myth of their impartiality. We are convinced that the concentration of a colossal media resource in the hands of private providers of digital services acting in the interests of a narrow group of countries is a most dangerous challenge requiring a search for a collective solution," he concluded. So Russia still follows a strategy of condemning what its representatives called "double standards" allegedly being used by people around the world in favor of Western democratic values at the expense of providing false information about the Russian Federation.


Russia's State Duma Chairman Volodin rebuked Zelenskyy for sending pregnant women and mothers to the front

Women who received one of the 14 specialities specified by order of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine No. 313 must register for military service from October 1. Nevertheless, being registered for military service does not mean immediate mobilisation, as Volodymyr Smilka, a lawyer of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, reports for Ukrainian media

Russia's State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin expresses his opinion on this topic on his Telegram channel.

He recalls that Ukraine's authorities will begin sending pregnant women and mothers with young children to the front. At the same time, the United States authorities demand that Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy conducts military operations "to the last live Ukrainian."

According to Volodin, for Kyiv and Washington, "people (ed. Ukrainians) are only consumables," Russian propagandist website reads. At the same time, the Chairman of the State Duma has drawn attention to the fact that Zelenskyy's wife is abroad, which is why this will not affect the Kyiv regime.

The Russian propagandist website Ria.Novosti indicates that Volodin urges Ukrainian women to leave the country (ed. Ukraine) and move to any other state while they have such an opportunity. If the women have remained on the territory controlled by Kyiv, "all this will end with mobilisation" and sending "for slaughter," he warns.

August 2

Russian propagandists link Ukraine, Taiwan, and Kosovo into one story of "resisting American hegemony."

An article on the Russian propagandist website reads that the U.S. "is fueling conflicts in Balkans" so that it could remain "an arbiter" in the region. To this end, the article's author argues that "the U.S. stands behind the most recent provocation by Kosovo." "By creating and maintaining conflict zones, Washington is trying to maintain dominance over this complicated region," the article reads.

The article's author alsoargues that Russia might have helped Serbia "to solve the Kosovo problem" if it was not busy in Ukraine. At the same time, according to the text, "Russia, previously very far from the Balkans, came close to the region." "Now it [Russia] is separated from Serbia, only by Mykolayiv, Odesa, and the territory of Romania," the author writes.

This statement shows us that if Russia was to gain victory in Ukraine, it might start the war in the Balkans. "After the Russian victory in Ukraine, no NATO will risk fighting Belgrade because of Kosovo," the article reads.

The article also indicates that Russia hopes for China to invade Taiwan. "Now the fate of another Balkan crisis is being decided in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and in the steppes of Ukraine, where Russia and China score an aspen stake and shoot a silver bullet in the heart of freshly bleeding American hegemony," Russian propagandist writes.

July 29

Russia’s defence ministry claimed that Ukraine’s Armed Forces had hit a detention facility in occupied Oleninvka, Donetsk regions. Russians say that 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and 75 wounded, including the members of «The Azov» regiment. Let’s unpack this.

In this statement, Russians say this is a «bloody provocation» because «a lot of Ukrainian soldiers see a good treatment of the Russian side and surrender». Hence, Russians claim Ukraine hit the detention facility with HIMARS to intimidate its soldiers.

This is a massive load of propaganda BS. Just yesterday, we’ve seen a video of Russian soldiers torturing a Ukrainian prisoner. We also know that Russians wanted to kill members of «Azov». We’ve also seen the Ukrainian Army precisely use HIMARS to hit Russian ammo depots. Also no evidence of Ukrainian soldiers voluntarily surrendering in significant numbers. Hence, it’s more likely that Russians killed Ukrainian prisoners of war and now blame Ukraine for this.

July 28

As Russians cannot score a military win in Ukraine, they count on the economic problems in Europe, hoping that the West would abandon its support of Ukraine. Russian propagandists already talk about "the looming economic collapse of Europe".

For instance, the Russian propagandist website Politnavigator writes that "Europe will see problems unseen since World War II". "What is happening between Russia and the West will lead to a conflict of attrition that Europe will fall victim to. Ahead of the once successful European states, in particular, Germany will see riots and shortages," an article on the website reads.

Russians also claim that Europe's refusal to buy gas from Russia would mean "enormous economic problems". Another article on Politnavigator reads: "The restriction on gas consumption has become a political slogan that Brussels intends to spread throughout the European Union. But such a policy risks plunging the EU countries into economic stagnation, and the search for new energy sources is fraught with high financial costs. The energy crisis approaching the European Union is an artificial phenomenon, artificially created by the political leaders of Europe."

July 21

Russian propaganda continues to spread the narrative that the West is also planning to fight Russia. The site quotes an expert on military-political and international policy, Yaakov Kedmi, who says that two brigades of the Polish army will enter the western regions of Ukraine already in August. This is allegedly necessary for Kyiv itself, so that the Polish military can control the western territories of Ukraine, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine could advance further into Donbas.

Kedmi also emphasizes that the M-777 155-mm howitzers handed over to Ukraine by the Pentagon do not engage in counter-battery combat with the enemy's army, but are used for shelling peaceful cities. "Foreign mercenaries" have to manage this type of weapon, because the Ukrainian military allegedly cannot maintain such complex systems on their own, Kedmi argues.

In fact, the Russian, not the Ukrainian, army is engaged in shelling civilians. There is a lot of evidence for this: the recent missile strikes on Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and so on. It is also not true that the Ukrainian military cannot master complex weapons: the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Mark Milley, praised the work of Ukrainian defenders with M777 howitzers, calling them "first-class artillerymen."

It should be noted that Yaakov Kedmi is a well-known pro-Russian propagandist and Ukrainophobe. Kedmi regularly appears on federal Russian television and radio, especially often on the Vesti FM radio station, as well as in Vladimir Solovyov's propaganda programs on the Russia-1 TV channel.

The Russian propagandists launch a new wave of articles justifying "special military operation" in Ukraine. RT cites Dmitry Peskov, who considers the claims made by Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Volodymyr Havrylov, to liberate Crimea and destroy the Russian Black Sea fleet as justification of Russia's unprovoked war:

"yet another proof that [Russia's] special military operation was a correct and absolutely justified move because it was the only way to save Ukraine from such leaders"

However, the reasons for such claims from Havrylov have been caused by Russia's annexation of Crimea, blockade of Ukrainian ports and constant missile strikes by the Russian navy fleet based in the Black Sea. Thus, the latest supplies of western long-range weapons allow Ukraine to aim at strategic targets deeper on the territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

July 20

They say "Kherson is a part of Russia".

We ask: "Are you sure?"

The Russian media actively write that the Kherson region will become part of the Russian Federation and become a new entity. This statement is made by the head of the military-civil administration of the Kherson region Volodymyr Saldo during a meeting with the heads of district regions. "Now we are a territory controlled by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, in the future, it will be transformed into a subject of Russia. Therefore, the expenditure part of the budget has already been approved in rubles," Volodymyr Saldo emphasises.

