On July 27, gazeta.ru falsely reported that two Russian fighters from the GRU (the Russian military intelligence special forces), Alexander Alexandrov and Evgeny Erofeyev, had been exchanged for Ukrainian military personnel. The site gave officials within the Russian and Ukrainian security ministries as sources, as well as Konstantin Kravchuk, Alexandrov’s lawyer.

Captura de pantalla de Gazeta.ru

Captura de pantalla de Gazeta.ru

However, the story was later denied by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, and Erofeyev’s lawyer.

The speaker for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya, told TV Channel 112 on July 27 that “the Russian military [personnel] are now in Kyiv and are waiting for the completion of the investigation and court.”

website screenshot 112.ua

website screenshot 112.ua

Oksana Sokolovskaya, Erofeyev’s lawyer, told Interfax Russia on July 28: “This information is untrue. My client is still in a Ukrainian hospital.”

website screenshot interfax.ru

website screenshot interfax.ru

The advisor to the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister on the release of prisoners, Vasily Budik, said on the Russian news channel Dozhd, “So far, to my knowledge, they are in place. According to my data, there was no exchange.”

website screenshot tvrain.ru

website screenshot tvrain.ru

On July 28, the SBU website published photos and a video to prove that the Russian military personnel are still being held in a Kiev military hospital. The same day, journalist were allowed to visit them.

Photo by Ukrainian SBU Security service. Published on June 28

Photo SBU. Published on June 28

Photo by Ukrainian SBU Security service. Published on June 28

You can find this news in our StopFakeNews video digest #71