May 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Disinformation: "Foreign mercenaries are leaving Ukraine to fight in Israel"

The latest disinformation campaign claims that foreign mercenaries fighting Russia in Ukraine are leaving the battlefield to fight Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Although the original CBS News report did not mention this, writes euronews. It was originally published in English, social media users are distributing the report in Ukrainian and Russian, claiming that mercenaries are leaving the battlefield and heading to the Gaza Strip. In one of the pro-Russian Telegram accounts it says:

“Aid and attention to Kyiv is noticeably decreasing due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which cannot but worry the Ukrainian authorities.”

Owner account in X asks:

“Transporting Foreign Legion fighters to take part in the war on the side of the IDF can greatly affect the morale of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The moment could not be more appropriate, given that the Russian Armed Forces are now on the offensive. The West is actually ready to close the Ukraine project.” and devote all your attention to the new conflict in the Middle East?

These words were considered by some to be a sign of the West’s loss of interest in a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, while others saw it as proof that NATO allies are actively moving troops into Ukraine.

However, some elements of the actual CBS report with the edited audio track raise doubts about the authenticity of the report – there is no channel logo, no journalist’s name, and none of the interviews in the story are voiced. All images are used as illustrations; none of the videos confirm the fact of the transfer of foreign troops from Ukraine to Israel or the sending of NATO troops to fight in Ukraine:

A reverse image search revealed that the original news report was published on October 9 by US news channel CBS, which said Israel was preparing “for a ground operation in Gaza following an unprecedented Hamas attack.” Nowhere in it does the journalist mention foreigners leaving Ukraine. This means that for the fake they simply took the video recording and added their voice-over.

Today there are approximately 1,500-2,000 foreign volunteers in Ukraine. They are also in the ranks of the Ukrainian army, for example, in the International Defense Legion of Ukraine. As of March 2022, as asserts Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the number of applications reached 20 thousand from 52 countries. But since then there has been no official information about how many fighters of the International Legion remain in the country. According to media reports, their number has decreased to 1,500-2,000 people, the majority serve in three battalions of the legion. None of the NATO countries stationed troops in Ukraine.

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