FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Ukrainian Wedding Attendees Doing A Nazi Salute?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows wedding attendees in Ukraine displaying a Nazi salute.
The image, which first appeared in 2017, was taken in Russia, not Ukraine. The original photo shows a flag from the Russian Empire.
Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, claiming they were trying to “denazify” and demilitarize the country, according to NPR. The U.S. State Department in July 2022 called the moves and subsequent actions by Russia Anti-Semitic.
The Facebook image claims to show attendees of a Ukrainian wedding holding up the country’s flag while displaying the Nazi salute. “A wedding in Ukraine with the nation’s salute. Nothing to see here,” the image says.
The image is not from Ukraine. Check Your Fact was able to trace the location of the photo to the “Monument To Lenin” statue in Novokuznetsk, Russia. The statue and the building are also visible on Google Maps.
A reverse image search found that the image has been circulating since 2017. While Check Your Fact could not definitively trace its origins, it did appear on a Russian meme website where the flag appears to actually be from the Russian Empire, not the Ukrainian flag.
Shayan Sardarizadeh, a BBC reporter who monitors disinformation, also debunked the claim on Twitter. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Ukrainian Person Smoking A Cigarette In Body Bag?)
It’s day 196 of Ukraine war.
A viral image shared by pro-Kremlin accounts claims to show a Ukrainian neo-Nazi wedding.
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) September 5, 2022
“It’s day 196 of Ukraine war. A viral image shared by pro-Kremlin accounts claims to show a Ukrainian neo-Nazi wedding. The doctored image is old and was taken in Novokuznetsk, Russia. The altered flag in it is likely the Russian imperial flag, not Ukraine’s…” Sardarizadeh tweeted.
This is not the first time images centering around Nazism falsely attributed to Ukraine have circulated on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked an image allegedly showing a Ukrainian soldier covered in Nazi tattoos.