Russian and pro-Russian media have been falsely reporting that Ukrainian citizens will be trained to take part in Syria’s civil war. They have based this information solely on a forged document.

On October 21, the separatist website News Front posted an alleged scan of an official document from Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. It states that the Council decided on October 13 (though the document itself is dated October 16) to train Ukrainian soldiers for volunteer battalions in order to send them to Syria to assist “opposition forces.” The document is allegedly signed by the Secretary of the Council, Oleksandr Turchinov, and addressed to the Internal Affairs Minister, the Defense Minister, and the commander of the volunteer Right Sector battalion.

The news was then re-posted by Narodnyi Korrespondent, Politikus.ru, and Cont.ws.

website screenshot news-front.info

website screenshot news-front.info

Document on the website news-front.info

Document on the website news-front.info

The next day, Segodnia.ru posted an article entitled “Right Sector on the Way to Syria,” also basing its story on the document. The same article was then re-posted by Russkaya Pravda and komitet.net.ua.

website screenshot segodnia.ru

website screenshot segodnia.ru

The document published by News Front, however, has several mistakes that prove that it is forged.

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The surname of the Right Sector commander is misspelled. It should be “Стемпіцькому,” instead of “Стемпицькому.”

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screenshot of Facebook

The official name of Syria is the “Syrian Arab Republic,” not simply “Syrian Republic,” as it is written in the document. “Ukrainian armed volunteer formations” have been called “territorial defense battalionssince April 2015. The text of the document also contains several phrases borrowed from the Russian language. Finally, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine did not hold meetings on October 13 and 16. On October 13, Turchinov had a meeting with a U.S. congressional delegation. On October 16, he visited training facilities for police special forces near Kyiv.