Review of current Russian fakes

Fake: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov claims tens of thousands of Mariupol residents are fleeing to Russia

Lavrov said that 33,000 people had been evacuated from Mariupol. All of them, of course, fled towards Russia, as per Russia’s top diplomat. Perhaps, their irrepressible desire was spurred on by the endless bombing of civilians, including the maternity ward, hospitals, and a local theater-turned-bomb shelter. It’s hard to believe that anyone would rush to find a safe place in a country that has brought terror, blockade, and destruction of the city and its inhabitants. Lavrov, however, convinces the audience that it was the Ukrainian authorities who were unwilling to cooperate in the issue of civilian evacuation, not the Russians. And now the Ukrainian civilians, Lavrov stresses, chose one path to safety – and that’s to Russia. Also , he claims that humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from the zone of the Russian “special operation” are regularly set up in line with the agreements between Russia and Ukraine. But where are those corridors? Would anyone actually remain in a city that is being bombed endlessly if such corridors indeed existed? Russians have repeatedly told lies – either that Mariupol had been seized and purged, or that it hadn’t been as the Azov nationalists based in town prevent civilians from fleeing the warzone. But in fact, there is no evacuation because the aggressor power, Russia, does not allow it to start. In general, it is absurd to offer humanitarian corridors toward Russia, a country that shows such disregard for the lives of the Mariupol people.

The Mariupol City Council reported that about 30,000 civilians had managed to flee the city, using their own vehicles, not 33,000 as Lavrov claims. The same report notes that the remaining townspeople who found themselves blockaded in the city are hiding out in shelters and basements. Every day, 50 to 100 air bombs are dropped on the city. Mariupol has been practically wiped out off the face of the earth. The only way people are able to try to flee is driving their own cars. The majority of those fleeing the war head toward the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia. And even on their way there, these cars carrying families, with children, are being shelled. This is no green corridor, this is a death corridor.

Fake: U.S. journalist died at the hands of Ukraine’s Army

The “liberation operation” is reaching a new, international level. Right, let’s “liberate” everyone! That’s probably what they think in the Russian defense ministry. But for some reason they rush to immediately find excuses for their “liberation” efforts, especially when it concerns foreign journalists who see firsthand the horrifying consequences of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. So Russia understands there’s no reason to hide anything in this case and just start lying from the start. Besides, this is a common practice for Russian propaganda. In yet another Russian attack on the town of Irpin outside Kyiv, an American journalist, Brandt Renauld was killed, while his colleague, Colombian cameraman Juan Arredondo, was injured. The Russian media immediately tried to shift the blame for the incident onto the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Media platforms such as Tsargrad, Readovka, Sev.TV, and others claimed that the journalists were hit by Ukrainian bullets. Accusations of the killings were also circulated on VKontakte and across the Telegram platform. But it was also a number of Russian TV channels that in their reports told of the Russian army “suppressing the enemy’s firing points.” For example, the Rossiya24 TV trumpets the news that Russian artillery and missiles destroyed a fortified position of ​​the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that Russian aviation, artillery, and missiles are exerting continuous fire pressure to hit enemy firing points in the immediate proximity to Kyiv. This means that they, themselves, brag about and admit that the Russian forces stormed Irpin to advance toward Kyiv just before denying just that. Something doesn’t match up here. After all, the battle for Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv has been going on since February 25. And it was during the attack on the town by Russian liberators that the American journalist Brandt Renauld was killed and his colleague was wounded. The latter was luckily able to tell the truth about what has really happened there. In this small and once beautiful town, everything has been destroyed – the bridge, railway communications, households, and lives. And the civilians were evacuating in the area of that demolished bridge, barefeet right through the water. That’s how determined they were to never be “liberated” by Russia! Also, the Russian forces repeatedly opened fire at the green evacuation corridors. So much for the Russian “liberation” everyone is running from…

Fake: Twitter had to label some Ukrainian outlets as government media over biased reporting

Russian pundits rejoice across their Telegram-based platforms that Twitter has marked “some Ukrainian outlets” as government media, allegedly due to the large amount of biased coverage. But what’s the news here? For years, it’s been a common trend for Twitter to label state-owned Russian media, and more recently – those in Belarus… So why sensationalize the issue? Both Facebook and Instagram also mark Russian state-owned media correspondingly. As confirmation of their “shock report,” the Russians cite screenshots from the UNIAN agency’s page… But it seems too hard for them to even google that the agency is not a state-owned platform but part of the 1+1 media holding, affiliated with Ukrainian mogul Ihor Kolomoisky. In fact, Twitter has labeled only one Ukrainian publication. It’s the Verkhovna Rada’s parliamentary gazette “Holos Ukrainy”, which covers, among other things, the “liberation operation,” or rather the war Russia is waging against Ukraine. It posts statements by Ukrainian and foreign politicians and officials, and cites many other official sources. That is, there is only one reason – being part of a state apparatus – for the gazette to be labeled as a state-affiliated media outlet. This has nothing to do with “biased reporting.” In fact, Twitter never explained the timing of the move, only noting that the company believes that people have the right to know when a media profile is associated with a state entity. The platform believes that in times of conflict, it is critical to provide access to reliable, fact-based information and to show which profiles are controlled by participating States. So a really important question to ask is why Russian and Belarusian media have been labeled over the past years.

Fake: Russian military never fired on civilians in Chernihiv.

Have you seen footage from Chernihiv, showing bodies of those killed in shelling while waiting in line to buy some bread? That’s the city that from the first days of Russia’s “liberation” operation became a hostage to these “good” intentions. For some reason, the Russian ministry of defense hastened to refute any involvement in these atrocities. It’s like in your childhood days, you rush to claim “it’s not me” when you broke something! Well, it doesn’t work this way with war crimes! A grocery store is in no way a military target! The Russian defense ministry, which is becoming more like the Ministry of Propaganda, has recipes to cook any kind of lies. So, as it often happens, guess who Russia blamed? Nationalists! So there came the good old narrative about the atrocities committed by nationalists who terrorize civilians over any slightest disobedience or attempts to flee the warzone. Also, the Russians spat out an assertion that the video was an SBU hoax and that the Russian forces “are not there” anyway. In fact, this was one of the lamest attempts so far. The Russian ministry of defense went on to claim that no offensive action is being taken against the city. So those people killed in the line for bread are victims of terror by Ukrainian nationalists – or actors hired for a hoax clip produced by insidious SBU operatives. In fact, what’s true is that there are no Russian forces in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other major cities of Ukraine, but this never stopped Russia from shelling and bombing those cities and killing civilians. Just like that, for the sake of their “liberation.” The Russians even emphasized their good mission in their reports and got offended that it wasn’t praised by the U.S. As per the Kremlin’s version of the events, Russian forces have delivered and distributed hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid to civilians in settlements “liberated from nationalists” across Chernihiv region.

The whole world already understands that the Russians will be responsible for all the crimes against people that they committed during the attack on Ukraine. Every act of terrorism by Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine will be presented at an international tribunal. And the shelling of unarmed Chernihiv residents who died in line for bread. From the scene, they reported 10-13 dead and that the Russians fired from heavy artillery, most likely from GRADs. The video shows the horrific consequences of Russian terror of civilians, the prosecutor’s office has already begun a pre-trial investigation into violations of the laws and norms of war, combined with premeditated murder. But there will be an international court, and a higher court, which cannot be avoided.