Antifake / Factcheck

22 April

Fact check: Belarus’ State TV Falsely Reported on Conscription of Belarusians and Russians into Army of Ukraine

There was no evidence provided by the CTV to support this claim.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a new law on mobilization, which should come into effect on May 18. Ассоrding to the document, both the rules of military registration for Ukrainian conscripts and sanctions for draft dodgers will be tightened. Covering the news, Belarusian state-run TV channel СTV reported on extra innovation, saying that Belarusians and Russians residing in Ukraine will also be subject to conscription. The Weekly Top Fake team fact-checked the claim.

The  CTV audience was shown the piece of fake news about the alleged conscription of Belarusian and Russian political refugees into the Ukrainian Army on April 18, 2024.

“Another desperate attempt by the Kyiv regime to strengthen its forces will likely end in failure. However, out of sheer desperation, the authorities are willing to take such a step. It is assumed that former residents of the Union State will be formed into special units for foreigners, and they will have to pay a debt to a foreign homeland. The initiator of the draft law was the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi,” the host reported.

There was no evidence provided by the CTV to support this claim. However, another pro-government media outlet, the Telegram channel Neifolfovich, published a picture of a document about the military conscription of Belarusians and Russians on April 16th.

“We have obtained a document that indicates that the Ukrainian command has initiated the conscription of foreigners from among Russians and Belarusians with the status of political refugees into specialized units formed from foreigners,” the post states.

On April 9, the website of the media outlet Ukrayinska Pravda posted a similar document. Its first two paragraphs match the text published by the Belarusian Telegram channel.

So, according to the document, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyy, requests the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, to consider the issues of demobilization and rotation of military personnel not within the law on mobilization, but separately. And indeed, that point was excluded from the draft law on mobilization.

Further, both documents contain different messages in the next two paragraphs. The document from Ukrayinska Pravda talks about parliamentary amendments and grounds for dismissal from service. And the Telegram channel’s Nevolfovich — is about Belarusians and Russians.

The last paragraphs are identical in content, the only difference is the spelling of the word “bill” and the number of spaces in its identification. The signature of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is the same in both versions of the document. 

The document number from the Nevolfovich channel’s photo is blurred, so it is difficult to compare it with the original.

The WTF team sought a comment from the Public Relations Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have confirmed that the information regarding the recruitment of Belarusians and Russians is not accurate.

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