One of the narratives is that Kherson city is a Russian city, no Kherson People's Republic will be created on the territory of the Kherson region, and there will be no referenda. Take the recent interview of Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military-civil administration of the Kherson region, to RIA Novosti: "This will be one single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the President of the Russian Federation, and there will be a request to introduce the region into a full-fledged region Russian Federation." In addition, Kherson's local authorities announced that they plan to completely implement Russian legislation on Kherson region territory by the end of the year.

Kirill Stremousov says that the Kherson region intends to become one of the regions of Russia, in terms of the pace of development, the region will resemble "something close to Crimea". "The region will strive to become a subject of the Russian Federation. No one will force anything, but the primordially Russian lands must return to their historical channel of culture and values," he stresses.

It must be understood that the development that is promised "like in Crimea" is a development by cutting off other regions of Russia (the Far East, Tuva, and Buryatia) but Russia will invest in Ukrainian territories guided by the principle of the Middle Ages: "the more land, the better."

July 18

Russian propagandists keep seeking "external enemies of the Russian state" to intimidate the Russian population. Recently Russian media started spreading anti-Japan narratives, as spotted by our colleagues at

One of the narratives is that "Japan is preparing to attack Russia to conquer the Kuril Islands". Take the recent statement of Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's security council. "The situation in the border area on the territory of the Far Eastern District is being formed in the context of the buildup of the United States and its allies of the military presence in the Arctic and Asia-Pacific regions, the intensification of Japan's revanchist aspirations concerning the Kuril Islands by the creation of new military blocs," Patrushev stated during his visit to Habarovsk, Far East of Russia.

Russian propagandists also say that "the US wants to fight China with Japan's hands," a narrative similar to what they had told about Ukraine for years. "Perhaps the whole point is that just as in Europe, the Americans are not averse to starting a war against Russia without their direct participation here they would like to offer their Japanese friends that they sacredly keep the memory of the kamikaze to arrange a banzai nuclear attack on China and North Korea," an article on one of the Russian websites reads.

Russians also say that "the West" pushes Japan to introduce sanctions against Russia. "In every way, Japan is vulnerable; it has been occupied by the US since the Second World War. The consciousness of the Japanese is wholly changed. They have been fighting for the Kuril Islands for 70 years and hate Russia," a Russian political commentator said.

July 14

Twenty-two people, including three children, were killed today in a Russian missile attack on Vinnytsia. Three Russian "Iskander" missiles hit an office building in the city centre.

Meanwhile, Russian propagandists stated that in Vinnytsia, they hit "a base of an AFU regiment" and "killed Nazis."

Russians kill Ukrainian civilians in helpless rage. Western weapons have allowed Ukrainians to strike at Russian ammo depots, thus decreasing Russian potential for advancement. Hence, Russians attack civilians with missiles wherever they can reach. This is terrorism.

July 13

Russian propagandists cynically threaten Zaporizhzhya, Dnipro and other prominent Ukrainian cities with "mariupolization."

An article on the Russian propagandist website argues that Poland is "making the final preparations to occupy the West of Ukraine," hence the Russian army "has to move quickly." "The Kremlin decided to no longer stand on ceremony with either "friends and partners" or with the remnants of Ukrainian statehood," the article reads.

The author argues that "this means a very likely mariupolization of all major cities of Ukraine." "I doubt that the gang of Duda and Zelensky will surrender Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv without a fight. Under certain conditions (which are also not guaranteed), Zaporizhia and, less likely, Dnipro may be lucky. In the same way, I doubt that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the DPR and the LPR, forced to smash Mariupol, Severodonetsk and other cities of Donbas to dust, in which the Armed Forces of Ukraine used the population as a "human shield", will be especially ceremonious with the habitats of those who unleashed this massacre, who brought death to the Donbas," the article reads.

Therefore, Russian propaganda does not deny that the Russian army has destroyed Mariupol and Severodonetsk. Russians openly promise more death and destruction in Ukraine, and they won't stop and negotiate. That's why Ukraine and its allies must defeat the Russian army on the battlefield.

July 11

Take a look at our new video about the most prolific Russian lies about Ukraine's EU integration.

July 7

Our partners at discovered that Russian propagandists spread the narrative that Ukrainian soldiers do not want to fight for Donbas because they "believe it will be surrendered anyway".

Take, a Russian news website, which published an interview with one of the Russian militants who allegedly fight in Donbas.

There is such a part in this interview:

—As for prisoners, everything is the same as in Zolote. There was one who told me that among those whom he knows, no one wants to fight. Moreover, the regular officers no longer want this. They understand that, in any case, they will have to surrender the territory of the LDNR [so-called "people's republics" created by Russia]. If they resist, then, as he said, it will be on "our Kharkiv land." This is the dominant mood among the mobilized and regular military.

Thus, Russians resort to wishful thinking, possibly because they understand that they have spent a lot of resources and effort to capture the Luhansk region. It will be way harder for Russians to advance in the Donetsk region. Therefore, we might see more steps increasingly to demotivate Ukrainian soldiers soon.

July 6

Russians are now stealing Ukrainian communication campaigns.

On July 4, the Russian Telegram channel Voyennaya Khronika published a video about a "heroic 19 y.o. military commander" who fights with the Russian army. The most notable in this video is its beginning.

On the screenshot above is a Russian expression which can be translated as "fortune favours the bold" (literally: Bravery gains control over cities).

Compare it with the "Bravery" communication campaign launched by the Ukrainian government at the beginning of April.

Russia has a big problem: it has no reasonable ground for the invasion; hence its propagandists can hardly generate inspiring ideas. The only remaining option for them is to steal Ukrainian ideas.

July 5

What a disgrace: Russian propaganda is now even in space. Russian cosmonauts pose with the flag of the so-called "LPR" on the International Space Station as Russia claims to "liberate" the Luhansk region of Ukraine from ordinary life.

July 4

On July 3, Ukrainian troops retreated from Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast. Russia still has not occupied the whole Luhansk region. However, Russian propagandists already say that "LPR was liberated" and share plans for the future.

For instance, Russian politician and writer Nikolay Starikov writes on Telegram that "the Lugansk People's Republic has gained territorial integrity." According to Starikov, Russia will now focus on the "liberation" of the so-called "DPR" (Donetsk Oblast). "The fighting will go in two directions at once: on the one hand, the liberation of Sloviansk-Kramatorsk, on the other, the liquidation of the Ukrainian group that has settled in the Avdiivka fortified area and is methodically shooting Donetsk and other cities and towns of Donbas," Starikov wrote.

