Fakes with passport photos of Ukrainians allegedly involved in terrorist attack in Russia are being spread on social media

Fakes with passport photos of Ukrainians allegedly involved in terrorist attack in Russia are being spread on social media

Real passport photos found on the Internet are used to fabricate a "Ukrainian trace"

On March 22, a terrorist attack occurred at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, killing 137 people, according to the latest figures. Russian propaganda used it to once again defame Ukraine. Trying to find a Ukrainian trace, propagandists immediately began creating fakes. The main narrative is that Ukraine was involved in the attack.

According to a fake news story being spread by them on social media platform X, the suspects in the Moscow terrorist attack have been identified as Ukrainian citizens who were allegedly hired by the state using American taxpayer money. The propagandists distribute photos of four Ukrainian passports as supposed evidence. One shows the name Tsiezar Yulii-Halarirohailalirozr Illich and the other shows Malukha Mykola Valeriyovych. The remaining two photos are of low quality and the names cannot be read.

The propagandists created this fake by using photos of real Ukrainian passports found on the Internet. However, these photos were taken long before the incident in the Moscow region. A photo of the passport of Tsiezar Yulii-Halarirohailalirozr Illich can be found in the materials from 2020. A person with this passport committed a crime and was arrested by law enforcement officers.

A photo of Mykola Malukha's passport appeared online back in 2016. Mykola himself posted it on his Facebook page. Interestingly, the post was about Malukha receiving a Ukrainian passport and wanting to give up his Russian one.

On his official Facebook page, Mykola ridiculed the fake news created by Russian propaganda.

The propagandists also spread another fake claiming that a citizen of Ukraine, a veteran of the second Russian-Chechen war, Rustam Azhiyev, who commanded the central front of the Ichkerian army and has been participating in the Russian-Ukrainian war on the side of Ukraine since 2022, took part in the terrorist attack. As "evidence," they cite a passport photo found on the Internet and an alleged photo of Azhiyev's interrogation after the attack. As it turned out, the person whom they try to pass off as Rustam Azhiyev and Rustam Azhiyev himself have different facial features.

Rustam Azhiyev has a broken left ear and a completely different nose shape.

Earlier, Russian propagandists from the NTV TV channel released a deepfake with Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, in an attempt to convince people that Ukraine was allegedly involved in the 22 March terrorist attack in the Moscow region.

The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine has rejected Russia's claims of a “Ukrainian trace” in the attack on the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow region as absurd and entirely untrue.

In addition to fakes about the "Ukrainian trace", Russian propaganda spreads disinformation about the involvement of the United States and Britain through Western "media".

According to The Insider, the Doppelgänger bot network distributes these materials in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. They are published on fake media sites or on clone sites of well-known publications, such as spiegel.ltd; grenzezank.com; hauynescherben.net; meisterurian.io; onnam.life, etc. According to reports, Kremlin propaganda likely expands its influence to Western audiences.

As reported by Ukrinform, the Islamic State terrorist group (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region. This information was later confirmed by the U.S. intelligence.

Dmytro Badrak

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