It is not true that Ukraine needs to be “denazified” as Putin claims

False claim: In a speech on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Ukraine needs to be “denazified” in order to “protect people” who in the “past eight years” had been “subjected to bullying and genocide. And for this we will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.” According to Putin, Russian minorities in Ukraine are victims of genocide perpetrated by elected Ukrainian representatives, who he refers to as Nazis.


  • According to several Ukrainian and international independent news media, there is no evidence of genocide against Russian speakers in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - who won a five-year term presidential election in 2019 - is the grandson of an Holocaust survivor and was raised in “an ordinary Soviet Jewish family”, according to The Times of Israel.
  • Far-right, white suprematist movements in Ukraine are on the rise but they have a limited electoral power.

Video does not show Ukrainian soldiers leaving for war

False claim: A video circulated widely online shows several clips of soldiers claiming that they are Ukrainians leaving their homes to fight in the war against Russia.

The video was posted on Twitter and Facebook from several profiles, along with this text: ““#Zelenskiy Ukrainian soldiers say goodbye to their wives no to war yes to peace”.


  • A reverse Google Images Search shows that in fact the video is a clip of “The War of Chimeras,” a 2017 Ukrainian documentary about the war in Crimea.
  • The clip seen in the posts is visible in this YouTube video at the minute 2:47.

Photo does not show Kiev central square in flames

False Claim: Several posts on Facebook compare two photos of Independence Square, Kiev’s central square: the first one shows an undamaged square while the second a square with smoke, fire, and debris.

The posts claim that the second photo shows Independence Square in February 2022 after the Russian invasion of the country.


  • A reverse Google Images Search shows that in fact the first image is a scene captured in 2022 and published in a February 25 Washington Post video about an alert siren in Kiev city center.
  • A reverse Google Images Search shows that the second picture is a clip from a 2014 media report about the protest during the Ukrainian Revolution that left around 100 protesters dead.

It is not true as Putin claims that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people”

False claim: In a speech on March 3 to address the Russian Security Council, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people.” The claim was already repeated several times by Putin in order to legitimize Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

In July 2021 Putin also published on the Kremlin website a 5000-word essay “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians.”


  • Both Russia and Ukraine have common roots in the East Slavic state of Kievan Rus, formed in the late 9th century. With the decline of Kievan Rus between the late 11th and 12th century, Russians and Ukrainians advanced separately for centuries, leading to the development of two close but distinct languages and cultures.
  • In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union led to the creation of 15 independent republics, one of which was Ukraine. The creation of the new state was voted on in a referendum on December 1, 1991 and was approved by 90% of the population.