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Did Zelensky Demand US To Send Their Sons & Daughters To Fight Ukraine’s War Against Russia? No, Viral Video Shared Out Of Context

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Claim
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded the US to send their sons and daughters to fight Ukraine’s war against Russia.


Fact
On listening to a longer version of the video, it was evident that Zelensky was hypothesising a situation where Ukraine loses the war, and Russia enters the Baltic states (NATO members).

A video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where he can be purportedly heard calling on the US to ‘send their sons and daughters to war’, has led to a social media uproar, with users expressing shock at Zelensky’s demand.

Several Twitter users slammed Zelensky for expecting US citizens to fight for him.

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

Facebook users also criticised him for seeking “American young blood” to fight his war against the Russian invasion.

Links to such posts can be found here, here, here, here and here.

US & The War In Ukraine

The US has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion last year. Biden’s administration has been providing continued assistance to Zelenksy in his war against Russia. The US President recently visited his Ukrainian counterpart, and announced additional security assistance for Ukraine. As per an official release, “Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than $32.4 billion in security assistance to demonstrate our enduring and steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes $31.8 billion since Russia launched its premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine on February 24.”

Also Read: Joe Biden Having Ice Cream In Kyiv? Edited Photograph Of US President Goes Viral After His Ukraine Visit

Fact Check/Verification

On analysing the viral clip, we spotted the watermark of Telegraph on the top right corner of the screen, and also that Zelensky was most likely speaking at a press conference.

Sons and daughters
Screengrab from viral video| Courtesy: Facebook/AnnetteLaporteWigley

Taking a clue, we looked up “Zelensky,” & “press conference” on the official YouTube channel of Telegraph. This led us to an over two-hour-long video of Zelensky’s press conference on the first anniversary of Ukraine’s war with Russia that was live streamed on February 24, 2023.

On comparing the background, seating order and other elements seen in the YouTube video with those in the viral footage, we could conclude that both were from the same event.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video| Courtesy: Facebook/AnnetteLaporteWigley & Screengrab from YouTube video by Telegraph

Around 1 hr 37 minutes into the video, a press member is heard asking,”…Mr President.. Opinion polls in the United State suggest that a growing number of Americans believe that the US is giving too much support to Ukraine. What would your message be on the anniversary to those Americans?..”

Zelensky starts his response by thanking Americans for their support to Ukraine, and adds, “… percentage of Americans you mentioned is increasing… I can tell them only one thing… if they do not understand us, if they do not support Ukraine, they will lose NATO. They will lose the clout of the United States, they will lose the leadership position they are enjoying in the world. That they are enjoying for a very fair reason”

He adds, “They will lose the support of the country with 40 millions of the population,  with millions of children. Are American children any different from ours?… I don’t think we are that different…Who wants a third world war? Would anyone risk…?Would anyone be willing to accept that risk? The US is never going to give up on the NATO member states. “

Zelensky then says,  “If it happens so that Ukraine, due to various opinions and weakening, depleting of assistance…loses, Russia is going to enter Baltic states, NATO member states, and then the U.S. will have to send their sons and daughters exactly the same way as we are sending their sons and daughters to war. And they will have to fight. Because it’s NATO that we’re talking about, and they will be dying, god forbid, because it’s a horrible thing.”

Here, the Ukrainian President is hypothesising a situation that could arise if Russia defeats Ukraine, and enters into the Baltic States, which are a part of NATO, thereby forcing the US to send its soldiers to fight the war. Notably, NATO is founded on the principle of collective defence, meaning that if one NATO ally is attacked, it is perceived to be an attack on all NATO members. 

Contrary to the claim, Zelensky did not ask the US to send their sons and daughters to fight for Ukraine, nor was demanding the “American young blood”. Instead, Zelenky was highlighting a possibility that may arise if Ukraine lost to Russia. 

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that a clipped version of a longer statement is being shared out of context to falsely claim that President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded the US to send its sons and daughters to fight the war in Ukraine.

Result: Missing Context

Sources

YouTube Video By Telegraph, Dated February 24, 2023


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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