Amid this ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, citizens of Ukraine have also taken up arms to add to the morale of their army. According to the reports, two Ukrainian footballers, Vitalii Sapylo (21) and Dmytro Martynenko (25), died during Russia's invasion. A photo of a group of men in army gear is viral on social media, claiming that famous Ukrainian football team Dynamo Kyiv picked up arms against the Russian forces. Dynamo Kyiv is a Ukrainian professional football club based in Kyiv.
While sharing this image, a Twitter user wrote, "Total respect to Dynamo Kiev football team. From football to war. What a brave and inspirational group of men, fighting for their country. Stay safe #DynamoKiev #UkraineRussiaWar #UkraineArmy".
Riho Terras, Member of European Parliament, shared this image and wrote, "Looks like football practice is off the schedule for FC Dynamo Kyiv for some time. A football club with almost a 100 years of history is showing their camaraderie and love for their country on the battlefield. Good fortune to you, soldiers".
A Facebook user shared this image with a caption that reads, "Dynamo Kyiv football team taking up arms against Russia".
Ukrainian football team Dynamo Kyiv picked up guns against Russian invaders.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The viral image is of Gonor, a right-wing nationalist group in Ukraine.
During the initial investigation, we scanned the social media profile of FC Dynamo Kyiv club. However, no such information was mentioned on their Facebook and Twitter page, which can verify the viral claim. We then did a google reverse image search and found the image on a verified Facebook page named "Сергій Стерненко" [English Translation: Sergey Sternenko]. The page had uploaded the photo on February 25, the day after Russia attacked Ukraine. The image caption reads in English, "Ready. We are waiting for further orders. May this night be good for Ukraine and eternal for the Russian invaders". He posted the same image on his Instagram as well. However, we didn't find enough information on the viral photo.
On searching more, we found this image on another Instagram page named Gonor. It was shared on February 25. The image caption reads in English, "Good night everyone. Death to the invaders! Glory to the Nation".
On scanning this page, we found several images in which people in military gear can be seen. Also, in several images, Gonor Group tagged Sergey Sternenko, who shared the same photo on his profile. Taking a hint from it, we searched about the Gonor group and found that many reports mentioned this group as a right-wing nationalist group of Ukraine. In their report, South China Morning Post noted Gonor as a Far-right Ukrainian activist group.
In their YouTube channel description section, the Gonor group has mentioned itself as a modern youth movement that seeks independence and justice for every Ukrainian.
In further investigation, we found a report of Reuters fact check. They identified four individuals in the photo are related to Gonor. Reuter spoke to Serhiv Sterneko, who confirmed that this image is of Gonor group members. They also contacted Bogdan Ilyuk, social media manager of Dynamo Kyiv. He told Reuters that the viral image does not show any Dynamo Kyiv football players.
To sum it up, an image of a right-wing nationalist group of Ukraine named Gonor in which men can be seen in military gear is falsely viral, claiming that the viral photo is of Ukrainian football team members Dynamo Kyiv, who picked up arms against the Russian forces. Bogdan Ilyuk, social media manager of Dynamo Kyiv, confirmed to Reuters that the viral picture does not feature any Dynamo Kyiv football club players. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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