Hence, Russia can't stop on "liberation of the DPR," Starikov's post reads. This quote describes precisely what Russia intends to do next:

"The supply of Western weapons does not stop, and we do not observe strikes on the transport infrastructure of Ukraine on such a scale that it would paralyze it. This means that the shooting for purely terrorist and propaganda purposes by the Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue, which in itself raises the question of physically pushing back the front line. To the place from which Ukraine won't be able to shoot at Russia and the Donbas.We ask ourselves: where from? The answer is obvious: from the Polish-Ukrainian border. From there, you definitely can't get to Horlivka, you can't kill people in the Bryansk region. This means that the goal should be precisely this: the consistent liberation of more and more new territories, the pushing back of the front line," Starikov writes.

This is another reminder to those who say that Ukraine should give up on some of its territories for peace: Russia will not stop in Donbas or elsewhere by itself. If not stopped, Russia will go forward as far as it can. Therefore, we must eliminate Russia's potential for advancement as soon as possible.

July 1

On June 27, the Russians launched a rocket attack on the "Amstor" shopping center in Kremenchuk, Poltava Oblast. As a result, a large number of civilians were injured and killed. According to Russia, this is what "demilitarization" looks like --- while Russian propaganda says that only military objects are fired upon, Russian rockets fly into residential buildings and crowded places.

Russian propagandists tried to "justify" their crime in Kremenchuk with at least three narratives that replaced each other with great speed. At first, it was "a staging by Ukraine to get more weapons from the West." Then Russia admitted it fired, "but not at a shopping center." Later, Russian propaganda confirmed that it fired at a shopping center "because it is a military facility where stored weapons from the West."

Dmitry Polyansky, First Deputy Representative of Russia to the UN, suggested that "there was a Ukrainian provocation in the style of Bucha."

Subsequently, the Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged the strike on Kremenchuk. But, as always, it denied that it targeted a civilian object, saying that the target of the attack was a military object: "hangars with weapons and ammunition that came from the United States and European countries in the area Kremenchuk Road Machine Plant." The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation stated that "the detonation of ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping center located next to the plant's territory."

Russia's president Vladimir Putin said that "there was no terrorist attack in the shopping center in Kremenchuk," but they shot there "according to reconnaissance results."

"I know, and we have said this many times. We have shown it. We can see it from drones when they place weapons, MLRS systems, artillery, heavy equipment in residential areas, somewhere else," Vladimir Putin said.

The trend of changes in the statements of Russian officials regarding the reasons for the shelling of the shopping center in Kremenchuk is visible in Telegram channels, which had to adjust their narratives daily. At first, they talked about "Bucha 2.0" or "Kramatorsk 2.0", and later they declared that "We will hit where we think it's needed. We will never be embarrassed by the fact that pigs hide weapons, equipment, and personnel in shopping centers and other civilian facilities. [...] Only the weak are justified. [...] We hit. We will hit."

June 30

Our colleagues at discovered that with a combination of lies and wishful thinking, Russian propagandists try to downplay the importance of Western arms supplies to Ukraine.

One of the strategies of Russian propagandists is to say that Western weapons are faulty, outdated or hard to use. For instance, one of the articles on is titled "AFU [Ukrainian] general talks constant breakdowns of American howitzers."

It relies on the National Defence magazine interview with Gen. Volodymyr Karpenko. This headline gives the impression that howitzers are faulty and break down by themselves. However, in the original interview, Gen. Karpenko says the following: "You have to understand why maintenance is very important today. Most of the heavy equipment that we use is operated in such grave conditions due to heavy artillery shelling and heavy fires. The equipment doesn't stop being operational because it's used up. It stops being operational because of constant artillery shelling." Thus, American howitzers are damaged in artillery duels, which is not what leads its audience to believe.

Russian propagandists are also sure that Ukrainians won't be able to learn how to use modern weapons supplied by the Western allies. For instance, Timofey Bazhenov, a member of Russia's State Duma, told Riafan that the U.S. is considering sending F-15 and F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Still, Ukraine will not be able to send soldiers for training to use these jets as it has a lot of problems with manpower, Bazhenov claims.

Finally, Russian propaganda spreads the narrative that Ukraine re-sells the weapons it gets on the black market, although there is no evidence of that. An article on Naspravdi, a Russian junk news website, reads that "Ukraine's SBU is curating the sale of Western weapons" — with no proof whatsoever.

June 29

Since 2014, Russian propaganda has tried to drive the wedge between Ukraine and its Western partners and downplay the positive aspects of Ukraine's European and Euroatlantic integration. To this end, Russian propagandists have said that the West only sees Ukraine as "a colony" and "raw materials base." The end goal of this strategy was to make Ukrainians give up on their efforts to get as far away from Russia in political and cultural aspects as possible. This narrative was also aimed at Russia's domestic audience, as Putin could not allow ordinary Russians even to consider that a free and democratic Ukraine can be a prosperous country. That was one of the reasons why Putin decided to invade Ukraine so that its economic growth would be hindered for many years.

This narrative continued even after the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war on February 24. The most recent example of such strategy is the article on the junk news website Politnavigator titled "'If only Ukraine would not be turned into a potato field' — in Kyiv, they begin to doubt the 'Marshall Plan." According to this article, "the reconstruction of Ukraine" means "the elimination of the last remnants of the country's industry."

The article quotes Ihor Harbaruk, Ukraine's former deputy education minister, who said in one of the interviews that after the victory over Nazi Germany, the Morgenthau Plan was considered to destroy Germany's industrial potential and turn it into an agricultural country. Harbaruk argued that the Germans were against this plan. Politnavigator takes these words out of context and spins them as if Harbaruk is afraid that "the West" might "eradicate Ukraine's industry."

Even if Harbaruk indeed said what Politnavigator implies, the words of a former public official would hardly be enough to claim that "in Kyiv, they begin to doubt the 'Marshall Plan." However, if Russian propagandists have no material to work with, they are not shy to invent some.

June 21

Russian propaganda continues to spread the narrative that "Europe is tired of Ukraine." For this reason, according to propagandists, "French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during their visit to Kyiv refused to satisfy the request of Vladimir Zelensky to supply weapons to Kyiv promptly."

On June 15, a similar statement about "Ukraine fatigue" was made by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. She said that "the world audience is tired of Zelensky's speeches. The audience is overfed. The period of the 'crisis of the genre' has come."

Russian media are also trying to manipulate Western politicians' comments and Europeans' opinions to confirm this narrative. Thus, according to the propagandists, "Johnson is tired of Ukraine" or "The Germans stood up for Russia after the words of the President of Ukraine Zelensky."

June 17

On the temporarily occupied territories, Russians disseminate newspapers in Ukrainian with fake quotes of Gen. Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. For instance, in the article below, Gen. Zaluzhnyi allegedly complains that "Ukraine has lost the Zaporizhzhya region because too many resources were used to support the resistance of Mariupol."

According to this fake article, "the West does not help Ukraine and all," and "the US demands to pay for assistance provided within the land lease already." Zaluzhnyi also allegedly says that "Russia has significant military reserves" and "has the newest military equipment, lots of it."

