Today, Russian media and anonymous Telegram channels spread the news that Ukraine is going to ban conscripts from entering higher education institutions, which means that they will be mobilized and sent to the front line. This information was published with reference to an article in the Ukrainian edition of Focus “Student, you have a summons. Can university and college students be mobilized in Ukraine?”
Characteristically, the entire content of the article is purely theoretical, with no references, facts or even suggestions that Ukraine is considering the possibility of “banning men from entering educational institutions to fulfill the mobilization plan.” It is only mentioned that “discussions are underway in the country,” but it is not specified who is discussing with whom.
The entire material is based on lawyers’ assumptions and explanations of how students should act and why such a ban would be illegal. Although it is unknown why and who should ban it.
This article was used to publish completely fake messages in numerous telegram channels and social networks, and it should be noted that publishing denials in this situation also works negatively. It is worth noting that stirring up panic about mobilization is one of the elements of the enemy’s information psychological operations, which primarily addresses the Russian audience, where they really collect “cannon fodder.”
We ask our media colleagues not to become the primary source for such manipulations. The Center for Strategic Communications also calls for this.