Antifake / Factcheck

18 May 2023

Top 5 Fake News. European Commission head’s grandfather was Nazi?

The website presents the family tree of Ursula von der Leyen.

Fake#5. Meat production in Belarus is growing

In Belarus, the 2023 sowing campaign is finishing. Alexander Lukashenko inspecting fields with oats and peas appears in a news video. And state-run media outlets report on the successes of domestic agriculture. 

The state-run news agency BelTA published an article authored by Natalia Sonich, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

According to the official, there is progress in the fight for the growth of meat production in Belarus, and, in particular, in 2023 they plan to increase beef production compared to last year.

Belarus at such a pace should reach a record 700-odd thousand tons of meat by 2025, Natalia Sonich concludes.

However, according to last year's plans for the development of agriculture, the same record 700 thousand tons should have been produced in 2019. But the plans haven’t come true.

Now, everything is not going very smoothly too.

In 2023, they plan to produce beef in the amount of 640,000 tons, which is 2,000 less than in 2020.

Let's look at pork production. One more quote from BelTA:

“Last year Belarus produced almost 400 thousand tons of pork, and in 2023 it's planned to produce 418.6 thousand tons, which is 4.7% more.

These figures will be achieved through new pig farms.”

Sounds like good news. If you don’t know that 524 tons were initially supposed to be produced.  

The situation is similar with poultry meat. In 2023, it is planned to produce 700 thousand tons. However, two years ago they have already planned to produce 748 thousand tons in 2023.

This is probably due to the decrease in the number of livestock. Belstat data and statements by Alexander Lukashenko confirm it. 

“As I was informed, in half of the regions of the country they were not yet able to control the livestock reduction,” Lukashenko said

But in an article published by BELTA, the official does not mention the problems in the Belarusian livestock industry, as well as their causes.

Fake#4. Grandfather of head of the European Commission is Nazi

Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen's visit to Kyiv "closed the wheel of history", because her grandfather is a Nazi, Telegram channel "ZhS Premium" claimed in connection with her arrival in the Ukrainian capital on May 9.

“It should be said, that Carl Albrecht, Ursula's grandfather, was not just an ordinary member of the NSDAP, he held a high position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade and economic departments of the Third Reich and worked just on the territory of occupied Ukraine.

He was responsible for "increasing the volume of production in the territories and factories under the jurisdiction of the ministry," that is, for forcibly compelling Ukrainians into slave labor," it was claimed.

It’s not the first "exposure" of European politicians. Before this, Nazi grandfathers were allegedly found at the hands of Polish President Andrzej Duda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The Belarusian Investigative Center has exposed these fakes. 

In the European Commission head's case, the propagandists didn’t even show a pic of her grandfather as proof, as they did in fakes about Poland and German leaders.

Although back in 2022, information was circulating on social networks that her grandfather was another Albert, Carl Albrecht Oberg, one of the leaders of the SS, nicknamed the "Butcher of Paris".

The website presents the family tree of Ursula von der Leyen.

Her grandfather's name was Carl Eduard Albrecht, he was not a Nazi official, but a German psychotherapist, the author of the famous book "The Psychology of the Mystical Consciousness", written in 1951.

Fake#3. Sports bars in Frankfurt to show Victory Parade in Moscow live

The Victory Parade in Moscow is such an interesting event for the whole world that in German bars they introduced table reservations for broadcasting from Red Square, Russian propaganda host Vladimir Solovyov claimed.

“In Frankfurt, sports bars will broadcast live from the Victory Parade. It is noteworthy that the 9th beer is a gift,” Solovyov reported via his Telegram channel.

In confirmation, he showed an ad leaflet allegedly from the Champions bar in Frankfurt.

There it's offered to book a table for a big screen watching the broadcast of the festive procession on Red Square. But there are a few oddities.

Firstly, on the leaflet, the war is called the Great Patriotic War, according to the Soviet and Russian tradition, although in Germany World War II is the generally accepted name.