This newspaper is another attempt of Russian propaganda to hinder the morale of Ukraine's Armed Forces and Ukrainian society, which remains high. Russia will have to do better, but we have already seen that Russian-produced fakes in this war were rather crude and unimaginative.

June 16

Our partners at spotted that last week, the Russian media paid much attention to the growth of inflation in the United States. Russian propagandists acted cunningly. They tried not to openly resent the economic troubles in the United States (apparently because it could draw attention to rising prices and shortages of goods in Russia itself). Instead, leading Russian media focused on statements and comments from conservative American politicians and observers who accused the current government and President Biden of over-supporting Ukraine: quoted Congressman Byron Donalds: "Americans will spend $5,000 a year this year on gas, up 78% from only a year ago. This is Biden's price hike, not Putin's." referenced former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that "we just saw how Congress rushed through this additional bill—$40 bln—towards this war in Ukraine." "We are not only in the cold war with Russia, we are in a hot war with Russia with Ukraine as the proxy," quotes Gabbard. quoted Senator John Barrasso saying that "Biden's plan to fight inflation is disgraceful."

Noteworthy, Russian media even decided to include psychics and fortune-tellers' forecasts to cover US inflation. "Record inflation in the US can be considered a curse. The fact is that Russia is a state that has the strongest egregor of cosmic power and energy. … The United States attacked us psychologically and economically without any preconditions. But now, we are not the answer — our egregor answers. Much of what they send here comes back to them. We can say that the United States has cursed itself. This is the worst thing that can happen," a Russian psychic said.

June 15

Russian media announce "a very important speech" by Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. According to Moskovskiy Komsomolets, Putin "will announce a new world order" and "will address the issues of the anti-Russian sanctions, rising energy prices and looming food crisis in the world." Putin will deliver the speech on June 17.

Putin's panel at the forum will be moderated by none other than Margarita Simonyan, his favourite propagandist and the head of the Russian state-owned media company RT. When asked whether any Western journalists were considered for the role of a moderator, Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov replied: "The informational adequacy of many well-known Western journalists is now at least questionable for us. We still could not call them objective journalists and real journalists, because they all just went crazy. So in the competition between journalists, Margarita wins at the world level with a large margin; hence she will be the moderator."

June 14

In recent months there has been a lot of news about Vladimir Putin having cancer. The latest one is the Newsweek article on June 2 in which it is reported with reference to the U.S. intelligence that "Putin seems to have re-emerged after undergoing treatment in April for advanced cancer."

Naturally, Russian propaganda tries to avoid any mentions of potential Putin's health problems. What propagandists do instead is mirror this narrative onto the Western officials. For instance, Russian media frequently report that "US raises alarm over Biden's health."

Another target is Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General. Recently, a clickbait headline spread on Russian websites: "Suffering from intense pains: what is Stoltenberg ill with?"

However, the original news article reads: "NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg infected with shingles."

Such a strategy is a classic move from the Russian propaganda playbook: take your problems and say that your opponents have them, but you do not.

June 13

Anyone who still doubts Russia's true intentions in Ukraine should read the post below carefully. It is written and published by Aleksandr Hodakovskiy, a military commander of the so-called "DPR," a Russian proxy in Donbas.

"Back when we were considering [attack on] Mariupol, it became clear that either the city or our entire personnel—either one must cease to exist—we chose the city. Our thinking was that the city could be rebuilt, as Grozny was, but people could not be returned to their families. Therefore, after giving time for evacuation, we proceeded to the exorcism session. But the main thought that haunted us was: "How many more such Mariupols are ahead? Is it really going to happen to every [city and town]?"

And now we are at the walls of another city, and so many will still be ahead... We sniff, look closely and puzzle over how to outwit fate so that there are as few consequences as possible. But somewhere in the depths of the soul, an understanding is already ripening that you probably can't deceive fate, and you will have to repeat everything, and then again, and then again..."

This post is another proof that Russians and their proxies at the so-called "DPR" and "LPR" intentionally destroy cities and towns of Donbas and are ready to erase many more from existence, as they already did with Mariupol, Volnovakha, Popasna and others. Russia's invasion won't stop until it is stopped.

June 10

Two British citizens and a Moroccan captured by Russians while fighting for Ukraine have been sentenced to death by the so-called "DPR court." "DPR" is merely a Russian proxy in eastern Ukraine; therefore, all the responsibility for this decision lies on the Kremlin. This is increasingly clear given the reaction of Russian propaganda to this news.

Alexander Sladkov, a correspondent for Russian state-owned media company VGTRK, is very happy about the "court sentence." He argued that "Anglo-Saxons" thought themselves to be better than other nations and now pay for this. "They wanted to kill themselves, but so that they could not be touched. [...] And then — BAM! Hanging "white people"!!! Yes. This is part of the current redistribution of the existing world order, the motto of which is: All are equal! Let them get used to this option. For the colonialists, it is difficult to accept the idea that you are no longer the arbiter of the fate of the world," Sladkov wrote.

Margarita Simonyan, the head of Russian state-owned media company RT, published a poll on her Telegram channel: "What do you think about DPR sentence for the mercenaries?" The response options were: 1) Approve. Dog's death for them. 2) Do not approve for humanitarian reasons. 3) Disapprove because others will stop surrendering. 4) Approve because others will stop coming. 5) They will not be executed but exchanged for Britons not supplying weapons, for instance.

As you can see, most respondents on the channel support first and fourth options. Still, the Kremlin might try to use the Britons to pressure the UK not to help Ukraine.

RIA Novosti, a state-owned news agency, writes that "Shaun Pinner" was recognised as a terrorist in Britain." It also quotes Denis Pushylin, the so-called "head of DPR," saying that neither Britain nor Morocco have contacted the so-called "DPR" regarding the prisoners.

Pushylin decides nothing; hence, there is little reason to talk to him or anyone else in the so-called "DPR." However, the Kremlin might play this card to make Britain talk directly with the terrorist organisation it has created.

June 9

Russia is inflictinglasting damage on wildlife and globally important wetlands. Experts warn that marine and wetland environments along the Black and Azov Seas face a particular threat. In paticular, dead dolphins have been washing up in huge numbers on Black Sea beaches, not just in Ukraine but also in Turkey and Bulgaria. Researchers suggest sound pollution is likely to be a factor in their deaths, including possible sonar interference from the Russian navy ships.

Russian propaganda denies this. "Poor nutrition, by-catch in bottom nets and disease are the most significant threats to dolphins. I believe that due to all the combined actions of both Russia and Ukraine <...> these threats will decrease since the volume of fishing in a significant part of the Black Sea will be significantly reduced. First of all, because the mines set up by Ukraine off the coast were blown off, they "walk" on the sea, and the fishermen are afraid to go fishing. Suspension of large-scale industrial fishing due to military action will save the lives of thousands of animals," news website TASS quotes a Russian expert.

