Disinfo: US lieutenant colonel shocked by drunkenness and laziness of Ukraine’s soldiers

“Drunk, greedy and lazy”: American colonel calls out the Ukrainian military as the main problem of the Yavoriv Training Centre.

Russian and Ukrainian media came up with this story based on a blog post supposedly made by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Tracy, the United States Army commander of the Joint Multinational Training Group–Ukraine, where he claims that Ukrainian soldiers are "lazy and reluctant to work", "don't care about learning English" and all "drink dangerously high levels of alcohol". This is one in a long line of attempts to denigrate Ukrainian soldiers.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine called this "personal blog of US Lieutenant Colonel Robert Tracy" fake. Military officials published an official debunk of the story. This post was later removed and is no longer available. Later, the page was also deleted. Ukrainian journalists also noticed that the blog itself was created in August 2019, but some of its content dated back to the beginning of this year. In addition, other posts were written, not in the first person but by a third party.

Ukrainian outlets Depo.ua and Novoe Vremya (NV) claim that their websites were hacked. According to NV, the malefactors gained access to their editorial platform and replaced the story  "Four cars collided in Lviv region: two people were killed, six were injured" with a fake news story with the headline, "Ukrainian servicemen are the main problem of the Yavoriv training centre". The NV editorial board considered this incident "a blatantly cynical provocation both against our resource and against the Armed Forces of Ukraine." NV intends to make a complaint to the police.


  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian, Ukrainian
  • Country: Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Military, Military exercise, War in Ukraine
  • Outlet: Russian TV Channel "NTV", EADaily, Novostnoye Agentstvo Kharkov, Narodny Korespondent, Vzglyad, Ukraina.ru, Topwar.ru, Pravda.ru, Antifashist.com, News Front, 112 International
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