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Fake "Ukrainian Pravda" page appears on Facebook, posts about corruption in Yuzhnoukrainsk

20.12.2023, 16:29

A fake page exploiting the "Ukrainian Pravda" brand has appeared on Facebook. The page hosts several links to the media outlet's reports and a post about supposed corruption in Yuzhnoukrainsk, reports the IMI representative in Mykolaiv oblast.

The page has the private account status and is called "Ukrainian Pravda"; it has a low-quality image of the media outlet's logo as its profile picture and cover. The "Information" section lists the Mykolaiv Center for Journalistic Investigations "NiKCenter" as the place of education and Kyiv as the place of residence. There page has seven "friend" accounts.

The first post on the page dates back to December 7, 2023. It was a link to a "Ukrainian Pravda" news item with a statement by US President Joe Biden. Three more similar posts with news from the media outlet were uploaded around the same time.

Screenshot by the IMI

On December 10, the page published a post "In Yuzhnoukrainsk city, the city hospital's director and officials want to 'embezzle millions' of budget money through the hospital." The post discusses public procurement by the Yuzhnoukrainsk City Hospital and, on behalf of "Ukrainian Pravda", appeals to the head of the Oblast Military Administration, Vitaliy Kim, and the head of the Oblast Council with the demand to "pay urgent attention to this."

Note that the official Facebook page of "Ukrainian Pravda" has a verified account badge. This means that it has been properly authenticated by Meta. UP has 833,000 followers on Facebook.

As reported by IMI, in April 2023, a fake website mimicking the media oultet "Ukrainian Pravda" appeared online. Journalist Pavlo Kazarin noticed that the clone website hosted a column posted under his name. "Ukrainian Pravda" contacted the SBU to address this.

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