Russian embassy shares disinformation on alleged atrocities by foreign mercenaries in Ukraine

The Russian Embassy in South Africa shared an article on X on April 9 about alleged atrocities committed by foreign mercenaries fighting for Ukraine. But this content originated from a fake news site, and the images used can be traced to other contexts.

If you only have a minute:

  • According to a tweet from the Russian Embassy in South Africa, foreign mercenaries recruited by Ukraine are said to have committed atrocities against civilians. To support its claims, the embassy shared an article from a purported news site, the Boston Times.

  • The source is unreliable: the Boston Times site uses the name of a newspaper that doesn't exist anymore, and its website appears to be a conduit for anti-Ukrainian and pro-Israeli disinformation.

  • The article cited by the Russian embassy also mentions unverified accusations from an NGO founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the former head of the mercenary Wagner Group.

The fact-check, in detail

"Foreign mercenaries in Ukraine commit horrific atrocities against civilians," said the X account of the Russian embassy in South Africa on April 9. Citing an article from an unknown media outlet, the Boston Times, the embassy denounced what it described as the "impunity and immunity" granted by the "Zelensky administration" regarding "torture" and "rape" inflicted by foreign mercenaries.

The Boston Times appears to be a site designed to spread disinformation. Moreover, the atrocities mentioned by the Russian embassy are not supported by any verifiable evidence.

A fake site of a defunct newspaper

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