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FACT CHECK: Three Drunk Ukrainians Arrested in Qatar?

A fake Al Jazeera online video claims a “drunk” Ukrainian football fan was detained in Doha because of a “Nazi symbol”.

Kyiv, Ukraine – A fake video attributed to Al Jazeera has been circulating online since Tuesday, claiming that “drunk” Ukrainian football fans spread “Nazi symbols” in Doha.

Less than a minute later, the video shows three Ukrainians detained after drawing a “Hitler mustache” on the 2022 World Cup mascot Loew and scribbling a Nazi salute next to it. is “reporting” to

It also claims that the Ukrainian destroyed 10 more posters near Doha’s Al Bait Stadium, where the championship is being held, before he was taken into custody.

The video first appeared on Tuesday, November 22nd and was widely shared on social media, with some posts being retweeted thousands of times.

To the uninitiated eye, the video looks real.

The style is similar to that of Al Jazeera’s social media clips, but the stadium’s name is misspelled. El Beit, not Al Bait, and some languages ​​are not Al Jazeera’s style of journalism. One article reads: “The Ukrainians put up no resistance when they were arrested.” A phrase like that wouldn’t have escaped our copy editors.

Adley, editor of left-wing website MintPressNews, also tweeted along with the video.

At the time of writing, her post was shared by over 2,000 Twitter users.

“Ukrainian man with swastika on football poster arrested in Qatar,” she wrote alongside the video to 23,300 users.

User @LogKa11, who has nearly 14,000 followers, wrote while sharing the video, “Nazi Ukrainian arrested in Qatar after drawing swastika on football poster.” It has been retweeted over 800 times on their feed sharing interesting content.

Let’s take a closer look at it to understand how and why the video was designed and circulated.

What does the video show and what it doesn’t?

  • It begins with a few seconds of footage showing crowds of fans in Doha. An Al Jazeera watermark can be seen in the corner, trying to prove its authenticity.
  • The faces of the three “Ukrainians” are never shown.
  • Instead, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine, so they cheer with Ukrainian flags, not necessarily taken in Qatar or after the civil war began in February. There is an image of a man who is
  • The video does not mention the names, ages or other personal information of the three Ukrainians.
  • This omission contradicts the way police reports and press releases are written. This is not how Al Jazeera does journalism.
  • The video only shows one ‘destroyed’ poster with La’eeb, but doesn’t add details about its exact location.
  • Also, there is no video sequence showing the “destroyed” poster from at least two angles.
  • There has been no response from Ukrainian diplomats who must be notified immediately of the detention of Ukrainian nationals – especially if the charges involve Nazist propaganda.
  • As viewers read the lines claiming the Ukrainians did not resist, the video footage shows only Qatari police officers and the blurred faces of someone they appear to be talking to.

Are there really Nazis in Ukraine?

  • The video’s main message about “Ukrainian Nazis” follows how pro-Russian misinformation spreads on the internet.
  • “Russia’s basic narrative of exports is attributed to the ‘Nazi’ character of the Ukrainian political system,” Kyiv-based analyst Alexei Kushchi told Al Jazeera.
  • The Kremlin and the Kremlin-funded and controlled media networks have for years focused on what has been termed the “Ukrainian Nazist Threat.”
  • While President Vladimir Putin seeks to monopolize Russia’s role in defeating Nazi Germany and its World War II allies, and curtail the role played by the West in the victory, his government has pushed far-right and ultra- It’s appropriating nationalist slogans.
  • They omit the fact that Zelensky was from a Russian-speaking Jewish family and that his grandfather lost his family during the Nazi invasion of Ukraine in 1941-45. The president’s government is called the “Nazi Junta”.
  • The claim “works as a justification for war. [a] Domestic [Russian] For audience and foreigners [audiences]said Kush.
  • There are several outspoken far-right, ultranationalist and white supremacist groups in Ukraine who rally with torches and attack those who criticize them, but their impact on current Ukrainian political life The power does not extend far.
  • The Azov Battalion, a lionized volunteer unit for the defense of the port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, admitted in 2014 to recruiting volunteers who openly professed neo-Nazi views.
  • One of Azov’s founders, Andriy Biletsky, was a member of the Verkhovna Rada, the lower house of Ukraine, from 2014 to 2019.
  • However, in the 2019 presidential election, which Zelensky won with 73% of the vote, he decided not to run for president.

Why did you make another video?

  • The video was released on Twitter at a time when the microblogging platform has been widely criticized.
  • Billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter in late October, and the platform has undergone rapid changes and downsizing, calling into question its ability to moderate news content.
  • Twitter has added a paid subscriptions feature that shows paying customers as verified account holders, but critics say the step has led to a proliferation of fake accounts.

What are the risks of misinformation about the war in Ukraine?

  • The World Cup is the most high-profile global event of the year, so any information related to it can be widely circulated among tens, if not hundreds of millions of people.
  • As the West bans and filters “traditional” Russian-backed media outlets such as the RT television network, Moscow is switching to new ways of telling pro-government stories.
  • The video has nothing to do with Russian propaganda directly, but it unabashedly promotes the Kremlin’s view of Ukraine.
  • “This information operation was aimed at ruining Ukraine’s global image and was undoubtedly carried out by Russian intelligence services,” Kushchi said.

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