Analysis of the News: “Moscow warns: Ukraine is preparing to use provocation of toxic substances from Germany”

December 2023.

As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Moscow warns: Ukraine is preparing to use provocation of toxic substances from Germany

https://rt.rs/rusija/66365-rusija-ministarstvo-odbrane-ukrajina-provokacija/

This week, as part of our analysis, we highlight news related to the previously established disinformation narrative based on topics related to secret laboratories, chemical experiments and similar actions directed against Russian society. We will remind you that at the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian propaganda has launched the news about the discovery of secret laboratories which serve to create special viruses against the Russian people. In the continuation of the war, this disinformation has been spread hundreds of times in different contexts. Some of them include; The US collects biosamples of Slavs to create pathogens; US biolabs develop weapons able to selectively target ethnic groups; US plans to turn Kazakhstan into a bioweapons testing ground; Finland will give its land to the US for biological laboratories; and many other instances.

This time, the news comes from the Russia Today media outlet, which states that Ukrainian forces are preparing an anti-Russian provocation, and special chemicals were purchased from Germany, particularly for that purpose. Russian officials for this article state that employees of the US Department of Defense carried out dangerous experiments on Ukrainians using various drugs they produced. According to their statements, Russian forces obtained documents that confirmed this when they occupied Ukrainian biological facilities in the cities of Rubezhno, Severodonetsk, and Kherson. It is further stated that their analyses confirmed the susceptibility of the Ukrainian population to zoonotic infections, as well as testing medicines on the local population.

These claims are largely part of a wider pro-Russian campaign supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while trying to shift the blame for war crimes on Ukraine. Pro-Russian channels have been claiming for years that Ukraine is planning to use chemical weapons against Russia, or to accuse Russia of using it, and for years there is absolutely no evidence of it.

This article was also reported by HappyTV, but the editorial team didn’t even check what was written in the Russia Today article, so the title that was published totally differs from the text. In the previous analysis, we touched upon the nonchalant spreading of disinformation, where Russian channels barely even check the general info they share, let alone the disinformation they spread. Namely, the HappyTV article is published under the title “GERMANY KILLS RUSSIAN CHILDREN: GIVES UKRAINIANS POISON SUBSTANCES that sow DEATH ON THE FRONT! THE RUSSIANS ARE PREPARING RETALIATION”, implying that Ukrainian forces ought to use poisonous substances to kill Russian children while the text, as already mentioned, deals with the non-existent accusation of Russia for the use of chemical weapons that will be carried out by the Ukrainian army on Ukrainian territory.

Author: Đorđe Terek