"Old man mask" saves from mobilization - the truth or a throw-in of the Russians: what's behind the photo outraged the network
Recently, information began to circulate online that allegedly "businessmen from Odesa" began selling "pensioner masks" for more than 13 thousand hryvnias to avoid being served with military calls by Ukrainians liable for military service. Russian media and top propagandists are particularly zealous in spreading these reports: they claim that there are a huge number of people in Ukraine who want to "disguise themselves" from the Territorial centre for recruitment and social support representatives in this way.
However, as usual, the reality turned out to be different from the theses spread by Russian propaganda. OBOZ.UA figured out what the "old man's mask" is and tracked the emergence and dispersal of another Russian fake.
In recent days, information about a new "invention" of Ukrainians to avoid mobilization has been actively spreading online. This time, "businessmen from Odesa" allegedly came to the men who are afraid to go out because they might be served with a draft notice. They allegedly offer to buy an extremely realistic silicone mask that will help them "transform" into a pensioner - and so well that even if they are examined at close range, no one will notice the "setup".
Russian propagandists are particularly vigorous in telling us about the new "tricks" that Ukrainians are allegedly using.
For example, the Russian Gazeta.ru, citing the sanctioned Strana newspaper in Ukraine, writes that the authors of the relevant messages on marketplaces, including OLX, write about the purpose of the mask as a means of "protecting against the delivery of a summons." This is allegedly the reason for the high price of UAH 13,600, although Russian propagandists, following Strana, note that one can find one for UAH 800.
"The sellers claim that from a distance of less than half a meter, the mask looks like the living face of an elderly man," the propagandists note, adding in passing that Ukraine is preparing to intensify mobilization, proposing to conduct it "through a lottery or draw," and that potential recruits are being caught on the streets of Ukrainian cities, especially Odesa, on the streets and in shops.
The Russian newspaper "Moskovsky Komsomolets" went even further.
"The Ukrainian segment of the Internet offers to buy an "old man's mask", which, according to the sellers, should protect against the delivery of a summons. The product is offered on marketplaces as a "realistic professional silicone mask". Pulling the silicone product over his face, a man of military age turns into an old man wearing old-fashioned glasses... "Life hack from being drafted to the military enlistment office" - marketers do not hide the purpose for which customers buy the goods," the propagandists from this publication practiced their "wit".
Even the "heavy artillery" was involved in spreading messages about the "mask to avoid mobilization" in the form of propagandist Olga Skabeeva, who also posted relevant videos on her Telegram channel.
There is indeed an ad on OLX for the sale of ultra-realistic silicone masks. And the price is high - almost 14 thousand hryvnias (Chinese silicone masks, according to the ad, are sold for about 3 thousand hryvnias and are of inferior quality).
The seller explains the high price by saying that the mask is handmade and takes a lot of time and effort to make. The ad states that these masks (not only the "old man's mask" but also many other "characters" aged 25 to 65) are intended for filming, but they will be a real find for those who want to organize a grand prank for their loved ones, relatives or friends.
In addition to masks, the seller offers a variety of professional accessories for transformation in theater and cinema.
There is no mention of "summonses" or "military commissars" or Odesa in the ad. The only "source" is a screenshot of Strana with hidden information about the author of the ad, who offers a "mask with a defect" for 800 UAH. It is not known whether he is a Ukrainian or whether the ad was posted by the Russians themselves for greater convincing.
There is no mention of mobilization evasion in the videos of masks being distributed by the Russians. By the way, in the comments to one of these posts with the corresponding video (published in the spring of 2023), they are pointed out to this, as well as the absurdity of the fake being spread.
Earlier, the Armed Forces of Ukraine denied the Russian fake about the destruction of the bunker with Zaluzhnyi's deputy. According to Russian propagandists, the occupiers allegedly achieved such "successes" after a massive missile strike on January 2. However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that such statements have nothing to do with reality.