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Debunking fake news from the Russia-Ukraine conflict

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From Ghost of Kyiv to ‘crisis actors’: Debunking fake news from the Russia-Ukraine conflict

An elderly woman is carried in a shopping cart after being evacuated from Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv. AP

FP Explainers

March 09, 2022 14:06:22 IST

The two-week-long conflict has led to an overwhelming flow of information emanating from Russia and Ukraine; in several instances, the news has been misleading, with many sharing outlandish and bizarre claims on social media.

It’s been two weeks since Russia’s Vladimir Putin announced a “special military exercise” in certain parts of Ukraine, which later turned into a war against Ukraine. Since then, social media has been inundated with visual and most often heart-breaking images —ranging from children confronting soldiers to heavily damaged buildings.

Follow all LIVE updates from the Russia-Ukraine conflict here

However, with the war, as was the case with the coronavirus pandemic, a slew of misleading information has been put up, making it very hard to sift the real from the fake.

We examine a few of these instances and try to uncover the truth.

Ghost of Kyiv

Shortly after the offensive began in Ukraine, social media was flooded with the heroic tale of ‘The Ghost of Kyiv’ — a rogue pilot in an old fighter jet shooting down five Russian aircraft in one day.

The official Ukraine Twitter account first coined the phrase with a cartoon drawing of a pilot – who was referred to as an ‘ace’ meaning the pilot must have shot down five or more aircraft.

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Related

Fact Check: 5 times official Russian statements conflicted with intelligence and on the ground actions (CNN, March 13, 2022)

 

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