LifeNews, a Russian tabloid, serving as one of the key propaganda news resources in Russian, utilizes social media to disseminate manipulations and fabrications covering Ukrainian events. The sophisticated work of the newsroom anticipates the active use of Twitter and YouTube.
On May 18, 2014, Ukrainian military seized in Donetsk region two Russians who claimed to be journalists of LifeNews. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies accused Russians of “cooperation with terrorists”, fighting against Ukrainian army near Sloviansk.
In response, LifeNews launched the campaign calling to “save our guys”. Only in Twitter up to 70,000 tweets have been published with hashtag #saveourguys. Russians also appealed to UN and OSCE demanding to free their “journalists.” Ukrainians published evidences of close cooperation between LifeNews representatives and terrorists.
Meanwhile LifeNews continues to manipulate – the recent false they circulated was the news about “killed child” during the anti-terrorist operation in Donetsk airport on May 27. The photo taken to illustrate the “cruelty” of Ukrainian army against civilians, in fact, was a photo from Syria.
Note: LifeNews.ru was launched in 2009 as a yellow news site and since then it became one of the main news source for the Russian audience. Since its launch, the site started paying fees for video footage from witnesses. In 2013, a news TV channels was set based on the Lifenews site. It has journalists in 20 Russian cities.