Can you imagine this? Russian invasion saves dolphins, Russian propaganda says.

June 8

During his visit to Turkey, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was asked by a Ukrainian journalist: "What Russia has managed to sell from what was stolen from Ukraine in addition to grain?" Lavrov's reply was utterly disappointing—knowing what a skilled liar he is.

"Have you always had a problem about where to snatch something, and you think everyone is doing the same? We are pursuing goals that have been announced publicly — to free the east of Ukraine from the pressure of the neo-Nazi regime. And grain can be transported freely to any destination. There are no obstacles from Russia. This requires Mr Zelenskyy to give the command, if he is in command of anything else there, to allow foreign and Ukrainian ships to enter the Black Sea," Lavrov replied.

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June 1

Our partners at noticed that the crazy Russian propaganda narrative about "Poland occupying parts of Ukraine" is increasing in popularity.

On May 31, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's security council, said that "Poland has already started capturing territories on the West of Ukraine". This is the latest statement among many (we already reported on such anti-Polish narratives on May 11, April 28 and April 20).

Remarkable, isn't it? Russia invades Ukraine, destroys and swallows its territories, and blames other countries for planning to do what Russians have been doing for eight years already.

May 31

Russian officials constantly manipulate the term "Nazism" when they talk about Ukraine. Even one of the "military special operation in Ukraine" goals is "denazification." So, what is Nazism in Ukraine according to Russian propaganda?

The short news does not explain the essence of "Nazism in Ukraine," so from time to time, the Russian media help to interpret this term "correctly." For example, they invite to comment "necessary" political commentators and historians and publish large articles such as "What was the process of Nazification of Ukraine."

Not surprisingly, according to Russian media, 1991 marked the beginning of an active phase in the rise of Nazism in Ukraine. The narrative that the collapse of the USSR was a wrong decision is widespread in Russian propaganda.

Russophobia, according to propagandists, is one of the elements of Nazism in Ukraine. For example, it is mentioned in the articles "The Russophobic beast has been grown from the Ukrainian people for 30 years, but the heresy of Ukrainianism can be eradicated" or "Ordinary Nazism, or How Russophobia ruined Ukraine."

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Russian propagandists also have been trying to find some evidence for their narratives about Nazism in the temporarily occupied territories.

Thus, the Russian media explain that "Nazi ideology is hammered into Ukrainian teenagers through school textbooks." Also, the Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Sergey Kravtsov said that "Ukrainian history textbooks describe the" aggression "of Russia. They serve to prepare children for war with the Russian Federation." But propagandists do not mention that it was Russia that violated the borders and sovereignty of Ukraine in 2014.

At the same time accusing Ukraine of Nazism, Russian propagandists themselves write about their atrocities, talking about what is "denazification." In their opinion, "Denazification is when neo-Nazis from the Azov regiment rot alive in cold factory basements. And the bodies of other Nazis rot in destroyed positions. [...] The war against Nazism is not an abstract thing, not a slogan. It is what the Russian army is successfully doing today."

May 30

On May 30, at 7:50, an explosion took place in temporarily occupied Melitopol near the so-called "military-civic administration." This is the latest act by the Ukrainian underground in the occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhya region.

Vladimir Rogov, a local collaborator with Russian occupants, wrote on Telegram that "such attacks will not stop as long as the UGIL (Ukrainian state of Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv) terrorist entity exists." Here Rogov compares Ukraine to Islamic State ("ИГИЛ" in Russian), which is very similar to the "УГИЛ" term used by the collaborator.

"The Zelensky regime hates peaceful life in Melitopol and other liberated territories. #Demilitarization and #Denazification must be carried out in the entire post-Ukrainian space!" Rogov decried. Russian media quickly picked up his post, including, regnum,,,, and many others.

This is the latest example of how Russian propaganda tries to turn the tables on its actions in Ukraine:

  • Ukraine and some of its allies say that Russia is a terrorist state — Russian propaganda says Ukraine is a terrorist state.
  • Ukraine says that Russia steals grain in the Kherson region — Russian propaganda says Europe (and Germany in particular) steals Ukrainian grain.
  • Ukraine and its allies say that Russian invaded Ukraine — Russian propaganda says that the West has used Ukraine to prepare an attack on Russia.

May 26

As we established yesterday, Ukrainian anti-vax groups on Viber have become a haven for all kinds of conspiracy theorists. In these groups, Russian conspiracy narratives flourish, particularly those about "zrada" (betrayal). Below are a few more examples of what narratives are shared in these groups.

This message argues that Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyi prolonged the duration of the martial law so that public officials could "shamelessly steal" for one more month.

Ostap Stakhiv, one of the leaders of the anti-vax movement, argues that the ongoing fuel shortages in Ukraine are "artificial" so that those in power could enrich themselves. Stakhiv does not mention Russian invasion, of course.

Ukrainian military is also the target of such narratives. This video is about "generals stealing and giving away the East [of Ukraine]." It is very emotional and has no proof.

This message shares an old map in which Vladimir Zhyrinovskiy, a dead Russian madman, suggested his idea for splitting Ukraine. The author of this message argues this plan is implemented right now.

This picture is an alleged quote from Vasyl Shcherbakov, a commander of the "Kyivska Rus" regiment, who argues that the war won't end until children of MPs and the General Staff are sent to the frontline. This quote is at least 5 years old. Russian propaganda used it on multiple occasions before.

May 25

As our colleagues at discovered,the Ukrainian anti-vaccination movement once again becomes a convenient way for Russia to discredit Ukraine and the West. While there is still much pro-Ukrainian and patriotic content in these chats, conspiracy narratives are shared just as well. Here are a few examples.

A video title reads: "Is it possible to change the bloody scenario the global puppeteers have written for Ukraine?

Russian narrative about "Germany stealing the Ukrainian grain" is also spread in these chats. That's why it is likely that Russians are behind this network—because there is no mention of Russia stealing Ukrainian grain from the Kherson region and Mariupol.

Image reads: 1918 — war in Ukraine, Germans take away grain by railway; 1942 — war in Ukraine, Germans take away grain by railway; 2022 — war in Ukraine, Germans take away grain by railway.

Anti-Semitism in these chats has become a new way to convey the Russian thesis about "Ukrainian and Russians being brotherly nations." It is used to distract chat members from the fact that Russia has started the war and is killing Ukrainians every day.

Images read: 1. How foolish we are... 2. There is no way towards a great future for our offspring until all the Slavic nations understand that our strength is in unity, mutual respect and helping each other. 3. Center [of Ukraine will be given] to the Jews, West to the Poles. And then the preZident (sic!) will say in front of the map like he did in "servant of the people" — so there is no more Ukraine:)

May 24

We occasionally hear from Ukraine's Western partners that there should still be a dialogue with Russia, and we should let Putin "save his face." Recently, two top Russian officials made statements which show just how ready Russia itself is for such "negotiations."

