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Pro-Russia Twitter accounts compare Ukraine and East Palestine train derailment responses

On Twitter poster, Truth Puke, appears to be denying it's posting Russian disinformation, saying, "We like to put out things as quickly as we find them."

Published: March 22, 2023 3:50pm

Updated: March 22, 2023 4:00pm

Anonymous pro-Russian Twitter accounts reportedly disseminated misleading claims on social media about the recent toxic trail derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

The accounts, which regularly repeat Kremlin talking points, stated without evidence that the true environmental effects of the derailment were being ignored or understated. They also stated money was going toward Ukraine in its fight against Russia rather than helping out people affected by the disaster in February. 

"Biden offers food, water, medicine, shelter, payouts of pension and social services to Ukraine! Ohio first! Offer and deliver to Ohio!" tweeted one verified account as a caption to President Joe Biden talking about support for Ukraine.

Another verified account known as Truth Puke, which regularly tweets pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian headlines and cartoons, made multiple posts comparing Ohio to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The account also posted a meme captioned, "Ohio declares itself part of Ukraine in hopes of receiving aid from the Biden administration."

Truth Puke, a self-described media news company from California, in a story published Saturday by the Associated Press seemed to rejected the idea its posts are Russian misinformation.

"We can assure you that it was not done with any Russian propagandist intent in mind, we just like to put out things as quickly as we find them."

Other Twitter accounts commenting on the train derailment identified by the wire service said without proof that the U.S. was taking earthquake aid donated by China to Syria.

(In the derailment, several cars were transporting such toxic chemicals as vinyl chloride. Official syphoned, then burned off some to the chemicals for the smoldering wreck, sending them into the air to avert an explosion.

The Associated Press based its story on a report from Reset, an organization that gives out grants for work in technology and democracy. The group receives funding from Luminate, a philanthropic organization founded by eBay founder and major Democratic donor Pierre Omidyar, as well as the Sandler Foundation, whose founders Herb and Marion Sandler have given millions to support Senate Democrats, campaign records show.

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