Manipulation and fakes concerning the police shooting in Dnipro
Opinions among Ukrainians regarding this event remain divided. Did the police exceed their authority? Did they act appropriately? Did the threat to the lives of the patrol officers warrant the use of their service weapons?
It wasn’t only russian propaganda that was “trying so hard”; there were also various instances of manipulation in the Ukrainian information field. In this analysis, we will not delve into the legal aspects of this case but will focus on compiling the most prevalent instances of fakes and manipulation for you to consider.
Before examining the fabrications, let’s briefly recap the main facts:
The victim was identified as Dzhumberi Silogava, a 38-year-old individual registered in the Dnipro Region. Mr. Silogava was involved in the funeral services business. The Jaguar car stopped by the patrol officers belonged to Natalia Silogava, who is Dzhumberi’s ex-wife. However, at the time of the incident, the car was occupied by a different woman, not Natalia Silogava.
According to Suspilne, patrol officer Yevhen Zvonkov, who fired three shots, was placed under a measure of restraint in the form of 60 days of round-the-clock house arrest.
In court, Zvonkov maintained his innocence.
The police officer claimed that he used his weapon only after exhausting all available means to protect his own life.
Now, let’s examine the fakes and manipulation associated with this story, starting with the most blatantly false information.
A popular russian propaganda Telegram channel boasting 470,000 subscribers used this incident to insinuate that the man had been killed in front of his family because he refused to join the Armed Forces. Later, some Ukrainian bloggers also shared this fake.
The first instance of manipulation takes us back to the period of 2013-2014, during the time of Euromaidan. The author distinctly distorts facts and information, wrongly asserting that the police didn’t fire upon protesters at the Maidan, and that a police officer killed a civilian in Dnipro.
Firstly, the civilian lost his life in Dnipro after he attacked two policemen, causing them injuries. According to the patrol officer, he used his weapon only after exhausting all available means and in defense of his own life. Whether the police officer’s assessment of the situation is legitimate remains a question that will be ultimately addressed by the court.
Secondly, during the events of Euromaidan, the police and Berkut forces fired at unarmed persons who did not pose a threat to the lives of the police officers. It was only in response to the initial shots fired by the police that protesters returned fire.
According to various estimates, approximately 70 protesters and 11 law enforcement officers lost their lives.
Therefore, asserting that no firearms were used against the protesters during Euromaidan constitutes a clear case of manipulation and disinformation.
The next instance of manipulation comes from the well-known blogger Rostyslav Shaposhnikov.
In his post, the blogger compares the situations in Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, where a fight broke out between employees of the local Territorial Recruitment Centre (TRC) and a passerby who was attempting to evade them, resulting in the passerby being forcibly thrown to the ground.
Shaposhnikov criticizes the police’s handling of the situation in Zaporizhzhia, advocating for the use of firearms against the TRC employees.
In fact, in a video shared on social media, police officers were actually seen attempting to intervene and prevent the assault on the passerby while also separating the TRC employees from him. There was no apparent threat to anyone’s life in Zaporizhzhia. The conduct and actions of the TRC employees during this incident will be subject to evaluation by the relevant authorities.
Lastly, another blogger, Serhiy Medianyk, engages in manipulative tactics by comparing the detention and subsequent placement in a pre-trial detention facility for 60 days of Poltava fitness blogger Roman Zavoloka and the imposition of round-the-clock house arrest on a patrol officer in Dnipro.
The selection of a preventive measure is contingent not only on the severity of the charges faced by an individual but also on factors such as their potential to influence witnesses or evade investigative authorities, etc.
Roman Zavoloka has repeatedly and publicly insulted Ukrainian soldiers and even spat at one of them. Consequently, he received a note of suspicion, particularly for insulting the honour and dignity of a serviceman