February 23, 2024 | Deutsche Welle

President Zelenskyy, targeted by Russian information ops to undermine support for Ukraine

ISD Senior Analyst Julia Smirnova spoke with the Fact Check team from Germany’s Deutsche Welle about the multiple fake claims targeting Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an attempt to weaken Western support for the country. Some of the identified posts in the article accuse Zelenskyy and his wife of living a luxurious life with Western aid funds.

“First, the disinformation is posted in the social media, on the accounts of supposed journalists and whistleblowers, who don’t actually exist. Then they are taken up by pro-Kremlin media outlets and the Russian state media and spread further,” she said.

Even though Russia has using this tactic of fake news and propaganda since the beginning of the war, Julia explained how the stakes are higher now that the West is facing ongoing debates on whether and when to send more support to Ukraine: “Strategically, the West is still standing by Ukraine, but this year will be an important turning point.”

Julia added that Zelenskyy is a particular target of interest because he represents Ukraine: “Zelenskyy is the symbol of Ukraine, the symbol of Ukrainian resistance.”

The full article is available at DW’s website.