SBU consistently exposes pro-Russian agitators provoking panic during quarantine
During the quarantine period, the SBU cyber-specialists blocked over 2,600 communities with more than a million subscribers and exposed 385 Internet-agitators who spread fake news about COVID-19 pandemic.
SBU employees established, that 18 agitators out of the exposed ones were implementing Russian tasks. The SBU initiated criminal proceedings upon the fact of actions aimed at forceful change or overthrow of constitutional order or take-over of government and trespass against territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine (Art. 109 and Art. 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Such agitators were “working” in Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Lviv, Kherson, Poltava, Kropyvnytskyi, Konotop, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnytskyi and Zhashkiv.
Using social media, Russian special services and agent networks of trolls, instructed by Russian special services, called for violating quarantine restrictions, holding protests, forceful take-over of government.
Thus, a resident of Odesa region regularly distributed in the social networks information containing public appeals for attaching western regions of Ukraine to bourdering countries. The propagandist received publications from Russian propaganda online media and Russian Internet sites. During the searches of the agitator’s residence, the SBU officers seized computer equipment and mobile devices with materials that prove his illegal activity.
The detainee was served a notice of suspicion of committing a crime under Part 1 Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The investigation is ongoing.
SBU submitted information on the 367 exposed agitators to the National Police. Administrative measures have already been taken against 160 persons for spreading fake news that could provoke panic or public order violations.
During 2019-2020, 26 cases against Internet agitators, who knowingly spread destructive information against Ukrainian state security via social networks, resulted in convictions.
The SBU would like to remind yet again that actions aimed at destabilization of situation, including through the Internet, are punishable by law. SBU calls on Internet users to be vigilant and pay attention to Internet security, as well as trust information from official sources only.
For the Attention of the SBU Head