"We all remember the fictional 'crucified' boy in Sloviansk. Like the previous fake, the current one is aimed at inciting hostility in the occupied territories and in Russia, distorting reality, justifying provocations by Russian groups," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Nikolenko denied Russian media reports of a child killed in the village of Oleksandrivske in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region as a result of an alleged Ukrainian drone attack.
He referred to a StopFake investigation, which, in particular, draws attention to the fact that no drone of the Ukrainian Armed Forces would be able to fly 30 kilometers to the village.
"Witnesses reported an accident: a child died in the explosion of a mine found in the garage. Moreover, Oleksandrivske is located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Ukrainian positions. No drone of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will simply be able to fly there," Nikolenko said.
He also stressed that Russia uses such information provocations every time it starts to aggravate the situation in eastern Ukraine.
"That is why, in its contacts with international partners, Ukraine emphasizes that as soon as Russia escalates the security situation in the east, its information troops go ahead and form a media 'background' to justify the crimes of the Russian army. The story of a child from Oleksandrivske is another example of the tools of such operations. Our strategic partners understand this perfectly and do not accept Russian insinuations," Nikolenko said.
In its investigation, StopFake, citing military and political observer Oleksandr Kovalenko, noted that the distance from Oleksandrivske to the territory controlled by Kyiv is about 30 kilometers, and a military drone of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will simply not be able to fly there.
There were also reports on social media from local residents who claim that the grandfather of the dead child was bringing home the ammunition that he found, as well as that before the explosion no one heard a "whistle" from the shell.
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