“Poisoning” by headlines: how Russian disinformation keeps spreading


International, More

It had all the ingredients you need for a click-bait story in Russian: A giant sandwich, the national coat of arms of Ukraine, the “salo” traditional pork fat, and a tragedy: food poisoning.

Several Russian-language outlets reported that visitors of the “Green Day” festival in the Ukrainian city of Oleshky (Kherson Oblast) suffered from food poisoning. The cause: an attempt to set a new Ukrainian record with a massive open sandwich weighing 200 kg and taking the shape of the Ukrainian national coat of arms. The sandwich was covered with salo (pork fat), a delicacy that every Russian-speaker associates with Ukraine. The story was sourced to “local media” without any links to their websites.

Ukrainian fact-checkers StopFake.org demonstrated that the story had no basis in reality. The chief physician of the local hospital denied the rumors about food poisoning, and so did the district state administration.

Wide reach of the story

However, the original story made it rather far on Russian media and was published by several outlets, for instance:


Online resource Lenta.ru published an article with the correct headline “Rumor about food poisoning caused by a 200 kg national coat of arms of Ukraine made out of salo turned out to be fake.”


Journalistic standards require media to correct the false information as soon as they become aware of it. Online resource Lenta.ru actually published an article with the headline “Rumor about food poisoning caused by a 200 kg national coat of arms of Ukraine made out of salo turned out to be fake.” But all articles above are still online and readers can still share them on social media. State TV channel Zvezda only added a paragraph to the end of the article, which says that later it turned out that actually, no one had approached the local hospital. The headline of the article still says—falsely—that “a giant coat of arms made out of salo resulted in a food poisoning for tens of people.”

Why should we care about just another silly piece of disinformation? Because what seemed to be just another sensational headline turned out to be a piece of disinformation that has a potentially endless life on the internet.

This article was originally published on euvsdisinfo.eu.


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  1. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Further proof that ruSSia has become nothing more than a hollow Ponzi scheme. All smoke and mirrors. They initiate safe military actions to further promote their big lie. This 24/7 disinformation helps promote their lie. The Sochi Olympics was a concocted lie. The World Cup needs to be relocated.

    1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

      “The World Cup needs to be relocated” LOL Keep repeating this mantra until the very last game in Moscow 🙂

      1. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

        Already a done deal, Nazi. Your mongols won’t pass their drug tests. Once it’s relocated, then ruSSia’s economy collapses again https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4d76d7d2c62e1ee4cd3d8d736905572d2a63fc5830b38faedac33c663de2622.jpg
        & gets chopped up like Yugoslavia.

        1. Avatar Screwdriver says:

          Yes, sure, same empty hopes as in 2014 🙂
          Will you watch World Cup games from Russia and will remain bittersweet , or planning to smash your TV against the wall when the games start ? 🙂

          1. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

            It’s not going to happen. As the mongol economy gets closer to collapse with NATO on ruSSia’s borders due to the gay dwarf, his actions will become more desperate. He’s a caged rat right now and all of his predictable propaganda is becoming reality due to his crimes against humanity, cyberwarfare, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cddf5de0a53ef887f827e87ca5ab36aeb9657a3f912de22106a195308419b7e5.jpg and greed. It will be relocated or boycotted by the West, which, of course, has all of the great teams. Poland/Ukraine were successful in 2012 so they can handle it, especially since Kyiv is hosting the Champions League final next year. Grab your popcorn; this will be fun watching third-world ruSSia fall apart once again. 😉

          2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            What like sochi did?
            Oh right false alarm.

          3. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            Kyiv ? Where is that ? Check google for the correct spelling 🙂

          4. Avatar kievjoy says:

            You check it Screwey Driver. It’s now spelt the Ukrainian way, not the Russian way as it was for decades.

          5. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            I just checked again and goggled “Kyiv” – google showing “Kiev” instead. Sorry hlopchik

          6. Avatar kievjoy says:

            Google also has Essex as a town in London,instead of a country (equivelent to an Oblast).

          7. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            I just checked yahoo, same thing. Looks like ZRADA!

          8. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            Watch the game like a normal person that doesn’t feel any prejudice.
            And wants the standard of no politics in sports upheld.
            I know you don’t care about ruining it for everyone, just so you can watch your neighbors cow die and snigger.

