Antifake / Factcheck

02 March 2023

Top 5 Fake news of the week: A predictor Sediq Afghan is officially under the protection of the UN as a heritage of humankind

The Afghan prophet has recently gained huge popularity in Russia, since he predicts Ukraine losing the war and supposedly never makes mistakes.

A predictor Sediq Afghan is officially under the protection of the UN as a heritage of humankind, states Sediq Afghan’s Russian official website:

“Mohammad Sediq Afghan is an Afghan philosopher and mathematician. He is one of the greatest geniuses of the world and is listed by the UN as a UNESCO heritage of humankind”.

The Afghan prophet has recently gained huge popularity in Russia, since he predicts Ukraine losing the war and supposedly never makes mistakes. Additionally, according to him the recent earthquake in Turkey was of artificial nature and was done by a secret committee working against humankind.

Aside from the ambiguous predictions listed above, Sediq Afghan’s statement about himself is verifiable. UNESCO has a lot of lists, although none of them is called a Heritage of Humankind List. The English version of the mathematician’s website mentions a World Heritage List.

A UNESCO World Heritage List includes only two sites in Afghanistan. They are the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, as well as Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley. Neither Sediq Afghan, nor any other people are listed there.

A World Heritage List includes places that have outstanding cultural universal significance for humankind in order for them to be preserved for the future generations, so that they could value and enjoy them. For instance, the List includes Belarusian Mir and Nesvizh castles, as well as the Struve Arc and Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The philosopher is also absent in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Only 2 Afghan holidays Nowruz and Chella are there to be found, as well as certain traditions of silk production.

The head of the state-run TV-channel “Belarus-1” Ivan Eismant in his show “Editors’ Club” ridiculed the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. His quote is as follows:

“Do you know what von der Leyen said the other week? She says that the Nord stream probably wasn’t blown up by the USA. Why? Because no, she says. I don’t know of any instances when the US broke international law”.

The statement itself is an obvious reference to Iraq, since this topic had been discussed by the guests of the show right before this quote was made. Russian and Belarusian state-run media often compare the attack of Russia on Ukraine to the invasion of Iraq, in order to justify Russia’s right to break international law and invade other countries.

The source of the news is a satirical Telegram channel called “Here is my Yandex wallet”, which posted the following:

“’The version of the participation of the USA in a sabotage of a gas pipeline seems absurd to us. In all the years of the USA existence not a single fact of breaking the international law or other illegal activities was ever stated or proved.  A spotless reputation of the American state allows us to dismiss this version’ states the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen”.

By the time “Editors’ Club” had been recorded, this Telegram channel had already ridiculed those who had reposted the news, since it had been disproved as fake.

“A significant number of Ukrainians don’t want to fight for Donbas and Crimea” claims the dean of the Faculty of Journalism of the Belarusian State University Aliaksei Bialiaeu on the air of Alfa-Radio.

The quote:

“The most suffering side of the conflict is Ukraine. Although Ukrainian nationalists and Nazis are trying to destroy it completely, some part of the nation certainly believes that the war must be ended. A significant part of the nation doesn’t think they should fight for Crimea or for other territories, which don’t want to live with them. They need to make peace and come to the negotiating table in order to stop the destruction of their own nation”.

The statement was made amidst the news of Russia’s new attack on Ukrainian territories, which was not followed by any significant victories. The largest town the Russian army managed to occupy during this invasion is Soledar with a pre-war population of 10 thousand people. The second to the largest is the village Praskoveevka near Bahmut with 3 thousand residents.

The source of information for Bialiaeu’s claim remains unclear. The possible source might be a survey carried out by the Russian sociological service addressing the attitude towards the referendum on Ukrainian territories joining Russia, although it only covered the residents of so-called DNR and LNR, parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblast.

Ukrainian sociologists carry out such surveys on a regular basis and their results prove the opposite.

For instance, according to the November survey of the sociological service “Rating” only 9% of Ukrainians are ready to tolerate the loss of Crimea and Donbas, which were controlled by Russia before the invasion.

Similar results were shown by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation. Only a quarter of Ukrainians are ready to make some compromises for the sake of peace. As for giving away Crimea, only 8% of Ukrainians are ready to do it. And only 6% of them can agree to give up both Crimea and a part of Donbas.

Even the research by Munich security index 2023 showed that only 11% of respondents can accept the loss of Crimea. As for Crimea and pre-war DNR and LNR, only 7% of respondents are willing to accept such terms.

It means that even according to different surveys the results are mostly similar. The part of Ukrainians that is ready to accept the loss of some territories that happened before the full invasion varies around one-tenth of the population.

A Ukrainian expert praised Lukashenka on TV, reported the Telegram channel “Yellow leaks premium”, referring to an interview of the Ukrainian political consultant Aliaksandr Antoniuk to the “BELSAT” TV-channel. The channel posted:

“Polish propagandists were speechless from shock, when the invited guest from Ukraine started to praise Lukashenka on air, because he had prevented the robbery of the country in the 1990s.

‘His strongest side was that in the 1990s he didn’t allow that privatization that happened in Ukraine… People were deceived. In our county a class of oligarchs appeared… It was certainly a decrease. In Belarus everything from the USSR was saved… From this point of view Lukashenka looked progressive in the 2000s’.”

This speech really took place, however the context was different. In the interview Antoniuk explained how the Ukrainians’ attitude towards Lukashenka had changed by now. His quotes, which were cut off in the video posted by “Yellow leaks premium” channel, are the following:

“Our attitude towards Lukashenka has changed drastically. Now we’ve realized that an authoritarian regime always covers a totalitarian one.  Everything starts with authoritarianism…”

“We must acknowledge that Lukashenka managed not to allow, which is his strongest side, in the 1990s he didn’t allow that privatization… But sorry, despite everything all these state-run industries, I should note, were controlled by Lukashenka’s family. It means he created his monopoly on this state property…”

“You see, you understand it, but it was hard for us in Ukraine to realize it. We only saw the image, his product”.

Additionally, it can be seen that the attitude has not only changed because of Lukashenka’s position in the question of war. In 2021 54% Ukrainians have already distrusted Lukashenka. Although 36% still believed him, this number of supporters is bigger than other foreign leaders had at that time.

In April 2022 88% of respondents said that their view on Lukashenka was negative, and the other 8% of Ukrainians answered “rather negative”.

Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni claimed that Poland wants to attack Ukraine, reported several Belarusian Telegram channels, including “”, “Yellow leaks premium” and “Our land”, the latter of which stated:

“Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni: ‘Ukraine's defeat could pave the way for the possible invasion by other European states’. It’s a rather clear hint, referring to Poland dreaming of biting Western Ukraine off. In fact the Italian Prime Minister proved the words of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who on several occasions talked about it before”.

All the above Telegram channels reposted the news from the Telegram channel “Pool №3”. It’s a channel of a special correspondent of the department of politics in the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and a Kremlin journalist Dmitri Smirnov.

He posted a video with Giorgia Meloni’s speech in Ukraine simultaneously translated to the Ukrainian language with Russian captions below.

The original quote, which can also be found in the written speech of Meloni published on the official website of the Italian government, was:

“Ukraine's defeat could pave the way for the possible invasion of other European states”.

The captions, however, displayed the following:

“Ukraine's defeat "could pave the way for the possible invasion by other European states”.

Thus either a minor mistranslation, or malicious intent changed the meaning of Meloni’s phrase to its polar opposite. Meloni definitely meant that in case of Ukraine’s defeat other European countries could also be attacked or invaded.

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