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War in Ukraine. American homeless encouraged to fight in Ukraine? It’s a fake

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If you’re tired of living on benefits, you can join those fighting in Ukraine – posters with such a message allegedly appeared in the New York subway. The homeless would have the opportunity to join the International Legion in Ukraine. But the poster is fake news.

Since the beginning of April, a photo of a poster has been circulating on social media, showing a man sleeping on a bench or chair of a public transport vehicle and an inscription in English: “Tired of living on benefits? Join the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine. International volunteer status. Medical insurance. Monthly Salary” (ed. translation). At the bottom of the poster you can see a phone number and the encouragement: “Join the brave.” On the right are the logos of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine (this is the Legion’s proper name – the name is given by mistake on the poster) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. In some posts, Internet users write that it is a poster from the New York subway, but in others – that it is about Great Britain.

“US homeless are encouraged to fight Russians in Donbass with promises of monthly wages” – he wrote On April 4, one Twitter user posted a picture with a poster (original spelling). The tweet had 5.5 thousand likes. views and nearly 100 likes. “New York, subway: Tired of living on benefits? Go fight for Ukraine” – that’s the poster she commented another twitter. Another handed it over with description“Have you had enough of life? Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry is calling on American homeless people to join its Foreign Legion, promising international volunteer status, medical insurance and monthly payments.” On April 10, the same photo was posted on Twitter published with the information: “Ukrainians are reportedly recruiting homeless Britons as mercenaries to fight on the front”; The post had over 3,000 views.

“American dream, advertising in the New York subway: Tired of living on benefits? Go fight UPAdlina Bravo democracy USA” – this is a comment from TikTok, published on April 4. The video with this inscription was viewed 5.5 thousand. times, and more than 150 Internet users liked it.

Fake poster photo circulated onlineFacebook/TikTok/Twitter

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In fact, the Ukrainian authorities have nothing to do with the poster. And I don’t think he’s ever hung in the New York subway. The similarity of this photo of the poster with another recently circulated anti-Ukrainian fake news is striking.

Ukrainian Embassy in Washington: “The posters are not real”

When we entered “New York subway advertising” into Google’s image search, none of the images we found resembled the poster technique shown in the photo being sent out – rectangular transparent frames into which posters are inserted. Konkret24’s question was answered by Sean Butler, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) – the operator of the New York subway. “This does not appear to be an item hosted within the MTA network and is not approved for display on the network [metra]. Therefore, if seen by an MTA employee, it would be subject to removal,” Butler told us.

Search results for “advertisement in the New York subway” on GoogleGoogle

The telephone number visible in the photo of the poster is authentic – those who are willing to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine from the United States can apply there. the number is on the Legion website. This Legion was created by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after the start of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. It is composed of third-country nationals. That the picture of the poster is a fake is revealed by the mistaken name of the unit, as well as the format of the telephone number. On the poster, the number was preceded by the international prefix 001 – and on an authentic poster, aimed at an American audience, it would start with a one.

A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian embassy in Washington confirmed to Konkret24 that the Ukrainian side has nothing to do with the photo popular on the Internet. “The posters you are asking about are untrue. Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, nor the Ministry of Defense, nor the embassy have ever created any marketing materials regarding the recruitment of US citizens to the Legion,” Halyna Yusypiuk told us. She noted that the incident will be investigated by local security authorities. Yusypiuk added that since the beginning of the war, thousands of Americans have turned to the embassy with questions about joining the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Many signed a relevant contract with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. “They are not mercenaries who come to earn money. They are people who have signed an official contract with the Ukrainian Armed Forces – people of good will who help Ukraine in the fight for our independence” – explains Yusypiuk.

Accidental similarity?

An interesting fact was noticed by one of the Italian-speaking Twitter users who commented on an article devoted to the fake poster Open site. “When this poster came out, the first thing I noticed was a coincidental resemblance to another earlier fake. Same bulletin board” – wrote on April 7.

The Internet user draws attention to the similarity of two fake news hitting UkrainiansTwitter

An internet user published a photo that was sent online in February 2022. It shows the same foil frame as the one used on the fake recruitment poster. In the box there is a short information in German addressed to trainees from Ukraine. It advises them not to use swastikas or other symbols associated with fascism. On the information is the logo of the German Federal Ministry of Defense. Fake news was published on February 21 by one of the Polish-speaking Twitter users: “Ukrainian soldiers who came to Germany for training in the use of armored vehicles were greeted with such a note,” she wrote.

Fake news about information directed at Ukrainians in Germany. The picture shows the same frame as in the fake in questionTwitter

A similar anti-Ukrainian message is regularly sent by accounts publishing Russian propaganda. The purpose of such activity is to discredit Ukraine and Ukrainians, as well as to weaken support for the country’s defense war after the start of the Russian full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.

On April 7, a poster from an allegedly New York subway was also verified as fake by the website fakenews.pl.

Author:Krzysztof Jablonowski

Main photo source: Shutterstock/Twitter

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