Russia’s onslaught of disinformation against Ukraine continues to pour through the pipelines of the Kremlin’s puppet media. It should be noted that after facing many embarrassing fiascos, Russian propagandists have changed their modus operandi. The use of photos from other conflicts is no longer as prevalent. Instead, photos and videos are now being staged to represent protests and other events in Ukraine. Another tactic involves planting stories in various blogs and media outlets, which Russian media then proceeds to re-appropriate. Russian propaganda also relishes and regurgitates convenient pieces provided by the ill-informed “useful idiots” in the West.
Pravda.ru and other media outlets decried the firing of Tatiana Abramova from her recently-acquired position as a policewoman in Ukraine. Pravda claimed that the firing was an example of Ukraine’s “struggle for racial purity.” Ren.tv alleged that the only reason for Abramova’s removal from her position is that she was born and raised in Donetsk. In reality, the young woman was removed from her position because of her open affiliation with separatists/terrorists in Ukraine, as well as openly anti-governmental sentiments Abramova posted on social media.
TV Channel Rossiya-1 falsely alleged that Ukrainian lawmakers were proposing to feature Adolf Hitler on the new design of Ukraine’s official currency, hryvnia. In reality, the image used by Rossiya-1 was a fake. The proposed hryvnia design features Ukrainian writer, Panteleimon Kulish.
Numerous Russian publications, including Obozrevatel and RIA Novosti, accused U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John F. Tefft of stoking tensions by leaving a bouquet of flowers tied with Ukrainian-colored ribbons at the site of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination. In reality, Ambassador Tefft brought a simple bouquet of red roses and not the flowers shown by Russian publications.
With respect to the murder of Boris Nemtsov, Putin’s close friend and ally, the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov posted a message on his Instagram page with over 848,000 followers. He falsely attributed the following quote to Edward Snowden: “They started to eliminate those, whom they have fed for many years. They don’t need those who couldn’t accomplish their plans and those who know their secrets. State Department won’t stop with Nemtsov, they will go further.” Kadyrov did not provide the source of this preposterous statement. Snowden did not post or otherwise disseminate any such allegations through any of his usual means of public communication. On its face, the quote appears to be completely fabricated.
The Russian Mission in Geneva posted an image of the Ukrainian flag side by side with a Nazi flag, sardonically describing the photograph as the symbol for the rise of human rights in Ukraine. In fact, the image in question was taken in 2011 on a movie set.
Russian media, including Lentach and Vzor, claimed that a NATO satellite captured the image of an alleged strike against Donetsk by the Ukrainian military. Some media outlets ventured to say that the Ukrainian armed forces might have used nuclear weapons in eastern Ukraine. In reality, the image they used was taken by a NASA astronaut. It depicts a sunrise and not an explosion of any kind.
Russian News Agency TASS baselessly claimed that Carpathian Rusyns in Ukraine held a rally and made demands for autonomy. TASS quoted Pyotr Getsko, an alleged leader of the Carpathian Rusyns organization. The real head of the organization, Evhen Zhupan, pointed out that Getsko is a wanted person in Ukraine, who was absent from the region for the last three to five years. Furthermore, the organization of Carpathian Rusyns in Ukraine didn’t hold such a meeting, as alleged by TASS, and didn’t make demands for autonomy. One month earlier, Carpathian Rusyns agreed on a resolution for Euro-integration, democratization and decentralization.