FACT CHECK: Did Ukraine Request The ‘Immediate Extradition’ Of Military-Age Men In Europe?
An image shared on Facebook claims Ukraine requested the extradition of military-age men in Europe as it continues its war against Russia.
There is no evidence of any such request. The Ukrainian government and independent journalists have denied the claims.
The Russian military has recently mobilized around 500,000 troops in preparation for a possible upcoming offensive in Ukraine, according to BBC News. Ukraine’s defense minister warned the offensive could come “as soon as February 24,” which marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the outlet reported.
Social media users are sharing claims that Ukraine asked the governments of Europe to extradite men of military age. The Facebook image’s text reads, “REPORT: Ukraine Requests Extradition Of Ukrainian Military Aged Men In Europe.”
The claim, however, lacks evidence. If Ukraine had asked European nations to extradite men of military age, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Neither the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s office has released any statements requesting extradition of military-aged men.
Ukraine’s Center for Countering Disinformation denied the claims. “We see that the enemy is trying to discredit Ukraine in the international arena, as well as to obtain information about Ukrainians abroad with further use of this data in their own manipulations,” the agency stated in a Jan. 28 press release, according to a translation from Google.
Shayan Sardarizadeh, a BBC News reporter who covers disinformation, debunked the claim as “completely false” on Twitter. He also stated that a document alleging to show the Ukrainian embassy in Lithuania asking for the extradition of military-age Ukrainian males was fake.
Just a note to the 5.1 million users who viewed that tweet that the “report” is total nonsense and completely false
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) January 28, 2023
“Just a note to the 5.1 million users who viewed that tweet that the ‘report’ is total nonsense and completely false,” Sardarizadeh tweeted. (RELATED: Did The Ukrainians Hit The Crimea Bridge With A HIMARS Missile?)
The claim was also debunked by Ukrainian fact-checking website Stopfake.org, which cited the Ukrainian Embassy in Latvia and the mayor of Liepaja, a Latvian city. The website reported that the claim appears to have originated from pro-Russian Telegram channels, which spread to Russian media and now other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Ukrainian government issued a general mobilization order after the Russian invasion started. This order was extended several times, most recently in November 2022, and is currently set to expire later this month, according to the Odessa Journal.
Check Your Fact reached out to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.