Photograph of men in military uniform doesn’t show squad members of FC Dynamo Kyiv

10 March 2022
What was claimed

A photograph shows the Dynamo Kyiv football team in army uniform preparing to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Our verdict

The photograph doesn’t show any members of the football squad, but instead shows members of a nationalist group in Ukraine.

An image that’s been shared 5,000 times on Facebook claims to show members of Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv football team in military uniform, armed with weapons. The image appears to be a screenshot of a tweet, in which the user goes on to claim: “Yesterday they were in their jerseys, today they are protecting their country”.

The photo in question doesn’t show the Dynamo Kyiv football squad, and dates back to the end of February this year, when the current Russian invasion of Ukraine began. According to reports, the men in the picture are members of a right-wing nationalist group in Ukraine called Gonor. The same photograph has appeared in several different places and has been fact checked in detail by the Reuters news agency.

Reuters spoke to Dynamo Kyiv’s social media manager who confirmed that none of the men in the photograph are squad members. A Ukrainian activist and Gonor member, who is pictured in the photograph, also told the news agency: “We are members of Gonor, not FC Dynamo.”

You can also see the same photo published on Instagram and Telegram on 24 February by accounts which appear to be connected to Gonor.

The tweet shown in the Facebook post which includes the photo doesn’t seem to be online, but the same tweet can be seen on other Twitter accounts.

While this photograph has been miscaptioned, there have been other genuine reports of Ukrainian sportspeople joining the armed forces to fight the Russian invasion.

Image credit: Aleksandr Osipov on Flickr

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