The QR code at the bottom of the ad leads to the website, the Russian state-owned online multimedia platform developed by the VGTRK media holding.

We found the Champions Frankfurt bar on Instagram and asked if the information spreading Solovyov was true.

Here is their reply:

“Hi, we have learned that a flyer with incorrect information was posted on Twitter over the weekend. This flyer is not from Champions Frankfurt and we can confirm that Champions Frankfurt will not be broadcasting this event. 

Champions Frankfurt is a sports bar that will broadcast the regular program of international and local sports events.”

Fake#2. In Poland, authorities dismantled monument on mass grave of Red Army soldiers

A monument stood at the burial site of Soviet soldiers was demolished in Poland, Ivan Eismont, head of a Belarussian state-run media company, claimed

“We are surrounded by openly pro-Nazi regimes. I mean the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Poland. I watched the video today, I think it's new.

In Poland, a monument of gratitude to the Red Army was demolished live at the burial site of more than 500 soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian Front.

These clowns make a very show out of it, broadcast it all live, shout, applaud. The degradation of Poland's political system has finally happened," Ivan Eismont claimed in the program "Editors' Club" on Belarus-1 TV.

Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, called Poland "officially ungrateful" for the demolition of the "monument of gratitude".

Ivan Eismont highlighted that the monument stood at the burial place of the dead. It is not true.

According to the Institute of National Remembrance of Poland, at the time of its dismantling on May 5, 2023, there have been no burials for 70 years. 

“Documentation of the Polish Red Cross has confirmed that complex exhumations of the remains of Red Army soldiers were carried out in Glubchitse in 1952, and there were no burials of Red Army soldiers left in Glubchitse,” the Institute website reported.

BIC has no documentation evidence to the contrary. Now the Poles consider this monument solely as an object to be demolished under the law on ban on propaganda of communism or another totalitarian system.

And Ivan Eismont, in fact, equated the demolition of the Soviet monument in Poland to the destruction of real Polish graves in Belarus.

Fake#1 Residents of Warsaw protested against Poland's participation in the war

The state-run TV channel Belarus-1 reported about an alleged rally against "Poland's participation in the war unleashed by the US and NATO" held in the Polish capital.

Here is what the propaganda said:

“In Poland, the demonstrators came out not against the consequence of the problem, but against its premise. Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Warsaw to protest Poland's involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The people do not want to see the participation of their children in the bloodshed that the United States and NATO are waging on the territory of Ukraine against Russia, one of the organizers of the rally says.

Markus Fuchs: “And here we must send a clear signal that there can be peace in Europe only together, together with Russia. Russia belongs to Europe, whether we like it or not. To bring peace here through diplomacy, if we all sit down together and follow a security policy for Europe, for us, and not for the United States.” 

There are many inconsistencies in this story. For example, it is claimed that the demonstration took place in Warsaw, but the video shows the Polish village of Porajów on the Polish border with the Czech Republic and Germany.

We found the original of this video. It is entitled: "Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in a border village to call for peace in Ukraine."

The man, whose name was Markus Fuchs in the story of Belarus-1, allegedly speaks about Russia. His words are impossible to make out because of dubbing in Russian. But BIC found the original video used in the story. 

Here's what the man actually said: 

"It's about peace, cutting off arms supplies to Ukraine and using the money instead for Poland, for children and pensioners." 

In the plot, the propagandists completely changed the meaning of what the man said. They also repeated the fragment from the interview twice, since the original interview is much shorter than it is shown in the Belarus-1 story. 

By the way, the man’s name is Michael Hechinsawa, not Markus Fuchs. This is a demonstrator from Poland as he was introduced in the original video content. Which was filmed by the Ruptly video agency.

On the official website, Ruptly does not demonstrate its connection with the propaganda TV channel Russia Today. Their public founder is the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization "TV-NEWS".

But the management of the last company does not hide its connection with RT.

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