Russia has been constructing ‘false flags’ on-line for months, analysis reveals

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All through January and February, the researchers mentioned, Russian-backed media unfold the hearsay, which was amplified on social media. “Chemical weapons are already current on the territory of Ukraine,” mentioned a message in a single nameless Telegram channel with 24,500 followers. The put up was seen by 7000 individuals.

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Unsubstantiated declare 2: The Ukrainian military is getting ready to assault Donbas.

Russian state media has been spreading rumours that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are planning an assault on Donbas, the separatist area in japanese Ukraine, with the assistance of American, British and Polish mercenaries, in accordance with the researchers.

The hearsay then unfold on Fb and YouTube. “The Ukrainian individuals are ready for Mom Russia to free their youthful sister from the Nazis and the State Division,” mentioned one Fb put up that collected practically 100 likes. On YouTube, a video spreading the identical unproven declare collected greater than 31,600 views.

Unsubstantiated declare 3: Nuclear energy crops are on the centre of a US plot.

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On this narrative, the Russians accuse the Ukrainians and People of planting a false flag.

Since January 30, all 15 of Ukraine’s nuclear energy crops have been producing electrical energy, marking the longest stretch of full utilisation of nuclear power within the nation. That comes as Ukraine’s authorities determined to disconnect from the ability grid with Belarus and the Russian Federation and applied the plan to take action.

Russian state media started to unfold the concept that Ukraine was overestimating its means to maintain up with its power wants, and that the nation’s nuclear services had been in dire want of restore. Russian media implied that Western international locations may very well be organising to assault the nuclear services and place the blame on Russia.

On February 12, a Telegram channel with greater than 15,000 followers posted that the British Particular Air Service was getting ready an assault on one among Ukraine’s energy crops.

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And on February 15, the Telegram channel of a Russian battle correspondent, Alexander Kots, alleged that Ukraine had requested for particular gear from the US to assist mitigate a doable pure catastrophe, together with to assist with radiation and chemical fallout, in accordance with the researchers. Kots added the unfounded accusation that the Ukrainians had been devising a false-flag occasion – accusing Russia of getting ready a terrorist assault towards a nuclear energy plant. His feedback had been seen by 83,900 individuals on Telegram, the researchers reported.

This text initially appeared in The New York Times.

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