Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Ukrainian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda, is celebrating the award won by freelancer Yevgeniya Tyukhtenko in the “Catch The Fake!” contest in the category of “Finding Fake Images In Mass Media” in a competition organized by the Institute Of Mass Information.
The article that won Tyukhtenko the Catch The Fake! contest exposed the false story accompanying a photo shared widely on social media as well as by some Russian media channels. The photo, titled “Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) fighter leaves his girlfriend for Moscow,” shows a Ukrainian serviceman hugging a woman next to a train that was allegedly departing for Moscow.
Under further inspection, however, social media users were quick to find the original photo, in which the destination in the train’s window reads “Uzhgorod,” not “Moscow.” Tyukhtenko tracked down the soldier in the original version, who was outraged by the misuse and misrepresentation of his photo.
Recognition for Tyukhtenko’s investigative work “did not happen by chance,” said RFE/RL Ukrainian Service Director Maryana Drach. Tyukhtenko actively contributes to the Ukrainian Service’s project Deza, which has been monitoring disinformation since 2014. Her winning story sparked many reactions among readers who “not only learned the truth but also wondered why others so actively share fake news,” added Drach.
The contest was held with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and winners were announced October 23.