It is normal that any media outlet or state has a certain bias and doesn’t always report all the facts, be it willingly or simply by mistake. This is especially true in wartime and not every news from the fighting countries may always depict the truth.
However, the amount of blatant lies on the Russian side is simply overwhelming and hard to grasp for people used to “western” levels of misinformation. Often, the facts are simply flipped around, making some statements simply sound ridiculous.
This page provides a list (incomplete) to give an impression of the amount and absurdity of misinformation. While there is currently no Ukrainian or other pendant to this page, this simply comes from the fact that the lies – in numbers and magnitudes – are of a different order. If they occur in a similar manner, we will gladly add them too. Such a trend (with the news) may be forwarded to us.
Not all of them have an argument of why it is wrong – as it may seem obvious. If an argument seems missing to you, contact us.
Some media outlets or states also post detected misinformation, for example BBC, US government
- “Russia has not attacked Ukraine […]“ – TASS, 10 March or best watched in a video.
- “West fosters Kiev’s sabotage of nuclear facilities“ – TASS, 11 March
- Ukraine is producing biological weapons in US funded labs – NY Times, discussed also on StackExchange (the document provided contains harmless pathogens, normal to any bio lab). It is however a long Soviet and Russian tradition to make false bioweapon allegations.
UN says no evidence for weapons
- “The US produces in many ex-soviet countries bio weapons to encircle Russia and China” – Sergey Lavrov in an press conference (watch here)
- “[Ukrainian] militants blew up the building of the Physic-Technical Institute in Kharkov“: Ria Novosty. These news are completely twisted and play together with the “Ukraine has Nuclear weapons” narrative. Russian forces shelled the center: Physics Today, The Independent
- “[the Russian governments] objectives [in the invasion] don’t include […], destruction of its statehood, or the toppling of the current government. It’s not directed against the civilian population,” – RT news, 9 March
- Russia threatens that the Ukrainian statehood is in danger and claims that Ukraine is not a legitimate state
- It was clearly stated that the current Ukrainian government should be overthrown
- Russias army is attacking fleeing civilians and shelling residential areas (many more reports)
- “Ukraine’s air defense [and air force] destroyed – Russia” – it was claimed on day 1 of the conflict after a few hours of fighting (24 Feb, 2022 06:09). Weeks later the Ukrainian air force still flies and Russian airplanes and helicopters get shot down.
Lies instead of arguments
Lies can be used as propaganda for the own population or the uninformed public in general, and that can actually be fruitful, even if the lie is not great and easy to debunk. In the UN, this is different however: straight out lies make it clear that the arguments are not on your side. And nothing is so easily debunkable as a quote that is only read half-way through, leaving away the relevant part.
The Russian representative Vasily Nebenzya quoted in the UN a Ukrainian woman that “Russian soldiers gave their dry rations to people in a basement” from an article in medusa. The Ukrainian representative (video) then calmly asks him why he didn’t read the full quote and goes on to read it: “Russian soldiers gave their dry rations to people in a basement, and then threw a grenade into the basement.”
Russia is lying so blatantly, trying to use an anti-Russian quote by omitting half of it, is such a desperate tactic that reveals a lot: there is simply nothing positive about the Russian invasion. Nothing. Not even Russia finds anything positive to quote.
The west is the enemy
Russia claims on so many occasions that “the west is the enemy”, in order to paint the picture of the empire under threat and to use this threat as a legitimation of the invasion. Since in the West, people just simply don’t bother about Russia and have no interest in it – including that the media rarely covers it – this seems like such a far fetched claim. Let’s look at some and note how “the West” is always the US and everyone else is just a puppet (see also the empire view).
- The demonic duo, Washington and London, are filled of russophobia and hate which they spread among the population (source).
Comment: if that is the case, they’ve been extremely successful in spreading it as the average “western” population simply doesn’t have any hate at all on Russians. Please ask your favorite “western” friend (this maybe looks a bit different with ex-Soviet States, but that is a different story and not the “classical Western enemy” i.e. not the US).
- “Why do americans hate Russia so much”
- “Americans hate Russia so much they want Vietnam 2.0”
- “US portrays Russia as its foe because it does not need such a big country”
- “Why does the west hate Putin”
Comment: a gorgeous read. Basically a 180 degree twist of reality.
Fact check: the west does not like Russia overall, this has a true core. It mainly comes that the countries policies of LGBTQ suppression, Russia’s interference in the US election, crackdowns on protests, rigged elections, elimination or imprisonment of political opposition and free media are not seen as favorable by the west. In fact a lot of them undermine Russia’s legitimacy as a self-proclaimed democracy.
This does not imply that the west “hates” Russia or has any desires to invade it.
Ukraines plan to attack Donbas
Additionally, about two weeks into the war, Russia claims to have found documents that prove Ukraine had planned an attack an the 28th of February and therefore they preemptively attacked. However, this argument was never raised before, so it sounds like “we invaded without reason but luckily found a reason while invading”. The plans turned out to be neither secret nor do they order an attack in the Donbas. Instead they were used for a military exercise. (source)
Additional logic check: even without knowledge in warfare and politics, but just simple logic, this claim seems incredibly dumb. Who would seriously plan to attack a region backed by Russia – that is since 8 years in war – exactly in this few weeks where it is surrounded by half of Russia’s army? It seems obvious that if Kyiv ever wanted to attack, they would have done that at any other moment. (remember: Russian troops were stationed around Ukraine because of “military drills with Belarus”, not because of a planned offensive).
Russia suggests on multiple occasions that Ukraine wants to obtain nuclear weapons (one example is Lavrov). Putin himself gave an interview on it and perfectly showed the technique of spreading rumors that are just made out of hot air and have no ground of truth. But please, judge yourselves (full interview):
Question: Are these just statements or is the threat of nuclear weapons being deployed in Ukraine at our [Russia’s] border real?
Vladimir Putin: “I have just mentioned it. […]I want to say that we have heard them [sic!]. Ever since Soviet times, Ukraine has had fairly broad nuclear competencies, they have several nuclear power units and the nuclear industry is fairly well developed, they have dedicated schools, there is everything there to solve this issue much faster than in those countries which are solving matters from scratch. […]
They only lack one thing – uranium enrichment systems. But this is a matter of technology, it is not unsolvable for Ukraine, it can be remedied quite easily. As to delivery vehicles, I think I already said in yesterday’s address that they have old Soviet-made Tochka-U missiles with a range of 100 plus kilometres, 110 kilometres [remark: Moscow is about 500 kilometres away, not 110]. […]
What is the threat to us? The appearance of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine is a strategic threat to us. Because the range can be extended from 110 kilometres to 300, to 500 – and that is it, Moscow will be in the strike zone. This is a strategic threat to us. And that is how we took it. We definitely must and will take it very seriously.”
It starts with “we heard some rumors” with “they could do it, in principle”, “if they just increase the missile range by 5 fold” and “would build uranium enrichment systems, which they don’t” – so pretty far away, but theoretically, in a decade or two or maybe three, they could do, if they wanted.
And then it ends with that this far fetched possibility with no reason given why is a threat.
Ukraine signed a treaty (explained here) to not have nuclear weapons and nothing points that they would do it. Yet in his speech, Putin suggest that they do. In reality, nothing has changed in Ukraine, they don’t build other things or anything. It’s just putting out the theoretical possibility and selling it as a fact.