Amid this ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, and more than 1684 people, including children, have been wounded so far. Citizens of Ukraine have also taken up arms to add to the morale of their army. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy have released the prisoners with combat experience to fight Russians. Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik and many other professional players also joined the military to fight against Russia.
Meanwhile, a claim related to former Miss Ukraine Anastasiia Lenna is going viral on social media. It is claimed that former Miss Ukraine, who represented her country in the Miss Grand International beauty contest in 2015, has joined the military to fight against Russian forces.
Sky News posted this claim with a caption in English that reads, "A former Miss Ukraine has donned army boots and picked up an assault rifle and vowed that anyone "who crosses the Ukrainian border with the intent to invade will be killed."
This claim has been picked by Indian media houses as well. Zee News, NDTV, Live Mint, India Today, TheTribune, Wion News, Times of India, Hindustan Times, News18, NavBharat Times, and Republic also reported this viral claim. International media outlets like New York Post also said the same.
Screenshots of news reports
Screenshots of news reports
It is being widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Former Miss Ukraine Anastasiia Lenna has joined the Ukrainian forces amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it false. On her Instagram, Anastasia Lena clarified that she has not joined the army and has no plan to.
We searched for Anastasiia Lenna's social media handle. We found a video post on her Instagram page on which Leena clarified that the news is false and she is not in the army and has no plan to join the military.
In her post, Leena wrote, "I AM NOT A MILITARY, JUST A HUMAN." She further wrote, "I am not a military, just a woman, just normal human. Just a person, like all people of my country. I am also a airsoft player for years. You can Google what #airsoft means. All pictures in my profile to inspire people. I had a normal life just on Wednesday, like millions people. I don't do any propaganda except showing that our woman of Ukraine – strong, confident and powerful. I appreciate all attention and support to my country, all people in Ukraine we fight every day against Russian aggression."
It clearly means that the viral claim is false. She did not join Ukraine army. The whole misunderstanding started when Anastasiia Leena posted an image on her Instagram account in which she is seen holding a gun in her hand. The picture caption contains a hashtag that reads #StandWithUkraine. Since this photo of her holding a gun, people and mainstream media believed that she has joined the Ukrainian army without verifying facts.
We observed the image and found that Anastasiia Leena was holding an Airsoft rifle. Airsoft is a military simulation sport where players can play mock combat, resembling military fights. The guns used in such games are full-scale replicas of real-world weapons. After her post went viral, Anastasiia also clarified this in her statement.
Our investigation shows that Ukrainian model Anastasiia Leena did not join the military as claimed by several media houses. She posted this image to inspire people, and she was holding an Airsoft gun, not an actual weapon, while posing. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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