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Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

Lilia RagutskaNews
CCD says Russia is waging a campaign to discredit Syrskyi

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council jointly with the Security Service of Ukraine have revealed a large-scale Russian disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi. The aggressor state's intelligence services have created a number of fake accounts on social media to spread fake news about him and the situation at the front.

In this way, the enemy is trying to distort information and influence both ordinary Ukrainians and the soldiers who are currently defending Ukraine on the front line in the ranks of the Defense Forces. This is stated by the Center.

"The CCD, together with the SSU Cyber Department, revealed a large-scale disinformation campaign by Russia to discredit the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi. It turned out that the enemy is spreading fakes about the situation at the front and about the Commander-in-Chief in order to influence the military with fake information. Russia is spreading distorted messages through a network of fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X and Telegram created by Russian special services," the statement said.

OBOZ.UA's sources in law enforcement agencies say that at least two fake accounts have been found on Facebook. One of them was created on February 11, three days after Syrskyi was appointed commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. In addition to a photo of the Commander-in-Chief, this inactive profile has only two posts that are not viewable. Below them are "weird" comments left mostly by profiles which repeat key narratives of Russian propaganda.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

Another fake Facebook account seems to have been designed as a platform for fake news. The account was created on January 14, 2024, and the last post repeats the narratives of Syrskyi's Russian origin and how he allegedly came out of nowhere to join the Ukrainian army.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

A much greater variety of fake channels allegedly related to Syrskyi was found on Telegram.

The public account called "Oleksandr Syrskiy | Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine" has the most followers, about 11 thousand. Created on July 11, 2023, it has been actively updated since January 26, 2024, duplicating the official channel.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

Another account named after the chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and created on March 12, 2022, duplicates official messages and has almost 400 subscribers.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

At the same time, in March 2022, a provocative Russian Telegram account called "Has Syrskyi been found?" was created. Since its creation, it has been promoting the idea that no one had seen the Ukrainian soldier for a long time. One of the posts echoes the aforementioned fake Facebook account's post about Syrskyi's origins.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

Another fake channel was created on January 24 and was renamed "Syrskyi" on February 9, the day after the information about his appointment as the chief of the Armed Forces appeared. Even before the renaming, the only post on the account - three Latin letters that read like an obscene word for a male sexual organ - attracted two followers.

Russia is trying to discredit Syrskyi: a network of fake accounts created by its intelligence services

Two more channels were created on February 14, where other channels are advertised. Each has one subscriber.

At least two accounts created in Syrskyi's name were found on Instagram. One of them has 2,183 followers, and the other, which is closed, has 191 followers.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, an unverified account with 531 followers and a fresh fake profile with 5 followers was also created.

The CCD calls for maintaining information hygiene, not falling for enemy disinformation, and trusting only messages from official sources. In particular, the only official platform of the Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi on Telegram is a verified channel at the link.

In addition, the CCD noted that the information warfare units of the Russian special services have recently become significantly more active both in Ukraine and in NATO member states.

"The French Ministry of Defense accused Russia of deliberately spreading false information about France in the context of the war against Ukraine unleashed by Moscow. In addition, The Washington Post has gained access to documents on the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns around the world," the Center for Public Integrity said, explaining why information from the network should be taken critically.

Earlier, Russian media showed the house where Syrskyi's parents and brother live in Russia. They also talked to Russians about the Ukraine's Commander-in-Chief and his relatives. Most of the respondents are convinced that his parents should be "ashamed" of their son because he chose the "wrong side" and is defending Ukraine, to which he swore allegiance instead of betraying his oath and going over to the side of the occupiers.

Only verified information is available on our Telegram channel OBOZ.UA and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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