Letter telling male Ukrainian refugees in UK to visit embassy is fake

9 February 2023
What was claimed

A letter has been sent from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to hosts of Ukrainian refugees asking for the personal details of any adult male Ukrainians living with them and saying those individuals need to report to the Ukrainian embassy.

Our verdict

The letter is fake.

An image of a letter appearing to come from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is being shared online with claims it is official. This letter is fake.

The letter asks hosts (or sponsors) of Ukrainian refugees several questions including whether they have any Ukrainian adult men staying with them, and for the personal details of any men. It also tells hosts they should urge refugees to visit the Ukrainian embassy in the UK and that failure to do so may result in a “lower financial benefit for the sponsor”.

The suggestion of some Facebook posts sharing the letter is that the Ukrainian Government is trying to conscript soldiers from its refugee population abroad, and the UK Government is assisting its efforts. 

However, DLUHC has sent no such letter. The department’s verified account tweeted recently: “We are aware of fraudulent letters to Homes for Ukraine hosts circulating on social media. These are not from the Department.”

Homes for Ukraine is a scheme by which UK residents can host Ukrainian nationals in their homes or sponsor them to come here.

There are other clues that the letter isn’t genuine. The headline of the letter “Embassy of Ukraine inquiry to the UK governmen [sic] on precising the Ukrainian refugee status” contains a typo and is oddly worded.

Elsewhere, several words are strangely capitalised. You also might expect a letter telling hosts they need to tell their guests to report to a certain embassy might include its address. 

And when Full Fact attempted to contact the email address on the letter, “report@levellingup.gov.uk”, it returned an error message suggesting it’s not a genuine departmental address.

Full Fact has contacted the Ukrainian embassy in the UK for comment.

Fact checkers in Lithuania also debunked a fake letter claiming to be from the Ukrainian embassy there asking for the personal details of refugees to “assist our side in the return (deportation) of citizens of Ukraine assigned to conscription”.

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