Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried to justify his invasion by falsely claiming that the action was taken to “denazify” the country and its leaders.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and has said members of his family were killed in the Holocaust. Still, some social media users are spreading rumors that he wears a Nazi symbol on his shirt.
They focus on the symbol of a cross that can be seen on some of the green military t-shirts that Zelensky has worn in several virtual addresses. Implications that Zelensky is supporting the Nazis by wearing the shirt can be found on Reddit and Facebook.
“The 1933 German band wore this symbol,” reads a post that shows an image of Zelensky wearing the shirt with the cross circled next to the text “Nazi Iron Cross.”
“What exactly is going on here? questions a Twitter post that shared the same image of Zelensky with a screenshot of a definition of the “iron cross” being a military decoration in the German Empire and Nazi Germany.
Some posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.
Zelensky did not wear a Nazi symbol. The cross on his shirt is the official emblem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and includes the country’s coat of arms in the center. The emblem was officially adopted in September 2009 and is featured on the Ukrainian Army’s website and social media. accounts.
Members of Congress give a standing ovation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before he speaks in a virtual address to Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 16, 2022. (AP)
It features the tryzub, the blue and gold trident of Ukrainian medieval leader Vladimir the Great, in the center of a purple-colored cross.
Researchers from the Anti-Defamation League, which studies and tracks extremism and anti-Semitism around the world, confirmed to PolitiFact that Zelensky did not wear a hate symbol.
The Iron Cross is a famous German military medal from the 19th century, the ADL says on its website, and is not a symbol of hatred per se. It was transformed into a Nazi symbol when the regime superimposed a swastika in the center of the medal.
Social media posts claim that a Nazi symbol can be seen on Zelensky’s t-shirts.
It’s wrong. The symbol visible on Zelensky’s shirt is the official emblem of the Ukrainian army and does not represent a Nazi iron cross.
We assess the claim as false.
Source: excerpt from PolitiFact.