Russian media is disseminating fake stories claiming Ukraine is selling stale repackaged bread as the country is suffering from bread shortages. Bread manufacturer Kyivkhlib’s hotline reported that they do not produce the kinds of bread products described in these Russian stories. Russian propagandist claims that there is a bread shortage in Ukraine are also untrue. While experts predict an increase in bread prices throughout 2023, there are absolutely no bread shortages in Ukraine.
Some Russian media and propaganda Telegram channels are spreading disinformation that due to a bread shortage, Ukraine has started selling ‘bread products’ made from unsold stale bread leftovers. As proof, they link to a video showing that such ‘bread products’ can be purchased in online grocery stores.
The Kremlin propagandist outlet Ukraina.ru first published this information on its Telegram channel, explaining that the video recording supporting the claim was provided by their subscriber.
This information however, is not true. The video circulating online alleges that the Kyivkhlib bread company is the manufacturer of the stale ‘bread product’. StopFake fact checkers looked into the range of products on the Kyivkhlib website and did not find any so-called “bread products”. In addition, the company’s hotline reported that they never had such a product. This was also confirmed by the employees of a Kyivkhlib brand store in Kyiv, that StopFake fact checkers visited.
StopFake was unable to find anything resembling the alleged “bread products” on sale from any other manufacturer. Therefore, this video was most likely fabricated.
Russian propagandists also claim that Ukrainian media allegedly announced a bread shortage as early as the beginning of 2023. However, this information is yet another manipulated distortion of the facts. It refers to a January 10, 2022 interview with the president of the Ukrainian Consumer Protection Organization Oleh Titamyr to the Fakty newspaper. Titamyr noted that for manufacturers on the domestic market, the prices of raw materials and gas have increased. These two factors have a negative impact on the baking industry. Many manufacturers barely break even or simply do not make any profit in such conditions. Oleh Titamyr says that if bread manufacturers raise prices, only a small percentage of Ukrainians will be able to afford bread for 40-50 hryvnias per loaf. This can lead to reduced sales and bread shortages. Titamyr was only talking about the possibility of such a scenario.
On February 28, 2023, All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council chairman Denys Marchuk stated on Ukrainian national television that currently there is no shortage of bread in Ukraine, but its price may increase in 2023. In March 2023, the State Statistics Service reported that as a result of Russia invading Ukraine and the impact of the war on Ukraine’s economy, bread prices increased by 26% during the past year.
Previously, StopFake refuted false information that pensions and social benefits were allegedly canceled in Ukraine.