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How the media manipulates the news release from the State Customs Service regarding the disappearance of a third of humanitarian aid for military units

Media outlets are circulating a narrative that distorts the recent news release from the State Customs Service of Ukraine, claiming that a third of the humanitarian aid intended for the military has been stolen. While various publications reference the State Customs Service’s latest news release, the focus is less on the theft of humanitarian aid and more on the importation of goods without paying the appropriate duty, known as risky customs clearances.

Two days ago, the State Customs Service of Ukraine issued a news release, indicating that, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense, they had examined over 9,000 cases of humanitarian aid shipments to 200 military units within the first nine months of 2023. Notably, in over 3,000 cases, aid receipt for the military was not confirmed.

Most of the Ukrainian Telegram channels and media outlets disseminated this information, strongly suggesting that the aid had been stolen. Of course, even enemy propaganda joined in on spreading this narrative.

This is pure manipulation.




 However, this becomes clear when you read the State Customs Service’s news release to the end. The last sentence serves as a reminder from customs officials: “the importation of commercial goods under the guise of humanitarian aid is a violation of current legislation and entails liability.” 

In essence, the issue revolves not solely (or even primarily) around the theft of humanitarian aid for the military but also about the importation of goods without paying the appropriate duty, the so-called risky customs clearances. Numerous instances have been documented where individuals attempted to import goods not intended for the military under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Furthermore, the State Customs Service, in the same news release, highlights that “to address identified violations of customs legislation and hold perpetrators accountable administratively or criminally, customs officers have submitted 387 reports of an unlawful act containing signs of a crime under Article 190 (fraud), 358 (forgery of documents, stamps, seals), 201-2 (illegal use of humanitarian aid for profit) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Additionally, 320 reports on violations of customs rules involving humanitarian aid goods were documented.” small logo

фактчекерка на всі крильця
Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
01 / 01