A single user with close privileges closed this question: What are the implications of the sabotage by Russian FSB of the plot to assassinate President Zelensky of Ukraine?. The stated reason in the comments is below:

I am closing this question because "the implications" would be pure opinion and speculations. While this might be an interesting question for a discussion forum, it is unsuitable for an objective Q&A site like this. Further, the question is based on a claim which might just be war propaganda, which makes it even less suitable for this site.

The "propaganda" claim was addressed by providing a definition of propaganda according to this site policy: "Questions relating to information used to promote a political cause or point of view, usually misleading in nature.", as per: https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/propaganda - clearly the question does not fit this definition. Furthermore, 3 mainstream sources reported the cited story: Washington Post, Jerusalem Post and UPI. I doubt that they all can reasonably be considered "propaganda". If they are, such policy should be stated explicitly and the list of propaganda-associated vs allowed sources must be made explicit and public on the site Help Center (not buried in meta).

The "pure opinion and speculations" issue was addressed by adding the notes section below.


I am not asking for pure opinion-based answers or speculations. These will be off-topic for this site.

Please make your answers suitable for this site as defined in the Help Center. Note that this requires, among others, for answers to be supported by facts and citations that are distinct from war propaganda as defined on this site. The definition of the war propaganda will be posted below.

The question was submitted to be reopened, and came back with this canned comment: "Update the question so it can be answered with facts and citations. This will help others answer the question.". Suspiciously absent were now "propaganda" and "pure opinion and speculations" close reasons, and the stated close reason seems to disregard my "NOTES" section.

I invite constructive, deliberative discussion w.r.t. improving and reopening the question.


Questions which invite speculation or soapboxing, or contain soapboxing themselves, will get closed as "Promotes or discredits a political cause", "Speculative" or "Opinion-Based".

What measures are taken to protect the site from propaganda posts during the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine?

  • @Philipp Thank you for your patience in editing the title! I regret using the original "hot" version; yours is much better. :) Mar 4, 2022 at 13:02
  • >> Washington Post, Jerusalem Post and UPI. I doubt that they all can reasonably be considered "propaganda" Beyond current topic: I would call them precisely this. Apr 7, 2022 at 18:35
  • @SamGinrich Could you please expand your (brief) comment? Not sure if I fully understand it. Also, pls keep in mind that the Q has an accepted A; but you are probably addressing the subtopic about the specific media (my guess). Apr 7, 2022 at 18:59
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    Now, this was not a contribution ;) Don't take named outlets that serious. Else I support your derived statement. Apr 7, 2022 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


No, I did not claim that any of these websites are propaganda. I claimed that they reported on a claim which is propaganda.

If you read the articles carefully, you will notice that they do not report that the assassination attempt happened. What they actually report is this:

Washington Post:

A recent alleged assassination plot against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was foiled [...] Danilov said.

Jerusalem Post:

A unit of Chechen special forces sent on a mission to assassinate Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was "eliminated," head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov announced Tuesday on Ukrainian parliament's official television station Rada TV.


Ukrainian forces foiled a plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky amid Russia's invasion of the country, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilov said Tuesday.

They don't claim that it happened, they claim that someone claimed that it happened. And who are the sources all these three websites refer to? A single one: The Ukrainian defense minister. Who has no evidence, to proof and nobody who corroborates the story.

As you know, the first victim in every war is the truth. Which is why any information about a war which comes from the belligerents themselves is generally not very trustworthy and should be considered with a large shaker of salt.

Ask yourself this: If Sergey Shoygu, defense minister of Russia, had said on TV: "We found a group of Ukrainian assassins near Moscow trying to murder Vladimir Putin, but we killed them", would you believe it?

So you insist on a definition of propaganda? OK, here is one:

When an information comes directly from the belligerents in a war, is not corroborated by any evidence or other primary sources, and makes them look good while it makes the other side look bad, it should be disregarded as propaganda.

But before you try to pin me down on this: no I do not consider this definition as absolute or all-inclusive.

Oh, and before we get caught up in this debate completely, also note that I did not only close the question just because the whole premise of it is based on a dubious propaganda claim. I also closed it because "What are the short-term and long-term implications [of event]?" is a vague and speculative question which can not really be answered without wild guesses and personal opinions.

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    @Phillipp Thank you for a great answer and for your patience! This is difficult to moderate, and I appreciate your hard work. Huge thank you for moderation! Mar 4, 2022 at 13:01
  • I am Timur Shtatland and I approve @Philipp's answer. It appears that I did repost what in retrospect can be reasonably called propaganda until it gets independent confirmation. Also, Philipp, please accept my apologies for any hurt feelings and for my heated tone. I will try to "deescalate" my angry texts in the future. Mar 6, 2022 at 12:44

I don't think this is calling WP or JP propaganda. WP and JP reported on the claim. They didn't make the claim. The possibility raised by the user was that whoever made the claim could have been engaging in propaganda.

You can always try to hedge your level of certainty by saying something along the lines of "assuming the reported claim turns out to be true" or "assuming more evidence in support of the claim becomes public."

But asking about future events is almost certain to invite speculation. You have to narrow the context yourself if you want to discourage that. For example, "are there any legal requirements for X to do in response to Y." That's much narrower than "what will X do in response to Y."

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