Disinfo: A veteran of Ukrainian army drove a truck into protesters in Minneapolis

Summary

Bogdan Vechirko, a veteran of the Ukrainian army drove a tanker truck with fuel into a crowd in Minneapolis where a motorway was blocked by demonstrators, there might be many victims. It is not excluded that the unsuccessful terrorist attack was made in order to worsen the situation. A similar provocation was used during the coup in Ukraine in 2014. On February 20, Kyivans sparked blood, which resulted in a 6-year war that is still going on.

Disproof

Disinformation. The truck driver who drove through the protesters in Minnesota, US, was identified as Bogdan Vechirko, an American of the Ukrainian descent. However he is not veteran of the Ukrainian army and in fact has never served in the Ukrainian armed forces. Bogdan Vechirko living in the US shares the the same name as a Ukrainian soldier Bogdan Vechirko, however they are not the same person. The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces has denied that Bogdan Vechirko who is currently in the US police custody has ever served in the Ukrainian military. The investigation by the Ukrainian media also reveals that they are two different persons. Later media reports in the US state that the Minnesota tuck incident was likely an accident. The Euromaidan in Ukraine in 2014 was not a coup attempt but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine
  • Keywords: US racial justice protests, Civil war, Provocation, Donald Trump, Junta, Viktor Yanukovych, Terrorism, Coup
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Ukrainian economy will not survive without Russia

Ukraine will not be able to restore the economy to the previous level without the markets of Russia and the CIS countries. The expansion of Ukraine’s quotas in the EU markets, which Kyiv is seeking, will not save the Ukrainian economy. Ukrainian industry has never been guided by the European Union, which perceives Ukraine as a raw materials appendix.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine failing to survive without Russia and on Ukrainian economic relations with the European Union. According to the World Bank, economic growth in Ukraine was solid at 3.2% in 2019, led by a good agricultural harvest and sectors dependent on domestic consumption. This was despite, or maybe because of, the fact that both imports from, and exports to, Russia have decreased markedly since 2013. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. Since 2014, the EU and Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the export of more value-added products, such as machinery and appliances and transport equipment, while the number of companies exporting to the EU has increased from 11,700 companies in 2015 to more than 14,500 companies in 2019. The total trade turnout increased to 52.6 bln USD in 2019. During 2015-2019, Ukraine also increased its export to the EU from 13 bln USD to 24 bln USD. Overall in 2019, Ukrainian export to the EU increased by 3.9%. Now, the EU accounts for almost half of Ukrainian export. The EU remains a key trading partner of Ukraine with a share of 40.1%. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine trade relations.

The space shuttle of Elon Musk is probably made in Russia, moon landing of the Americans is in doubt

The State Duma suspected that Elon Musk’s space shuttle is of Russian origin. We need to see, from which components the space shuttle is made. The flight of the Americans to the moon is also in doubt. We need to see how many components in this shuttle are Russian. Whose engines are on the spacecraft by Elon Musk? We need to find out this question. I can’t clearly say so far.

Disproof

No information is available on the Russian made components of the spacecraft Falcon Heavy. The design is based on Falcon 9's fuselage and engines. On May 30, a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station as part of SpaceX’s second demonstration mission under the Commercial Crew Programme, the first mission to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil to the station since the Space Shuttle Programme. The staged moon landing of the Americans is a recurrent conspiracy theory promoted by the pro-Kremlin media outlets. See more examples and the detailed debunking here.

GDP of European countries like Great Britain, France or Italy is much lower than the Russian one

If the G7 club should reflect the most important countries in the world the format should change because countries like India or Russia have a higher Gross Domestic Product than some G7 members. Russia has a GDP which corresponds to 3% of the world GDP, India has 8% of the world GDP. These figures are above France and Great Britain whose GDP is a little more than 2%, or Italy and Canada – a little more than 1%.

Disproof

Classic disinformation narrative about the superiority of the Russian economy. Different statistics exist about the world economy and the classification of Gross Domestic Product. According to statistics from the World Bank, available on Worldometers, Russia is on place 11 among the world’s largest economies, well below the ones in the claim. This concerns the nominal gross domestic product. On GDP per capita, where the GDP is related to the number of citizens, Russia assumes place 57.