Older photograph of open-air religious rite in Ukraine being shared amid Russian invasion
The photograph posted in the article being shared on Facebook, in which Ukrainian Christians pray in the open, in the snow, for their country, is almost three years old and dates 2019, and not February 22, 2022, as claimed in the post
A media article titled “Ukrainian Christians pray in the open, in the snow, for their country”, published on February 22, 2022, contains a photograph claiming to show Ukrainian Christians praying in the open, in the snow, for their country, two days prior to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The same photograph was shared in a Facebook post.
Our check showed that the photograph was not taken two days prior to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but is old and dates from 2019.
Ukrainian Christians pray in the open, in the snow, for their country at a stage when all inhabitants are in danger of war. This photograph of Christians praying has appeared on social media these days, and many Christian churches have called on believers to fast and pray in order to calm the escalating situation on the border with Russia, the article said.
However, that is not true. The photograph is almost three years old and can be found on the Internet since 2019. On October 9, 2019, the Christian blog God Reports published the photo in an article titled “Why do these Ukrainians pray every day on their knees for the last five years?” Word&Way republished the article and photograph five days later.
According to reports, the people in the photo were praying for peace and religious freedom in the city square in Kharkiv, a city in eastern Ukraine.
It is true that the photograph was taken in Ukraine and shows Ukrainians praying, but it was taken almost three years ago and has no connection to the current events and tensions regarding Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Therefore, we can say that the reviewed content contains partial disinformation – it is true that the photo was taken in Ukraine and that it represents the described religious rite, but it is older and does not refer directly to current events in the country.