We’re only three days into Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, and yet the propaganda cogs are whirring fast as lightning, churning out “news”, opinion and content grist for the media mill.
In just the last 48 hours dozens of stories, images, narratives and videos have circulated as being taken from the fighting in Ukraine, a huge percentage of which are fake.
Now, some of it could be attributed to misunderstandings, mistaken identity, misattribution…but many and most are likely deliberate deceptions designed to provoke a response. Let’s dive right in.
1. “THE GHOST OF KIEV”
Early Friday morning it was reported that a single Ukrainian plane, a MiG-29, was patrolling the skies above Kiev. The English speaking press called the unnamed pilot “The Ghost of Kiev”, and claimed he had downed 6 Russian jets in air-to-air combat in less than 2 days, making him an official Fighter Ace, and probably one of the fastest to ever earn that title.
The trouble is there is almost no evidence this happened at all. To quote Newsweek:
There is zero evidence the “Ghost of Kyiv” exists”.
Neither side can confirm Russia has lost six planes in total, let alone to one man inside a single day. And a video alleged to be “the Ghost” in combat – shared by the Ukrainian Armed Forces – is confirmed to actually be footage taken from a video game.
Nevertheless, he already has his own Wikipedia page. A testament to how fast a lie can move while the truth is putting its boots on.
Read more: 7 FAKE NEWS stories coming out of Ukraine