Russian media fakes have alleged that the Ukrainian military shelled people being evacuated from communities flooded by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, while another falsely credited the Russian military for rescue efforts.
Based on the Telegram channel of a Russian-occupation administrator, Lenta.ru posted an article entitled “AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] shell Kherson oblast during the evacuation of residents of flooded areas.”
The occupation official, Andrey Aleksyenko, is quoted as posting that “Rescue operation is taking place under shelling by Nazis from the right bank.”
Internationally recognized fact-checking website, StopFake.org, identified the disinformation item and noted that “there is no evidence that the AFU shelled Kherson Oblast during the evacuation of peaceful Ukrainians.”
StopFake.org added: “To the contrary, the army of the Russian Federation shelled Kherson on June 8 while there was a massive evacuation of city residents. There exist many documented photos and videos by Ukrainian and foreign journalists of the shelling of the city by Russian artillery.”
Lenta.ru and other Russian media running with the story, according to StopFake.org, have not provided any substantiation or evidence for the claims made.
On the other hand, Russian shelling of Kherson and evacuees is well documented.
This includes a live video report by Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi – on Ukrainian territory – which was interrupted by incoming shells.
Rabbi Moshe Reveun Asman was in Kherson to assist and support humanitarian evacuation work. He is seen diving for cover as artillery shells land nearby.
The New York Times reported that “videos checked by the editors show numerous Russian strikes on an evacuation point in the flood-affected city of Kherson. This area was used to coordinate relief efforts for the hundreds of people who were in dire straits due to the collapse of the Kakhovka dam.”
StopFake.org said that “the Russian Federation is once again trying to shift the blame for its war crimes to Ukraine in the same way as the downing of a passenger Boeing in July 2014, regular shelling of Ukrainian cities, the blowing up of the Kakhovka HPP and much more.”
In another fake identified by StopFake.org, it revealed that Russian social media is spreading a video of Ukrainian military personnel assisting Kakhovka-impacted civilians in a flooded house, but falsely claiming that it is actually Russians doing the rescuing.
The original video of a Ukrainian soldier named “Santa” using a drone to deliver water to a stranded resident through their roof-top skylight went globally viral.
“Russian mass media is assuring readers that help to suffering Ukrainians was purportedly provided by ‘fighters of the Russian army’ who are ‘using every available method to help the residents of flooded villages in Kherson oblast,’” StopFake.org said.
However, the video was originally released by the AFU on June 7 at 13:30 on its Telegram channel.
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