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False report of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine

Hackers spread false reports of nuclear disaster, death of US troops in Ukraine, https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/hackers-spread-false-reports-of-nuclear-disaster-death-of-us-troops-in-ukraine.html?cn-reloaded=1

By Illia Ponomarenko. Sept. 23  An act of deception that was later revealed as a series of hacker attacks brought a whole range of simultaneous false reports of a nuclear disaster, the death of Ukrainian and American military personnel, and other incidents in Ukraine on Sept. 23.

Notably, the fake news campaign occurred during the climax of the large Ukrainian-American-British-Canadian military exercises Joint Endeavor 2020, which continue all across the country since Sept. 19, and during yet another round of Ukrainian-American anti-terror drills Rapid Trident in Lviv Oblast.

Moreover, the fake stories were published and massively spread not only by dubious Facebook accounts but also by hacked websites of local authorities and even the police.

The reports started off with a post published on the official website of the local government in the town of Varash some 340 kilometers northwest of Kyiv. The town is located just near the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant and is home to most of the enterprise’s personnel.

The message stated that during Rapid Trident drills, one of the Rivne power plant blocks was accidentally cut off from the electricity supply, which resulted in a catastrophic radioactive release, with severely contaminated materials spilled into the Styr River nearby. According to the fake report, the leak constituted 10% of the radioactive fallout registered during the 1986 Chornobyl accident, the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

So, the website said, the Varash town government had made a decision to declare the state of emergency and launch an operation to evacuate the civilian population from a newly established 30-kilometer alienation zone around the power plant.

The message stated that during Rapid Trident drills, one of the Rivne power plant blocks was accidentally cut off from the electricity supply, which resulted in a catastrophic radioactive release, with severely contaminated materials spilled into the Styr River nearby. According to the fake report, the leak constituted 10% of the radioactive fallout registered during the 1986 Chornobyl accident, the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

So, the website said, the Varash town government had made a decision to declare the state of emergency and launch an operation to evacuate the civilian population from a newly established 30-kilometer alienation zone around the power plant.

Simultaneously with the Lviv report, the Kherson police website said the local law enforcers investigated “the death of American military councilors” in the oblast, which also on Sept. 23 hosted a major round of Ukrainian-American maneuvers Joint Endeavor 2020, which were visited by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

And at the same time, an official website of the police department of Vinnytsya Oblast, also a scene of the Joint Endeavor exercises, suddenly said a U.S. military serviceperson was arrested on charges of raping a 16-year-old girl.

In all cases, the country’s police immediately refuted the claims on its official Telegram channel, adding that some of its regional websites were hacked simultaneously at 11:45 a.m. Kyiv time.

The police’s main website was switched off for emergency works. As of Sept. 23 evening, it was still not available for users.

Later in the day, the police said it had initiated a criminal case regarding the hacking campaign.

September 24, 2020 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine

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