How a Purported Fact-Checking Site Spreads Russian Propaganda

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JUNE 20, 2019: The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin at the annual talk / press conferen with Russian people as seen in live broadcast on many screens.

Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, a newly-launched fact-checking service called War on Fakes published a piece claiming to debunk the notion that Ukrainians were not waging an information war against Russians.

Not only were Ukrainians spreading “fakes, productions, and misinformation” to depict Russian forces in “an unpleasant way,” the story said, but they were also using professional actors and video editing software to stage images of dead Russian soldiers and destroyed Ukrainian cities.

The information war would intensify, the purported fact-check predicted. Hollywood producers were gathering in Poland and would cross into Ukraine to create more misleading footage. Even American actor Sean Penn was participating in making the fakes, the story claimed, using the filming of a documentary about Ukraine as his cover.

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