FACT CHECK: Does This Billboard Read ‘You’ll Be Cold In The Winter’ In The Ukrainian Flag’s Colors?”

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a billboard in Manchester, England that urges citizens to prepare for energy shortages due to the ongoing Ukrainian conflict.

Verdict: False

This photo is digitally fabricated. The original image is not related to Ukraine in any way.

Fact Check:

Russia has responded to sanctions by European nations for its invasion of Ukraine by drastically limiting its energy output, setting up a potential energy crisis during the winter, WIRED reported. By the end of March, European gas prices had risen 580% primarily due to the efforts to move away from dependence on Russian gas, according to Economics Observatory.

The Facebook image, shared over 130 times, allegedly shows a billboard with the colors of the Ukrainian flag with the overlaid text “You’ll be cold in the winter Because they need it more.” Another iteration on Twitter garnered over 3,000 retweets.

“Wish I could laugh at this but my own country is paying off the debt of gender studies majors by taxing responsible small business owners whilst sending billions to Ukraine. I hate clown world,” reads the post’s caption.

This image is digitally fabricated. A reverse image search revealed the original photo stems from from a billboard advertising a show from the Manchester Collective, a classical music group. The photo also appears in a March 2022 tweet from the group.

“Have you seen our posters out and about in Manchester? Under bridges, around corners and next to the likes of @bluedotfestival and @LudovicoEinaud,” the post reads in part.

The same image can also be found on the website of the British advertising company KMS Media captioned “Legal Fly Posters in Manchester City Centre.” (RELATED: Did Ukraine Hit Crimea With Himars Missile Strikes?)

This is not the first time a false billboard in the U.K. has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked an image from May 2022 allegedly showing a poster that offered compensation to those injured by the COVID-19 vaccine.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter