Antifake / Factcheck

01 February 2023

Top 5 Fake news of the week: a TV set of the future

On air of the ONT TV Channel an economic analyst Georgy Grits stated that Belarus is a rather innovative country, according to international ratings.

“Banners urging the government not to supply Ukraine with tanks appeared at the Stuttgart airport in Germany”, claim pro-Russian telegram channels on the day of the Western leaders' meeting at the Ramstein Air Base meeting.

“Here in Germany, banners appeared at the Stuttgart airport, urging not to give the "Leopards" to Ukraine. I took a photo by myself. They have timed it to the Rammstein, I say for sure”.

The Stuttgart airport commented:

“The monitors we see in your footage only show some advertisements or announcements to passengers about security checks or other work-related changes. In our opinion, the pictures in your files are clearly photomontages".

A few days later an announcement reappeared at the Berlin Zoo: “We kindly ask you not to feed the leopards with Zelensky’s empty talk. The animal may vomit!”

It was reported by the Internet resources "Call of Pridnestrovie" and "Podmoskovye Segodnya". Representatives the Berlin Zoo stated the following:

"We are very surprised by this photomontage. The photo is definitely a fake. Since the beginning of the war, we have been in contact with many people in Ukraine and organized the transport of aid shipments, as well as donations for our colleagues, for example, in the Kiev Zoo. In total, since the beginning of the war we have collected more than €400.000 donations in support of Ukraine".

At that conference in Ramstein the leaders of the NATO countries promised to supply Ukraine with a number of weapons, except for the Leopard tanks, which Ukraine needs.

On air of the ONT TV Channel an economic analyst Georgy Grits stated that Belarus is a rather innovative country, according to international ratings.

His quote: “Domestic science and innovative practices occupy a worthy place in world rankings. In particular, I would like to note just one indicator - the Global Innovation Index. In 2021, Belarus ranked 62nd among 132 countries all over the world. And the index had increased by 24 positions at once over the past 5 years”.

It is unclear why Georgy Grits spoke about 2021. In fact the results for 2022 have already been announced.  Now Belarus finds itself in a significantly lower position, namely 77th place, right between Jamaica and Jordan. Furthermore Belarus ranks 38th out of 39 European countries on the list, being ahead only of Albania.

The whole report seems like another attempt to conceal the problems of Belarus in matters of innovation amidst the mass emigration of IT specialists and other professionals.

According to the telegram channel “Pool One'' the Horizont group has produced a unique item, a TV set of the future. The director Yuri Predko presented the innovation at the meeting with Alexander Lukashenka, stating the following:

“There is a transparent screen, with a transparent film, with a transparent OLED screen. It’s a unique TV set. It doesn’t even belong to the next generation, but rather to the distant future. We have made it, it is an innovative product that will appear worldwide, I think, in 10 years”.

Actually there is no need to wait 10 years, since the so-called innovation has been on the international market for years.

For instance, Samsung developed transparent OLED displays 14 years ago. A transparent TV was introduced by Panasonic 5 years ago. The Chinese company Xiaomi also offers this product. YouTube bloggers are already posting unboxing of new transparent TVs, which can be purchased on Aliexpress for $11.000.

Another new unique Belarusian product was found at the exhibition "Intellectual Belarus" by the state-owned Capital TV-channel:

“A unique simulator using virtual reality technologies for training rescuers was presented here by the employees of The University of Civil Protection of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Wearing a special suit, the cadet can interact with the game environment and receive tactile feedback”.

According to the rescuers, the uniqueness of the development lies in the fact that a special suit is used together with VR glasses and software:

While carrying out a mission a cadet can feel an appropriate response in case of mistakes. For example, if a firefighter approaches the fire in virtual reality, then thanks to the suit, he feels the heat.

Panasonic TV

Regardless of its technological features, the idea itself is far from unique. Three years ago CNN reported that the same simulator for rescuers with goggles and a suit had already been created. It is being sold by the Australian company FLAIM Systems.

Nevertheless, there is in fact an original and internationally acclaimed product developed by Belarusian IT specialists, which should be taken into account. It is a virtual reality suit called Tesla Suite. However, its head office is located in London. It is also worth mentioning, that according to the portal more than 20.000 IT specialists have left Belarus since autumn 2020.

