The Football World Cup in Qatar began on 20 November. This is the biggest sporting event in the world, with the largest media coverage. Russian propaganda also takes advantage of its popularity. A video disguised as an Al Jazeera material has been gaining more and more popularity on the web. It reports that Ukrainian football supporters were arrested for performing Nazi salutes in public and for painting the “Hitler’s moustache” on the mascot of the host country – La’eeb. In this article, we explain who is the author of the fake material.
Ukrainian supporters in Qatar – Al Jazeera denies
The fake video material has been gaining popularity fast. It has been viewed almost 100 thousand times on the AlertaNews24 page. French, Dutch or Polish versions emerged as well. It has also been shared on YouTube and pro-Russian Telegram channels, such as Strażnicy Wolności or Olej w głowie.
The material is not available on Al Jazeera’s website. We asked the Arabic television to confirm whether they are responsible for it. We have received an official response that not only is the video fake, but Al Jazeera has nothing to do with it.
Everything indicates that the author of the edited film is a Russian propagandist and presenter of the Rossiya 1 TV channel, Vladimir Solovyov. The oldest post with the fake video, dated 22 November, can be found on his channel “Solovyov Live”. 7 minutes later, the news was shared by Solovyov himself with the following comment:
Drunk Ukrainian fans drew Hitler’s moustache and wrote “Sieg Heil” on the mascot of the Qatari World Cup – La’eeb.
The police did not appreciate their work and arrested them (how dare they!). It is not yet known how this crime will be dealt with.
They’ll probably forget about it – sure, the boys drank, joked, and of course there is no Nazism in Ukraine (but it is not certain).
Consequently, the video found its way to Russian media and has been shared by more and more pro-Russian social media accounts all over the world.
Serbia Posts English also wrote about this.
The reports about the arrest of Ukrainian supporters for alleged Nazi antics turned out to be Russian propaganda. The video footage was edited, which was confirmed by the official response from Al Jazeera.