Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian propagandists have tried hard to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. Lately, we have noticed an influx of disinformation aligned with one of the typical Russian propaganda narratives, “Ukrainians need a new government/ Discrediting Ukrainian government.” 

Lately, one of the ways this narrative is expressed is through fakes and manipulations about the ‘clash’ between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Such a fake ‘report’ from the school that supposedly urged its students to vote for Zaluzhnyi as President was spread through propagandist Telegram channels. As evidence to their point, the authors posted a photo of a chalkboard. Let’s debunk it. 

What happened? 

On November 15, the Telegram channel ‘Ukropskyi fresh’ published a post that said that in Ukrainian educational facilities, kids are urged to support the Commander-in-Chief of the AFU, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, as a candidate for future presidential election. 

“Ukrainian kids are [rallied to support] Zaluzhnyi… [Usual] Ukrainians, children included, are already being involved in a conflict between the President of Ukraine and Commander-in-Chief of the AFU,” they comment. 

 To back up their claims, post authors add a couple of other photos, including an image from one of the Ukrainian schools, where a sign on the chalkboard says, “Zaluzhnyi is our President.” 


To identify the school photographed, we carefully studied the photo from the propagandists’ post. In one of the photos, we saw the sign, “Welcome to Selianshchinskyi sport lyceum.” [In Ukraine, a lyceum is a school that offers advanced or specialized educational programs, — ed.]

On the Facebook page of the Olexander Holiachenko and Dmytro Lytvynchuk Selianshchynskyi sports lyceum, we found a post (archive) with identical photos. 

A volunteer, Olha Olkina, published a post (archive) on Facebook with a photo of a chalkboard. Then, it was re-shared on the lyceum’s page by Inna Rosentryher, a deputy director of the facility. 

In reality, the sign on a chalkboard says (archive), “Slava Ukraini! Heroiam Slava!” [Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes, — ed.

We also confirmed debunking with Inna Rosentryher. She said, “In the original post, the sign on a chalkboard says, “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!” The meetup with volunteers was organized [to celebrate] a Day of Kindness. Lyceum employees didn’t and won’t do any political propaganda.”

So, propagandists used a photo from a school event dedicated to a Day of Kindness and added a fake sign to a chalkboard. This disinformation aims to impose the thought that the struggle between President Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi is so intense that school students are already a target of propaganda. 

The fake also implies Zaluzhnyi is a candidate for the Ukrainian presidency, which he is not. 

Conclusion: Fake 

Author: Ihor Soom 

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