Disinfo: Visual evidence show that Russian “executions” in Izyum are fake

Summary

Several pictures and videos show that Kyiv’s claims about alleged massive “executions” of Ukrainian soldiers near the city of Izyum, in the Kharkiv region, are false. The images show dozens of Ukrainian soldiers injured by bullets and explosions who died fighting the Russian armed forces. The bodies were picked in abandoned positions and taken to the Izyum morgue. Some soldiers were identified, and all the information was delivered to the Ukrainian side, according to a local resident who took part in these events. However, the Ukrainian command refused to take the bodies of its soldiers despite the humanitarian corridors that were offered for this purpose. For this reason, they had to be buried in a cemetery near Izyum.

Disproof

The material and links may contain distressing/ graphic content.

This disinformation claim is an attempt to deflect any Russian responsibility for the massacres carried out by Russian armed forces during the occupation of the Kharkiv region, which have been proven beyond any doubt by forensic teams, documentary evidence and witnesses. Contrary to what this disinformation story affirms, not only Ukrainian soldiers but also multiple civilians were summarily executed, in many cases after horrible tortures, and then buried sometimes in mass graves.

A similar pattern has been observed in other areas under Russian occupation. On 23 September, the UN Commission of Inquiry for Ukraine presented its conclusions showing that the Russian Federation has committed multiple war crimes throughout the invasion, after research carried out in four regions: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv.

The European Union is supporting the International Criminal Court in the ongoing investigations into war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. See also EU vs Disinfo’s Guide to Deciphering Pro-Kremlin disinformation around Putin’s War.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that war crimes accusations are war propaganda against Russia, that ‘Izyum atrocities’ were staged by Ukraine through controlled media, that the West fights Russia through psy-ops like Bucha and the Mariupol maternity hospital, or that Ukraine staged fakes about Bucha, Mariupol and Kramatorsk.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 310
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/09/2022
  • Article language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Provocation, false flag, war crimes, Invasion of Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Ukraine

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Ukraine controls territories belonging to other countries

Ukraine exists within unnatural borders. Transcarpathia should be ceded to Hungary, Galicia to Poland, Bukovina to Romania, Donbas and Crimea to Russia. These are other countries' territories.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that Ukraine has other countries’ territories which should be ceded to their rightful owners. This is a cynical attempt to indirectly draw other countries into Russia's unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Poland, Hungary, and Romania respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. They do not pretend on Ukrainian territories and do not claim them. No neighbouring state, except the Russian Federation, has tried to violate Ukraine's territorial integrity. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world with Russia as the key exception. Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity have been violated by continuous acts of aggression by Russian armed forces since 2014 and culminated in an aggressive attack on a neighbouring country on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian army retaliates against residents of Kharkiv region

The Ukrainian armed forces are carrying out retaliatory operations against civilians in the recaptured areas of Kharkiv region, where they are terrorising civilians and closing villages in a purge.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the atrocities of the Ukrainian army, such as war crimes and genocide. This is part of a disinformation campaign aiming to justify Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

There is no evidence to support the claims of genocide by Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities did not systematically exterminate or abuse the people living in the conflict zone. The claimed dead people – military and civilian alike - are a result of a war Russia had started in Ukraine. It was not an internal civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine which has closely monitored the conflict has observed no such genocide.

NATO provocation and support for Kyiv forced Russia to introduce a partial mobilisation

NATO and the West will continue to provoke Russia also by supporting the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv, therefore Russia has been forced to introduce a partial mobilisation.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming the West, the US and NATO are involved in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The claim also builds on the Kremlin narrative of the West encircling Russia and advancing again the narrative about Nazi Ukraine.

Russia’s drive to mobilize new soldiers and to stage illegal “referendums” in four occupied regions of Ukraine mark a sharp escalation by President Vladimir Putin, as he tries to hold the line despite multiple failures in his ongoing invasion, including a major retreat in the Kharkiv region in September 2022. Moreover, according to the Institute for the Study of War assessment, Russia is likely underging a full-scale mobilisation, because with "partial" mobilisation is unlikely to transform the war in Russia's favour.

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