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War in Ukraine. The British greeted Zelensky with anti-fascist slogans? It’s an old recording

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Insults and slogans against Nazism were allegedly chanted by the British in the street during the Ukrainian president’s visit to London. It’s fake news. A video circulating online to prove this was made more than ten years ago and has nothing to do with Ukraine.

Unannounced a visit in Great Britain, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky made it on February 8. It was Zelensky’s first trip abroad since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The next day, a false message began to circulate on the Polish Internet about how the British reacted to the arrival of the Ukrainian president. “Welcome Volodymyr Zelensky to UK. Crowd chants ‘Nazi scum! Get off our streets!’ Great Britain saw through the Banderite?” – sounded tweet published on February 9th. (Original spelling of all entries).

The author attached a recording to the entry, which allegedly depicted the described event. It lasts over 40 seconds and starts with people marching: they carry English flags and banners with handwritten (misspelled) Islamophobic slogans: “Britains no home for medieval barbaric paedophilic laws”. sharia laws”) and “Does equality laws? not apply to islamists”. A cordon of policemen separates the marchers from a smaller group of people standing on the pavement. They look like counter-protestants. They are the ones who shout in English: “Nazi scum off our streets”.

Misleading tweet from February 9, 2023twitter.com

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The author of the recording stood on the side of counter-protestants. At one point, he points the camera at them. Some are chanting passwords, a group of several people is holding a large black banner with the Antifa sign. There are also policemen among them – suddenly there is a commotion and a physical confrontation between these people and the police. The video has been viewed more than 16,000 times. times. The tweet was liked by over half a thousand Twitter users and shared by over 170. Internet users reported this post with the recording as true information. “Fajnopolnictwo is probably in Nazism together with the “likio”; “A completely different picture than in squndlon ‘Europe'”; “The British have already seen through the Bandera clown” – they wrote in the comments.

However, some Internet users doubted whether the video shows the greeting of the Ukrainian president. “Isn’t it too warm there for February?”; “The recording is from the summer … see that the trees have leaves” – they noted. We checked what the video being sent shows. It turns out that it is not current and has nothing to do with Ukraine.

The march of an Islamophobic organization from a decade ago

We determined the location of the filmed event. The recording shows the characteristic buildings of the street – one-story houses, commercial premises on the ground floor, two signs read: “Ozzy’s wine” and “Launderette”. It’s a liquor store and laundry.

Shop signboards on Forest Rd in Walthamstow, London Twitter

We verified that both businesses were located on Forest Rd in the East London district of Walthamstow. This is confirmed by photos from Google Street View. On the latest ones, from August 2022, there is no “Ozzy’s wine” sign – another business has started operating in this place. The last photograph with the “Ozzy’s wine” sign visible is dated March 2018. In the photos from March 2019, this sign was no longer there. Recall: Zelensky stayed sworn in for president of Ukraine in April 2019.

We have not been able to determine the source of the recording, but we have reached other photos and videos from the event – they allow us to confirm when the video from the tweet quoted above was made. And so: on one of the flags of England visible in the frame there are three black letters EDL – it is an acronym for the English Defense League, i.e. the British far-right, racist, anti-Islamic group. Two Islamophobic banners held by participants in a police-protected march were documented in photos and video by reporters covering the event.

A banner with the slogan “Britain is not home to medieval barbaric pedophile sharia laws” is also seen on two photos from Alamy.com image bank; are titled: “Saturday September 1, 2012. English Defense League Rally in Walthamstow Stopped by Unite Against Fascism.”

Similarly, in the case of the banner with the slogan “Do equality laws? Do not apply to Islamists” – photos with them in the photo bank was titled successively: “London, UK, 01/09/2012. More than 2,000 anti-fascist protesters prevented an EDL demonstration from proceeding to Walthamstow town hall” and “EDL marches through Walthamstow as counter-demonstration takes place, groups are separated by policemen.” The banner is also visible in the video published in 2019 by freelance journalist Jason N. Parkinson. His description of the event matches the description of the photos mentioned.

Both banners are also in the photos published in the material of the American website vice.com – On September 3, 2012, a report from the EDL march, which took place on September 1, was published there. In both photos, two men pose with these banners held above their heads.

In reaction to the police-protected EDL march (recall: September 1, 2012), anti-fascist activists organized a counter-demonstration on the same day. There were clashes between the groups, the police she arrested 20 people. The event was described by a local portal East London Guardian Series. Ten years later, the editorial office reminded him of it Waltham Forest Echo.

Author:Gabriela Sieczkowska

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Twitter

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