No, this photo of two men with fake weapons is not after the Russian invasion of Ukraine · Maldita.es

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“It’s good that the media is conveniently there to cover this, and tell the world that they are shooting squashed, rectangular bullets from fake guns. With fake news, nothing is real, everything is staged.” This is one of the messages with which a capture of a transmission of the American Fox News chain has been disseminated in which two men are seen carrying two apparently false weapons as if they were Ukrainian civilians after the Russian invasion and that is being used to affirm that the conflict in Ukraine is false. It’s a hoax: the photo was taken before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and is a training of civilians.

The image was published by Fox News on February 26.

This capture of an alleged broadcast that is circulating on social networks corresponds to a broadcast of the American chain Fox News on February 26. This can be verified by searching for the words “Kira Rudik Fox News” which are read in the image circulating on Google. One of the results, from February 26, shows an interview with Ukrainian parliament member Kira Rudik, in which the image of the two men holding these weapons is seen in the background. It can be seen in the minute 6:43.

The National Information Agency of Ukraine claims that it is taken on February 19 and is published in the media before the Russian invasion.

From here, searching for keywords “fake guns Ukraine”, the second result is a publication from the verification section of the US agency Associated Press, which talks about an image of “two Ukrainian men armed with fake rifles” and claims that this image was taken before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As proof, link to the image for sale of the national Information Agency Of Ukraine, ukrinform, in which it is stated that the photograph shows “participants in the training on territorial defense under the motto: “Don’t panic! Get ready!”, performed by veterans of the Azov Regiment, Kharkiv, capital of Ukraine, February 19, 2022.”

Also, as you can see via reverse lookup, this image appears in an article from the Latvian media lsm.lv published on February 23, one day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Screenshot of the LSM.lv post showing the post date.
Screenshot of the LSM.lv post showing the date of the image that is now reported as post-Russian invasion.

American news agency Associated Press has other images of fake wooden weapons used for civilian training before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, like this one February 5.

EITHER this photograph of Associated Press February 6 of a training session outside of Kviv/kyiv under the motto: “Don’t panic! Get ready!”, which coincides with the training motto quoted in the photograph published by the national Information Agency Of Ukraine, ukrinform.

Therefore, the image is not of soldiers with fake weapons after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but is taken before.

In Maldita.es we are telling you in this compilation all the hoaxes and misinformation that we have denied about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and in this article you can read what tools we are using to verify misinformation. If you detect any more, you can send it to us through our WhatsApp chatbot at +34 644 22 93 19. In addition, fact-checkers from around the world have come together to create a global and collaborative database, #UkraineFacts, to fight misinformation about Russia’s attack on Ukraine. On the map, you can see in which countries each misinformation has been detected and access the denials.

No, this photo of two men with fake weapons is not after the Russian invasion of Ukraine · Maldita.es – Periodismo so you don’t get it