          9. Avatar kievjoy says:

            We have something in the rest of the world that you obviously don’t have in Russia. We have more than one station and can choose what we watch, so in Uk if we don’t want to watch football we don’t have to, same in america, same in Ukraine and in all the other free countries so we don’t have to smash our TV against the wall, we just switch channels. That’s of course, IF it happens.

          10. Avatar Screwdriver says:

            I am not in Russia hlopchik, missed shot.

          11. Avatar kievjoy says:

            You could have fooled me when you don’t even realise that most contries of the world has more than one TV station.

        2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          Only thing getting chopped is Ukraine.
          Funny how your us allies aren’t illegally bombing Russia for you.

    2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      Two outlets. Two
      That’s what the author is scared of?
      You guys think normal people are real idiots eh? Of course you’re the master race.

      1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

        But you are not normal, are you?
        See what fake news does, a new master race?

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          Yeah. I know
          Im seeing this racist bigoted thrash flourish on here.
          So much effort spent ranting about Russian, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese etc untermenschen.
          26 racist posts just today. By various cretins.
          But it’s ok because the racist scum has a really good reason. Lol

          1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            You flatter yourself so boldly and unequivocally, large ego?

          2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            You racist turd

          3. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Can you not uphold your rants, without blatant slander?

          4. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            In the famous words of tyrian lannister….
            “It’s not spander if it’s true” lol
            26 different racist comments on here. In one day.

          5. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Such pride in your bigotry?

          6. Avatar kievjoy says:

            Strange, I’ve seen nothing against our Muslim, Jewish, Chinese friends on here. I also have South Korean, African, Indian friends and many others nationalalities over here. The only ones I’ve seen ranted about are Putin loving Russians. Not decent Russians, only the Putin loving ones.

          7. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            Go double check.
            Quite the selective memory you have.

      2. Avatar kievjoy says:

        Russians are the ones who think they are the master race. I can pick out a Russian Troll withing five minutes of talking to them.

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          That’s all you racists have really.

    3. Avatar Rafael Hernandez says:

      Problem is that the only ones who agree with are very few, expet for Bandera-Worshippers. Do you worship Bandera?

      1. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

        Absolutely. He put the fear of God into Poles, Germans, and the mongols from the East. His leadership and vision remains undiminished. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd7ebb114ab57d2eb4227e99c59855e62d868dae04a313d4945fb12ac5270e93.jpg

  2. Avatar Mykola Banderachuk says:

    I am telling you, russia has the best comedy writers on the face of the planet either that or everyone in the russia is taking drugs to come up with their nonsense.

    1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      Nah this site is way better.
      Fascist wet dream all round.

      1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

        Maybe you shouldn’t proclaim your dark desires?

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          Debate on the level of a five year old.
          Lol well done

          1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Is a five year old beyond your level?

          2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            Racist turd

          3. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Dismissive of you, yet a five year old would surpass your intellect!

          4. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            So stop trolling me.

          5. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Only if you stop lying!

  3. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

    RuSSia purposefully spreads disinformation. The reason is to sow doubt and create fear and panic. Then the Putin appears…

  4. Avatar Screwdriver says:

    “Russian disinformation” ? – How about this : “Nasz przekaz jest bardzo jasny: z Banderą do Europy nie wejdziecie”

    1. Avatar Eolone says:

      This is the Polish translation:
      Our message is very clear: the flag of Europe do not enter

      Since the article in your link is in Polish, would you explain the relevance of your comment?

      1. Avatar Rafael Hernandez says:

        It is about Bandera..

      2. Avatar Screwdriver says:

        Where did you see word “flag” ? 🙂

  5. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

    Strange that Russia puts so much effort into outrages fake news about others just to distract its people from the outrages acts it’s committing on its own people!

    1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      Oh and you care so much.
      That’s why crimeans left. Cause you cared so much about them too.

      1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

        Someone has to, do you?
        As for Krim, you don’t know much, do you?

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          I know it’s not Ukrainian anymore. That the people chose Russia.
          Obviously more than you.

          1. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            Obviously, in your world – but do you know any different?

          2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            Nah in yours Crimea is still part of Ukraine.

          3. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            So you don’t know anything of reality?

          4. Avatar Mick Servian says:

            I know fascist racist turds like you exist.

          5. Avatar Микола Данчук says:

            And your insinuation is based on what facts?