A Facebook user Nona Sharabidze made a publication which includes the photograph of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with a Russian-language caption. The Russian caption of the publication is translated as follows: “Zelenskyy: We are always happy by the presence of German troops on our soil. Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to send Bundeswher’s troops to Ukraine. According to Zelenskyy: Ukrainian will always live more peacefully under the protection of German bayonets.” In fact, the words included in the publication do not belong to the President of Ukraine.
Of note is that a particular publication was disseminated in Russian-language social networks as early as prior to the outbreak of Russia’s war against Ukraine in the first half of February 2022. In fact, the original source of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “quote” is a satirical news agency which indicates that all of its texts are in fact a grotesque parody of reality and are not real stories. This notification appears at the end of every publication.
As a matter of fact, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indeed had a meeting on 14 February 2022 before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During the joint press conference, Chancellor Scholz talked about Germany’s aid to Ukraine in the military field: “Ukrainian officers underwent trainings in Germany. We provide medical treatment to the wounded Ukrainian troops in German hospitals and last week, we delivered a mobile field hospital to Ukraine via Estonia.”
According to the press release issued by the Office of the President of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy raised the issue of “purchasing weaponry and military equipment using the mechanisms of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency” during his talks with the German Chancellor. However, no request has been voiced about sending German troops to Ukraine.
Of additional note is that there has not been any plea or demand in any form voiced during subsequent talks with President Zelenskyy and Chancellor Scholz and this issue has not been raised by President Zelenskyy in any of his speeches.
Therefore, the aforementioned publication in social networks aims to highlight the fact that Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine are not fighting for freedom during the ongoing war and that he would rather be under the subordination and the protection of another state.
This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.