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, argued on May 23 that"if the West wants to offer anything to Russia in terms of the resumption of relations, Moscow will think twice whether it needs that." Lavrov also added that those who wish Russia to be defeated "must have done poorly in school." "They have drawn the wrong conclusions from their understanding of the past and of Russia," Lavrov said.

Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, stressed on May 24 that "Russia is not chasing deadlines as it conducts its special military operation in Ukraine because Nazism must be completely wiped out, or otherwise it will raise its ugly head again." "In liberating Ukraine from Nazism today, our country is pursuing the same objectives that it had back in 1945," Patrushev said. He also added that "this time Britain and the US are supporting Nazism, acting aggressively concerning most countries."

These statements indicate that even Russian top officials believe in the myth about "Russia that can't be defeated" and spread narratives about Russia's superiority. Russians also keep claiming that they are the victims of this "defensive war." We analysed this narrative in our latest video.

May 23

On 18-21 May, Russia held a "press tour" to the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, namely Mariupol, the Kherson region, and Crimea. This "press tour" is the latest effort of Russian propaganda to repeat its narrative that Russia's "special military operation" aims to "liberate Ukrainians from Nazis" and "people on the freed territories are happy to see Russia has come."

According to Russian media, "fifty independent journalists and bloggers from France, Germany, India, Serbia and other countries" participated in the "press tour." However, most of these "journalists" are pro-Russian bloggers who have no association with media whatsoever. Nevertheless, Russian media who followed the "press tour" credits these bloggers as "journalists.

For instance, on 22 May, Russian outlet published an article titled "After a visit to Kherson, foreign journalists declared the lies of Western media." This article quotes John Dugan, an "American journalist," saying that "everything seems quiet and peaceful" under Russian occupation. John Dugan is a conspiracy theorist with long-lasting ties to Russia.

Thomas Röper, a "German journalist," told that there was no information in Western media "about what has been happening all these years." "Zero information! All those eight years. About the blockade [of Crimea], terrorist attacks, etc. Zero information about all of this. Nobody knows anything," Röper. Once again, he is not employed by any media, and his blog titled "Anti-Spiegel" has a .ru domain.

Another article on describes how "foreign journalists" visited "bases of Ukrainian militants" in Mariupol. Noteworthy, among all the "fifty journalists" who joined the "press tour", the article quotes John Dugan—again. Why is he so popular? The answer is that everything Russian propaganda does is fake—and this "press tour" was no exception.

May 20

Alternative für Deutschland, a far-right populist party, and Die Linke, a left-wing party, transmit the Kremlin’s narratives about the Russian invasion of Ukraine to German audiences.

Even though Die Linke has repeatedly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the party has not really done much to help Ukraine in any way. The party's calls for peace, diplomatic solutions, and avoiding escalation may be based on the party's values, but they nevertheless reflect exactly what the Kremlin needs and seeks: a lack of unity in the West on arms deliveries to Ukraine.

AfD, on the other hand, employs a very pragmatic approach. The party sees the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a distant conflict, which Germany has nothing to do with and which should not suffer economically for. That's why members of the party see no problem with continuing to trade with Russia. They rarely mention Russian war crimes, and when they do, they call for "independent investigations." Members of AfD do not see the symbolic value of Ukraine's EU membership and do not recognise the country's achievements. This approach is very understandable and clear for the Kremlin.

This AfD "pragmatism" is far more dangerous than Die Linke's idealism, not only due to the far-right party's influence on social media but also due to their willingness to seek what's more profitable over what's morally right. Die Linke has a long history of ties with Russia, but those ties could at least be perceived as the party's Eastern German legacy. AfD, on the other hand, established its support of Russia after the annexation of Crimea, and will likely keep its ties to Moscow in the future — so long as it makes any economic sense.

Read detailed analysis with examples of rhetorics of both parties in our latest article:

Alternative for “Peace:” German Far-Right and Leftist Parties Help Kremlin Propaganda

May 18

While Russia is stealing tons of Ukrainian grain, blocking access to Ukrainian ports, and provoking a food crisis, Russian propaganda blames the West for a future famine.

According to Russian officials and the media, the cause of famine in Ukraine and the world will be anti-Russian sanctions and the export of grain from Ukraine to Europe.

On May 14, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that product prices are rising sharply because of Russia, threatening hunger. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented on this statement, explaining that, in her opinion, "prices are rising due to sanctions imposed by the collective West under pressure from the United States."

Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev also pointed to "the threat of hunger due to anti-Russian sanctions."

On May 18, Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Head of the International Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, accused the West of "grain exports from Ukraine dooming Ukraine to starvation."

"They are robbing the Ukrainian people, dooming them, in fact, to starvation, but they will say that Russia is to blame for everything," Vladimir Dzhabarov said.

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that "the European Union will help Ukraine empty its grain storage." In addition, he called UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, "piglets from the European Union."

The same comparison was used by the Head of the All-Russian Trade Union Association, Sergey Vostretsov. According to him, "Ukrainian authorities are 'piglets' who want to provide 'fat European pigs' with grain because of their naivety."

May 17

Texty.Org.Ua studied how often the term "denazification" was used in Russian media since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Take a look at the significant decline in usage of the term at the beginning of April, when Bucha massacre was discovered.

May 16

On May 16, a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) leaders (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) took place in Moscow. CSTO is the Russia-led security bloc trying to position itself as a NATO rival. This way, Russia tried to draw all the CSTO members into its war with Ukraine. During the summit, many noteworthy statements were voiced.

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president:

"Evidence of the maturity of our organization and its real ability to adequately counter acute challenges and threats was the successful conduct of the CSTO peacekeeping operation in January this year in Kazakhstan at the request of the Kazakh leadership. The contingent of the CSTO Collective Forces, introduced for a limited time, prevented the seizure of power in Kazakhstan by extremists, who were also controlled from abroad, and helped quickly stabilize the republic's internal political situation."

"The issue of ensuring biological safety also requires the most serious attention. We have long sounded the alarm about US military-biological activity in the post-Soviet space. As you know,the Pentagon has created dozens of specialized biolaboratories in our shared region, and they are by no means engaged in providing practical medical assistance to the population of the countries where they have launched their activities. Their main task is to collect biological materials and study the specifics of the spread of viruses and dangerous diseases for their purposes. And now, during a special operation in Ukraine, documentary evidence has been obtained that near our borders, components of biological weapons were created in violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, and possible methods and mechanisms were worked out to destabilize the epidemiological situation in the post-Soviet space."

"Unfortunately, in our neighbouring country, Ukraine, neo-Nazism has been on the rise for a long time, to which they [the West] turn a blind eye, and therefore actually encourage their activities. And all this is accompanied by an unprecedented surge of frenzied Russophobia in the so-called civilized and politically correct countries in Western society."

