DISINFO: Four-year-old died as a result of a drone attack by the Ukrainian Army
  • Outlet: de.rt.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: April 14, 2021
  • Article language(s): German
  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine
Donbas War in Ukraine DNR

DISINFO: Four-year-old died as a result of a drone attack by the Ukrainian Army


The preliminary results of the investigation - according to which the four-year-old died as a result of a drone attack. The drone had dropped an unspecified explosive device in a residential area. The crime is to be classified as an act of terrorism by Ukraine.


Deliberate disinformation about the Ukrainian army without factual basis.

Reports by pro-Kremlin media about a boy allegedly killed by a drone attack by the Ukrainian army on April 3, 2021, cannot be considered true. Rather, the cause of death appears to be an accident with explosives/old ammunition and not by a drone attack.

RT German and other pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets spread information that a child allegedly died as a result of a Ukrainian drone attack in the NGCA [Non-Government-controlled-area] of Donbas. These reports refer to the “people’s police” of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”, which made a similar statement on April 3, 2021.

According to the comprehensive debunk of the Ukrainian Fact-Checking Group StopFake, the boy died as a result of an accident while handling explosive elements. This is confirmed by statements of eye-witnesses from the respective village within the debunk of StopFake. For a more comprehensive account of operational details read a similar disinformation case here.

As of 14 April an OSCE Special Monitoring Team visited the site of the incident on 2 April and reported their findings in their daily report, the OSCE SMM does not mention any drone attack and describe just the findings, which refer to an explosion at the spot:

The SMM could not assess the type of ordnance that caused the crater. It assessed all the [...] damage as recent and probably caused by shrapnel.

The accident version appears even more convincing due to the geographical location of the settlement Oleksandrivske. Military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko writes that the drone could not reach Oleksandrivske since the distance from the village to the government-controlled territory is about 30 kilometres.

The Ukrainian Army [Joint Forces Operation’s] press service also confirmed to StopFake that their drones are not able to cover such a distance with ammunition and point to the false nature of this information.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

    Your opinion matters!

    Data Protection Information *

      Subscribe to the Disinfo Review

      Your weekly update on pro-Kremlin disinformation

      Data Protection Information *

      The Disinformation Review is sent through Mailchimp.com. See Mailchimp’s privacy policy and find out more on how EEAS protects your personal data.