Analysis of the News: “Scott Ritter: Zelensky will face the fate of Nicolae Ceausescu”

January 2024

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.

“Scott Ritter: Zelensky will face the fate of Nicolae Ceausescu”

https://rt.rs/svet/71122-skot-riter-ukrajina-zelenski-sudbina-causesku-pretnja/

This week, as part of our analysis, we highlight the information operation carried out by the Kremlin authorities, which focuses on creating divisions between President Zelensky and General Zaluzhny .

Namely, the news that permeates pro -Russian and Russian portals in the previous period is based on the alleged conflict between Zelensky and Valery Zaluzhny. As Russia Today  conveys the opinion of analyst Scott Ritter, “Zelensky will face the fate of Nikolai Ceausescu.” Although it was denied several times, the news continues to appear on the pages of various portals with an effort to create doubt and fear among the citizens of Ukraine.

The given disinformation is no news. First time it appears in media in the spring 2023, when the information related to the death of Zaluzhny got spread. Not long after, the news was modified, and claims began that President Zelenski has fired Zaluzhny. Similar news became part of misinformation such as: Zaluzhny announced a coup against Zelenski ; Zelensky stated that Zaluzhny died under narcotics; Zaluzhny called on the army to return from the front and overthrow the government.

On 7th of November, a series of videos created by DeepFake technology were released to the media, where Zaluzhny allegedly calls on the people to overthrow the government in Kyiv . Then, in the next video Zaluzhny calls Zelenski a traitor and refuses to agree to the criminal orders of the government and the President. The videos were soon confirmed to be fake, by Myth Detector , as well as other organizations dealing with disinformation detection.

As the main source of these videos, including most of the disinformation from the given period, is the Telegram channel named Радио Труха. This was also confirmed by the Center for Combating Disinformation with headquarters in Kyiv.

Therefore, the disinfo that was active in the previous period represents only the reincarnation of previous attempts that had a negative epilogue. Except Russia Today , this news was also active on the HappyTv channel , as well as their press under the title “THE FATE OF CAUSESKY IS PREPARED FOR HIM: SCOTT RITTER shocked the world by revealing the CONSPIRACY AGAINST ZELENSKY”. This news is also a product of the personal opinion of analyst Scott Ritter, who has long been on the list of subjects who spread misinformation. The article itself discusses that there is a possibility that the army will turn against Vladimir Zelensky in the coming months , due to an unfavorable situation.

As a source for the mentioned conclusion, no evidence is offered, nor any indications that would lead to a relevant conclusion, except for the article from the Economist, that discusses a disagreement between Zelenski and Zaluzhny regarding the term “stagnation”, in regards to the situation at the front. That certain disagreements and different opinions exist within Kyiv can be read in the daily press of any media, which does not necessarily mean that it is a matter of creating a coup, or a military campaign against the government as represented by pro-russian portals. In essence, the right to vote is the definition of democracy.

Author: Đorđe Terek