"As for the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance, yes, this is a problem that, in my opinion, is being created completely artificially, since it is being done in the foreign policy interests of the United States. In general, NATO is used as an instrument of foreign policy, in fact, by one country — this is done quite persistently, skillfully and very aggressively. All this exacerbates an already difficult international security environment."

Alexander Lukashenko, self-proclaimed president of Belarus:

"Today's meeting is taking place at a difficult time, the time of the revision of the world: the unipolar system of the world order is irretrievably a thing of the past, but the collective West is waging a fierce struggle to maintain its positions. All means are being used, including those in the area of responsibility of our organization: from NATO sabre-rattling near our western borders to a full-scale hybrid war unleashed against us, primarily against Russia and Belarus."

"NATO is aggressively building up its muscles, drawing Finland and Sweden, which were neutral yesterday, into its nets, acting on the principle: whoever is not with us is against us, hypocritically continuing to declare its defensive orientation. Against this background, the genuinely defensive and peace-loving position of the Collective Security Treaty Organization looks in contrast."

"Today, there is no more topical and important issue than the conflict around Ukraine. Since 2014, all of us have provided all the necessary assistance to resolve it. In principle, all of us sitting at the table are ready to do this even now in any format. It is clear that Ukraine was incited and incited, stuffed with nationalism, Nazism — evidence of that is Odesa, where people were burned alive — and fascism, Russophobia and weapons."

"So far, in the West, including in Washington, we see only a desire to prolong the conflict as much as possible. For this, Ukraine continues to be pumped up with weapons. The goals are clear: to weaken Russia as much as possible, "drown" it, as they say, in this war, or you can make it "flare" more widely — we are also observing this. If this is the intention, then, probably, no one will be able to sit this one out."

May 13

Russia keeps using religion as a weapon. Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (controlled by Russia) stated that Russia invaded Ukraine because its former President Petro Poroshenko established the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (independent from Moscow).

The establishment of the independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Russian influence and soft power structure in post-Soviet countries. It revised the status of Moscow as the leading ecclesiastical center of the Orthodox Church, which remained almost intact for more than 300 years. Back in 2019, we conducted cross-border monitoring of Russian propaganda messages in the local media outlets of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in their reporting on the establishment of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Beyond Religion: What media outlets in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine say about the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy

Furthermore, in 2021 we detected that the Moscow Patriarchate Church in Ukraine campaigned against vaccination from COVID-19 in Ukraine.

The Church Against Vaccines: How the Russian Orthodox Church Opposes Vaccination in Ukraine

May 12

Today, on May 12, Finland formally announced its intention to join NATO. The Kremlin immediately reacted to this statement.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, "NATO expansion threatens the world's security, and, in particular, the European continent," and "Finland's entry into the Alliance is a threat to the Russian Federation."

Russian political commentator Maksim Bardin in his comment for stated that "The United States needed Finland not as an ally, but as a subordinate." In addition, "in the current situation, Finland occupies an important geostrategic position, the country borders on Russia, so Washington needs to take socio-political control under it."

On April 11, it became known that Finland and Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer. Since that time, Russian propagandists have again begun to actively spread the narrative that "NATO has begun military development of the territories adjacent to Russia," which "carries a threat to Russia, as it increases the country's land border with the North Atlantic Alliance."

For instance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko threatened that "if Finland joined NATO, Russia will not remain indifferent to this issue." "Our military will consider all necessary measures required to ensure the legitimate interests of defense," he added.

Also, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, "if countries join NATO, their territories will become a space of confrontation between the Alliance and Russia." The consequences will inevitably affect "good neighborly relations."

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev added that "after Sweden and Finland join the Alliance, the United States and Great Britain will immediately deploy nuclear weapons on their territory. Military exercises near the border will become more frequent."\ Russian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov spread the same narratives. He said that "if Sweden and Finland join NATO, they will have to treat Russia as an enemy. Moscow will have to do the same."

May 11

On April 28, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, stated that "Poland is planning to establish their control over part of the territory of Ukraine." According to him, "Poland and the United States are working out a plan to establish Warsaw's military-political control over 'its historical territories'."

In addition to speculations from the Russian authorities on possible Polish capture of Western Ukraine, Russian media are manipulating the information trying to find some "evidence" for their narratives. This is clear proof that, in fact, Poland has no plans to seize Ukraine, so the propagandists have to create "convenient facts" by themselves.

For example, propagandists manipulated the data of a Polish poll in which 56.8% of respondents supported the participation of the Polish military in the peacekeeping mission in Ukraine if it is organized by NATO, the UN, or the European Union. But many Russian media reported the results of the poll under the headline "The majority of Poles supported the deployment of troops to Ukraine."

Russian propagandists even have an explanation for why Poland still hasn`t captured Ukraine: "Warsaw has danger from Russia that, as Putin said, will give a lightning-fast response. It is holding back both Poland and Romania. [...] Most likely, control will be established during the collapse of Ukraine when the paralysis of the central government occurs."

In any case, Russian propagandists have already stated that "Polish plans for Western Ukraine are dangerous for Russia." As a consequence, they warned that "if Polish troops enter the territory of Western Ukraine, all their military units and weapons will become targets for the Russian army."

Moreover, according to Russian media, "Poland is planning to attack Belarus".

"Now the main threat to Belarus comes not from the Baltic countries, but from Poland, which is accumulating troops on the border with the Republic," a military expert said in an interview with

The self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko reacted to "Polish plans" during a parade in honor of the 77th anniversary of Victory Day in Minsk. He stated that "if the Poles decide to try to attack the Republic of Belarus, they [Belarus] will immediately 'break off horns' for Poland [Russian idiom that means 'pacify']."

May 10

Russian media post "prognoses" from astrologists and mediums about the Russia-Ukraine war, as spotted by our colleagues and friends at * "The existence of Russian civilization is at stake; many are anxious about the future. However, prophecies and predictions say that Russia will withstand the coming trials but will have to work hard.[...]Other countries will turn away from the "rotten hegemon—the United States." —

  • "It is absolutely impossible to say that Zelensky can win, that he is leading his country to victory: the inverted Star card indicates complete hopelessness, that he has no chance." —
  • "At the end of the second summer month, challenging events for Russia are possible. Military conflicts by this time may reach their peak. Moreover, even biological or chemical weapons are not ruled out." —

May 9

Key quotes from Putin's speech at the victory day parade:

  • "Last December, Russia called on the West to an honest dialogue, to search for reasonable, compromise solutions, to take into account each other's interests. All in vain."
  • "Preparations were underway for another punitive operation in Donbas, for an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea. In Kyiv, they announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. NATO has begun active military development of the territories adjacent to us."
  • "Everything indicated thata clash with neo-Nazis on whom the United States and their junior partners lean would be inevitable [...] Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression. It was a forced, timely and only right decision."
  • "Especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US started talking about its exclusivity thereby humiliating not only the whole world but also its satellites, who have to pretend that they do not notice anything and meekly swallow it all".
  • "Those who crushed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War showed us an example of heroism for all time. This generation of winners, and we will always look up to them".

