A statement on the website of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes no mention of Canada funding the deployment of Ukrainian women to be among the first to clear dangerous areas. The screenshot posted on social media differs from the official information on the website, which means it was forged to discredit Ukraine and its partners. Moreover, the aforementioned HALO Trust organization trains women from all over the world in the basics of mine safety and other military specialties, but this training does not involve «sending women among the first to demine particularly dangerous areas».

Social media and Russian websites are spreading information that Ukraine will allegedly send its women to demining «among the first to particularly dangerous areas» and Canada will finance it.  «In the new aid package from Canada, ‘gender-inclusive demining’ means granting women and ‘other female persons’ a special right of preference in demining and sending them ‘among the first’ to particularly dangerous areas,» netizens write. As proof of their words, they demonstrate a screenshot from the official website of the Prime Minister of Canada, which allegedly says this.

In fact, the press release on the Canadian prime minister’s website does not mention that Ukrainian women will be sent to demine particularly contaminated areas. The British project HALO Trust, mentioned in the document, helps women from all over the world to acquire the appropriate education and skills as sappers, paramedics, mechanics, translators, etc. This does not mean, however, that Ukrainian women who have received the appropriate education will be among the first to go to demining dangerous areas.

The official website of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did publish information about providing Ukraine with an additional military aid package on the second anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, on February 24, 2024. The list of projects for funding includes, among others, «Gender-inclusive demining for sustainable futures in Ukraine», for which Canada is providing $4 million. However, the information on the official website differs from the screenshot posted on social media. The latter contains a statement that “women will be among the first to be sent to demine particularly dangerous areas,” but the Canadian website does not contain such words.

«This project from the HALO Trust aims to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians, including women and internally displaced persons, by addressing the threat of explosive ordnance present across vast areas of the country. Project activities include conducting non-technical surveys and subsequent manual clearance in targeted communities; providing capacity building to key national stakeholders; and establishing a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine», the Canadian Prime Minister’s website says. Thus, the original source does not mention that women will be the first to be sent to demine particularly contaminated areas.

Moreover, using the Wayback Machine web archive, we checked whether the text quoted in the screenshots was ever on the Canadian website at all. Each of the 21 previously saved screenshots from February 26, 2024, does not have the last sentence about sending Ukrainian women to demining among the first. Thus, it becomes obvious that this text was intentionally added to the screenshot and spread in the publics to create another fake discrediting Ukraine and its partners.

It is worth noting that the HALO Trust project mentioned in the Canadian press release is a UK-based non-governmental organization engaged in mine clearance in conflict zones around the world. The organization specifically helps women gain relevant training and skills as deminers, paramedics, mechanics, interpreters and more. «Often, the women we employ become agents of change in their own communities, empowered by their new-found status, skills and income», the HALO Trust website states.

As for Ukraine, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Charlotte MacLeod told Canada’s National Post in a commentary that thanks to HALO’s lobbying efforts, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense in 2017 allowed women to be hired as sappers, which was previously prohibited under Ukrainian labor law. «Since then, HALO has trained hundreds of women in demining, team leadership, intermediate care provision and explosive ordnance recognition and disposal… As of January 2024, 29 per cent of HALO’s 1,127 staff in Ukraine are women, including 267 women holding operational positions. As HALO continues to expand its operational and personnel capacity, its strategic goal is to increase the proportion of female staff, especially in senior roles», the National Post reported, citing a Global Affairs Canada spokesperson.

Thus, a fake screenshot with inaccurate information aimed at discrediting Ukraine and its Western allies, as well as at undermining the trust of Ukrainian society in state and military institutions, is once again being spread on social networks.

StopFake continues to expose such fakes in the following pieces: Manipulation: Kyiv is Going to Mobilize 3 Million Childless Women, Fake: Ukraine Sends Underage Girls to Frontline – Dog Tag Photo, Manipulation: Ukrainian Commanders Drug Soldiers with Ketamine ‘To Overcome Fear’ – Time