Posts showing graffiti in Europe about Ukraine elections spreading on Facebook

Posts showing graffiti in Europe about Ukraine elections spreading on Facebook

Russian propaganda used photo of Ukrainian doctor to create fake profile of 'journalist'

In Munich, on May 20, unidentified persons painted graffiti on the grave of Stepan Bandera with the inscription "We need elections." Two days later, unknown vandals left the same inscription on the building opposite the Ukrainian House in Warsaw. At the same time, this inscription appeared at another location in the Polish capital: on the sidewalk near the consular department of the Ukrainian Embassy in Poland. On May 24, a video from downtown Paris emerged on the internet, where a person, who is difficult to identify, left the inscription "We need elections" on the wall.

In all four cases, the source of photos and videos showing the vandals' actions is the AIinaUA Facebook page. The profile contains a photo of a girl in an embroidered dress, and a brief description states that she is allegedly a "journalist."

The page was created on April 11, 2024. Reprints of Ukrainian news stories, often from Telegram channels, were posted on the page for a month. A propaganda video about the Maidan and the Revolution of Dignity, completely repeating Russian narratives, was posted on May 18. After that, the already mentioned videos and photos of graffiti "We need elections" appeared in Warsaw, Munich and Paris.

This account is fake. AIinaUA's profile uses a photo from a Lviv-based embroidery store, which was taken back in 2018.

The photo really belongs to a girl from Ukraine named Alina. However, she has nothing to do with journalism. She works as a pediatric urologist at Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital.

Alina Ivaskevych told an Ukrinform correspondent that the account that spreads the graffiti videos does not belong to her.

When creating the fake page, an old photo of Alina was used, which remained on the Russian social media platform Vkontakte. According to data from the sociumin program, Alina last visited her Vkontakte page on December 16, 2020. Now her profile has been deleted from the Russian social network.

It should also be noted that according to Alina Ivaskevich, she has not used a Vkontakte page since 2015, so Russian propagandists could add new photos of Alina themselves, finding them on other social media sites, and create the impression of an up-to-date account.

Myroslava Keryk, head of the Ukrainian House Foundation, is sure that the Russians are behind these graffiti. She said in a comment to an Ukrinform correspondent that these are likely the actions of pro-Russian forces who want to create discord among Ukrainians in this way. Keryk emphasized that employees of the Ukrainian House have nothing to do with this post and do not want anyone to think that this is the position of the organization or that someone supports it.

The police station in Warsaw, in whose territorial area of responsibility the Ukrainian House is located, told an Ukrinform correspondent that the police are taking measures in accordance with Article 108 of the Polish Law on the Protection and Care of Cultural Values. This article provides imprisonment from six months to eight years for the destruction of or damage to a cultural monument (the Ukrainian House is located in an old building that has cultural value and is under state protection). The materials in this case were handed over to the district prosecutor's office in Warsaw.

In another police station, which is responsible for the security of the precinct where the consular department of the Ukrainian Embassy in Poland is located, Ukrinform was informed that the actions of the police were carried out in accordance with Article 63 of the Polish Code of Administrative Offenses. The police are currently establishing the circumstances of the incident.

According to the police, in both cases, measures are being taken to identify those involved in these acts of vandalism and all the circumstances of this case.

Munich police told Ukrinform correspondents that while patrolling a cemetery, police officers detained a suspect who committed an act of vandalism at the grave of Stepan Bandera. He turned out to be a 38-year-old resident of Munich.

As of May 28, the fake page through which the video was distributed was deactivated.

According to Andrii Yusov, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, the Russians were preparing to intensify the Russian campaign at the end of May about the "loss" of the legitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities due to the non-holding of elections.

Andriy Olenin, Yuriy Banakhevych, Olga Tanasiychuk

While citing and using any materials on the Internet, links to the website not lower than the first paragraph are mandatory. In addition, citing the translated materials of foreign media outlets is possible only if there is a link to the website and the website of a foreign media outlet. Materials marked as "Advertisement" or with a disclaimer reading "The material has been posted in accordance with Part 3 of Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On Advertising" No. 270/96-VR of July 3, 1996 and the Law of Ukraine "On the Media" No. 2849-Х of March 31, 2023 and on the basis of an agreement/invoice.

© 2015-2024 Ukrinform. All rights reserved.

Extended searchHide extended search
By period: