Facebook user, Irakli Zakareishvili, whose pieces of disinformation have beenverifiedby FactCheck in the past, (1,2,3) has disseminated another false claim. The publication includes footage which claims to show MEPs using an unknown substance (author of the publication hints about the alleged use of cocaine) in the sitting hall. The identical footage was also published on 26 March 2023 on Twitter by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Dmitry Poliyanski, who wrote: “Zelensky should become an MEP after he goes [politically] bankrupt in Ukraine. He will not even have to learn anything!”

In fact, the footage features not an MEP but a former member of the German Bundestag, Jens Maier, who was also a member of the extremist Der Flügel wing of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party. In Germany, the AfD is considered a political party close to Moscow. In 2022, members of the far-right party visited Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine’s east. As reported by some of the media, the visit was funded by the Kremlin. Of additional note is that the AfD was against Germany providing weapons to Ukraine. In the past, the AfD supported opening the Nord Stream 2. The AfD is a strongly Euro-sceptic party and endorses the aims of the Russian President. The AfD and the Kremlin also have common ground when it comes to anti-American positions.

On top of the fact that footage shows AfD member, Jens Maier, and not an MEP, the substance could be smokeless snuff tobacco and not cocaine. At the same time, Jens Maier has never been a member of the European Parliament.

Therefore, the claim that the footage shows an MEP snorting cocaine is FALSE.


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.


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