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Fact checking. Was Kosta’s security in Kyiv guaranteed by a military man with a Nazi emblem? – Observer

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A photo of António Costa’s visit to Ukraine, in particular to Irpin, was posted on Facebook with a comment about a Ukrainian security official spotted next to the prime minister. The publication highlights in red the symbol that this element has on the chest – a white skull – and states that this is the “emblem of the 3rd SS Totenkopf division of the Nazis.”

The shared text asks readers if they remember “when this mediator in the midst of an election campaign said, ‘They won’t get through!!’ ? A reference to António Coste, who, in one of the televised debates in the campaign for the last legislature, used this expression to meet Chega Andre Ventura. The publication continues: “Well, this man yesterday in Irpin walked without any problems next to a Ukrainian soldier who had the emblem of the Nazi 3rd SS division Totenkopf on his shirt. Unforgivable, Costa!! Unforgiven!!!”.

Comparison of the image of the skull worn by this soldier with the symbol of the Totenkopf division (one of the divisions of the armed wing of the Waffen-SS of the German Nazi Party during World War II) shows that this is not the same emblem. The only thing in common is a white skull on a black background because its design is different. You can see that the guard’s skull next to Kosta is the one in the first image, not the second:

On the left is the emblem of the 72nd Mechanized Brigade of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On the right is the 3rd SS division “Totenkopf”.

The man who appeared with a weapon next to António Costa is a member of the National Security Service of Ukraine who accompanied the Prime Minister of Portugal during a visit to Ukraine. According to EUvsDESINFO, who has already analyzed the presence of this symbol in some units of the Ukrainian army, is the official emblem of the 72nd Mechanized Brigade of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In fact, on the side, on the arm, the same Ukrainian security officer who accompanied Kosta inscribed “udo” in Cyrillic, the initials for the Department of State Protection of Ukraine.

The skull is part of the emblem, approved in 2019 by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko, as a “sleeve insignia of combat brigades” of the Ukrainian army. Muzhenko realized this at the time through a Facebook post.

The security of Costa in Ukraine was provided by the personal protection units of the PSP (detachment of the Prime Minister of Portugal), and on the spot also by the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as in the case of the person highlighted in the analyzed photo. .

It should be noted that the photo is real, in which the observer reporting team in Ukraine captured the same moment as shown below and identified the same security element wearing a cap with the letters SWAT printed in white.

JOAO PORFIRIO/OBSERVER

Thus, the symbol in question is used by various units of the Ukrainian army, which have already raised the same issue now raised in this publication regarding the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal.

Azov. Neo-Nazis or Russian propaganda? History and ideology of the battalion that survived in Mariupol

Recall that the reason for the invasion of Russia was the “denazification” of Ukraine. Condemnations about Nazi elements in the Ukrainian army have been repeated since the beginning of the war, at the end of February, but the existence of an ultra-nationalist corps integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces has not yet been proven.

The man who appears next to António Costa in Irpin during the trip of the Prime Minister of Portugal to Ukraine performs security duties, and on his chest is the emblem of the 72nd mechanized brigade of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He also has initials on his hand, indicating that he belongs to the Department of State Protection of Ukraine. Thus, the skull used is not the symbol of the 3rd SS Totenkopf Division, which, by the way, has a different emblem, as can be seen from a comparison of the two insignia.

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According to the Observer classification, these are:

WRONG

Not facebook ranking system this content:

FALSE: the underlying content claims are factually inaccurate. Typically, this option corresponds to “false” or “mostly false” ratings on fact-checking sites.

NOTE: This content has been selected by Observer as part of a fact-checking partnership with Facebook.


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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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