FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Punishment of Russian Supporters In Ukraine?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on social media purportedly shows children in Ukraine being punished with pillory for those questioning the Ukrainian Government.

Verdict: Misleading

The caption is inaccurate. The photo appears to stem from a “public pillory” used to shame thieves.

Fact Check:

In the midst of GOP lawmakers debating if more aid should be sent to Ukraine, Zelesnkyy extended an invitation to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Ukraine, USA Today reported. McCarthy declined the offer and iterated that Ukraine should not be sent a “blank check,” according to Politico.

The post purports that people are publicly humiliated for their support of Russia. The image shows a young girl tied to a pole in the city with her face painted green while a Ukrainian soldier stands beside her. “Children are punished if they question Zelensky(sic), or are of Russian descent, as millions are in Ukraine,” the caption reads.

The caption is inaccurate. The image appears to stem from a pillory that occurs in Ukraine for looting. Czech Republic news outlet Roma.cz reported Romani people were punished by vigilantes with pillory for looting, featuring this image along with several other similar photos from Lviv, Ukraine.

Journalist Brecht Castel reported that these images were not government skeptics but rather of Roma Pickpockets. German journalist Bjorn Strizel also shared several of these images reporting that Ukrainians are “gleeful” in punishing Roma thieves.

There is no credible news report that suggests these punishments are related to support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (RELATED: Did Glenn Youngkin Clear The Way For Police To Seek Menstrual Histories?)

This is not the first time an image has been shared online with a false or misleading caption. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that that video showed Stryker armored personnel carriers meant for Ukraine had been offloaded in Germany.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter


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