As you can see, Putin continues to claim that "Russia has only defended itself," and his history-related delusions did not go anywhere. The man is sick and has to go one way or another. Instead of "repeating the heroic deeds of grandfathers," Russians have become the very embodiment of the evil their grandfathers were fighting against in WWII. That's what you get when you let a crazy dictator rule over you.

May 6

On April 28, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to supply arms to Ukraine under a land-lease program. It needs to be signed by the President of the US Joe Biden for the law to take effect. The program will allow the United States to supply arms and other aid to Ukraine faster and without standard bureaucratic procedures. How did the Russian media react to this?

First of all, Russian propagandists are very worried about how Ukraine will pay for the weapons provided under the land-lease program. Russian media emphasized that "this is not free of charge" and "Ukraine will have to pay Washington later for the 'gifts.'"

According to State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is driving his country into debt" because "many generations of Ukrainians will pay the price."

One Russian media even "tried to figure out what ulterior motives the initiators of this act are pursuing." According to it, lend-lease "allows the West to create a model of long-term conflict" and "turns Ukraine into a kind of 'European Afghanistan.'" Furthermore, lend-lease should "satisfy American society, which has been sensitive to the fact that taxpayers' money is being scattered right and left in recent years, " because lend-lease "will not be charity" for Ukraine.

State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin added one more motive of the USA: "Lend-lease will increase the profits of American military corporations several times over."

According to Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, "Ukraine more and more unceremoniously uses its European sponsors for his own purposes."

Russian media called it the "Lend-Lease of the death." The propagandists compared the lend-lease of the Second World War and the current lend-lease. They emphasize that, firstly, "the old lend-lease was intended to defeat Nazism and fascism, and this one was to support them." Secondly, "the current lend-lease is also the actual legalization of the weapons that the West has already supplied to Ukraine." Thereby "the United States in Ukraine is fighting for the destruction of Russia because this country is preventing the United States from restoring world hegemony."

State-owned outlet RT added that the lend-lease will help the USA continue to "saturate Ukraine and the Kyiv regime with weapons." According to propagandists, "this is a deliberate USA policy to revise the results of the Second World War and weaken the role of the UN."

Russian media also published the list of the weapons that "the United States will share with Ukraine." But propagandists were concerned thatthese weapons "in general pose a rather serious threat to Russian troops." Therefore, in their opinion, "it is necessary to do everything possible in order to not allow weapons from the lend-lease list will never get on the battlefield."

The idea that lend-lease "may complicate the tasks of the Russian army" was also expressed on Radio Sputnik.

May 5

On May 5, Anatoliy Shariy, a popular Ukrainian blogger and politician, was detained in Spain on an international arrest warrant for suspected treason.

Shariy has heavily criticized the Euromaidan of 2013-2014 and Ukraine's post-2014 authorities. UkraineWorld has often tracked his messages in the chorus of Ukrainian anti-Western actors. His commentary is often politically incorrect, frequently featuring hate speech and derogatory statements against his opponents. His narratives often align with those of Russian propaganda. He also echoes Russia's domestic information agenda, mostly by mocking Russia's anti-Kremlin opposition. For years Shariy has supported the Kremlin's narrative of Ukraine being a Western "colony" dominated by Russian-hating neo-Nazis in his videos. Now Russian propaganda tries to use his arrest to fuel its narratives about "anti-democratic Ukraine" and "decaying Europe":

  • Pervyi, one of the most popular Russian TV channels, called Shariy "an opposition blogger" and said that "he has honestly told about everything happening in the country, about the Euromaidan events and what came next." Such a token of recognition from the Kremlin's propagandists means a lot.
  • Zvezda, the official TV channel of the Russian army, quoted Illya Kyva, a former Ukrainian MP who has collaborated with Russia for years, saying that the arrest of Shariy "tells you everything you need to know about political asylum in Europe." "There are no more rules in the world," Kyva decried.
  • Russian outlet published two extensive articles on Shariy. In one of them, the website writes that Shariy's detention means "Europe has started a hunt ordered by Ukrainian neo-Nazis." Another one is an interview with Johan Bäckman, a Finnish pro-Russian political activist. In this interview, he said that Ukraine persecutes its own citizens around the globe just as the U.S. does, and such "widespread repressions" will continue. Bäckman also decried that "Europe has turned into Ukraine" since "there are Ukrainian flags everywhere."
  • Russian news website Politnavigator quotes Ihor Korotchenko, a Russian military expert, saying that in Ukraine, Shariy faces the prospects of "tortures in SBU basements, or even death." Konstantin Dolgov, a former "speaker" of the so-called "foreign ministry of the DPR", told Politnavigator thatShariy will likely be deported to Ukraine and "we [Russians] have to act, but how?"

All this "support" is another proof that Shariy was indeed involved with Russian propagandists.

May 3

Amid anti-semitic statements by Russia's foreign ministry and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian-organized anti-vax Viber chats are actively spreading anti-semitic propaganda. This is hardly a coincidence. Here are some notable examples of such propaganda discovered by our friends at

According to this picture, Jews pitted Russians and Ukrainians against each other and made them believe that the war is in their best interests. However, only Jews gain from this war, the text on the picture implies.

The caption on this widely shared picture reads: "A nation without land will come to the land without a nation. Not a single synagogue was damaged during the fighting in Ukraine." This pic was made by Russians, since it uses the phrase "на Украине", not "в Украине", as Russians do.

This message is widely shared by anti-wax groups and implies that "under Jewish yoke" the best Ukrainians are sent to the frontline as "cannon fodder." Also, the message calls on Ukrainians to "stop this."

This message "explains" that the war is only taking place in southern and eastern regions of Ukraine because "a new Israel was proclaimed with two capitals in Ukraine: Adessa and Dnipropetrovsk (sic!)"

May 2

Each year on this day, Russian "media" write that Odesa is "occupied by Nazis," building this narrative upon the tragedy in the house of trade unions on May 2, 2014. Forty-eight people, most pro-Russian activists, died from suffocation or burns during a fire that took over the building during the clashes in Odesa. Russian television broadcast images of charred bodies and reported that "Ukrainian Nazis" had "burned alive" fellow citizens friendly toward Russia. However, since then, no similar incidents have ever happened in Odesa.

This year is no different. Russian state-controlled outlet Riafan writes that in 2014, the local government in Odesa "has betrayed" the interests of ordinary citizens and, since then, the "Nazis" have occupied the city.

Apparently, Russians would like to "liberate" Odesa as they did with Mariupol. Over the last few weeks, Odesa has been constantly hit by Russian cruise missiles. As a result of one of such airstrikes, eight people died, including a 3-month-old baby and a pregnant woman. That's how Russians "liberate Odesa from Nazis."

See our updates from January 20 to April 30 here.

UkraineWorld team

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