As reported by the telegram channel of the state newspaper "Minskaya Pravda, huge flocks of crows "covered" Kyiv:

“The people of Kiev on social networks say that they have never seen such huge packs of crows and are reminded that this usually means trouble".

This content turned out to be stolen. Firstly, the place shown is not Kyiv, but Houston, which is located on the territory of the United States, not Ukraine. Secondly, the video itself was published in 2017. Thirdly, these were actually thrushes. This was reported by the Daily Mail 6 years ago.

Oddly enough, the topic of crows over Kyiv was widely spread in Russian media and social networks. Crows were posted by many, including bloggers and diplomats.

Twitter user Katya Lycheva, known as a Soviet girl who traveled to the United States on a mission of peace in 1986, also posted two videos. The first one is the same fake from Houston, and the second one is real, previously posted in the telegram channel “Real Kyiv”, although not so impressive.

She posted an emotional message in French: “A huge flock of crows has been flying over Kyiv for three already ... Residents do not remember anything like that happening before! In Slavic folklore, a raven is a "harbinger of evil" and it worries people!"

Her tweet was reposted by the Russian UN deputy ambassador Dmitry Polyansky.

 "They are circling over Kyiv because of sacrilege", he said, probably meaning this is a response to the state-sponsored sacrilege including destroying churches and persecuting priests.

Another video was published by the telegram channel of Igor Girkin, also known as Strelkov, who has recently confirmed that he had provoked the outbreak of a military conflict 8 years ago. It is called “All the crows of Kyiv flocked over the cathedral where the council of schismatics was held” and was originally uploaded in 2018.

The fake can be spotted in the title itself. What the author called the cathedral of schismatics is in fact the Unification Council of Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, where the Ukrainian Church, independent of the Moscow Patriarchate, was established. The Unification Council took place a few days before this circling of birds in the sky and in a completely different place, namely in St. Sophia Cathedral. While the video shows Mystetskyi Arsenal.

The interest of Russian media and Dmitry Polyansky in particular in the flocks of crows over Kyiv could be considered bizarre.

Flocks of crows are a normal phenomenon for Russia as well.  The birds have been on several occasions spotted circling in Rostov-on-Don, over Pyatigorsk and just above the White House itself in Moscow.

The Russian media even reported that birds were so fond of the roof of the government house that ₽ 42 million were taken from the federal budget to be spent on extermination. Moreover there is a special ornithological group, created to protect the Kremlin against crows.

According to Bill Gates, “The Ukrainian government is one of the worst in the world!” reported Russian and Belarusian media.

The video with Bill Gates’ quote was posted by the Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov.

“The Ukrainian government is one of the worst in the world... You know, corrupt, controlled by a few rich people, I mean really, unfortunate for the people of Ukraine”.

The interview is real; however Solovyov and the Russian media threw out the first word from his phrase. The original quote is as follows:

“Pre-war, you know, the Ukrainian government is one of the worst in the world... You know, corrupt, controlled by a few rich people, I mean really, unfortunate for the people of Ukraine ''.

It turns out that Gates was critical of the pre-war Ukrainian government. But now he really praised Zelensky for his leadership qualities, calling Ukraine an incredible place. He also expressed his hope that after the war it would reach the European level.

“It’s very impressive that he’s been able to draw the country together in the response. People did not expect Ukraine to be successful in avoiding Russia taking over the entire country. So there’s a mix of Russia being much weaker and less intelligent than was expected and Ukraine that was far stronger”.

In his interview for the well-known YouTube channel "Empatia Manuchi" Russian deputy of State Duma Anatoly Wasserman spoke about the fall of European industry:

“It turned out that without cheap energy coming from us, European industry cannot compete even with North American, not to mention Chinese. And so now the industry of the EU is catastrophically falling”.

This is probably a fine example of Russian newspeak, whose purpose is to divert attention from serious problems, soften messages and hide facts. In the very same manner the cruiser "Moskva" did not sink, but rather made a negative ascent.

In truth, applying Russian newspeak to the case, EU industry could be described as falling negatively. There has been almost 6% growth in September, almost 4% in October2% growth in November compared to the corresponding months last year. Although it should be specified that the EU's data are average. Nearly half of the countries demonstrated industry growth, yet the others showed a decrease.

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