A photo of a couple embracing while draped in both the Russian and Ukrainian flags has circulated online after Moscow’s invasion of its pro-Western neighbour alongside a claim it shows “love during [the] war”. The image — which was shared repeatedly in posts linking it to the war in Ukraine — has circulated in reports since 2019 about a couple embracing at a concert in Poland.
The photo was shared here on Twitter on February 25, 2022.
The caption reads: “Love during War: A man draped in the Ukrainian flag embraces a woman wearing the Russian flag. Let us hope love, peace and co-existence triumph over war and conflict. God bless all.
#RussiaUkraineConflict must be end [sic].”
The post circulated online soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russian forces had invaded Ukraine.
The conflict has left thousands of civilians dead, including dozens of children, and displaced more than 10 million people, AFP reported.
The image was also shared alongside a similar claim about the war in Ukraine here and here on Facebook; and here on Twitter.
It was also shared here and here on Instagram alongside a French-language caption that translates to English as “The photo of today”. The two posts received more than 130,000 likes.
However, the photo was shared in a misleading context.
A reverse image search on TinEye found the photo published here on the website for US newspaper The Washington Post on December 4, 2019.
According to the report, the photo shows a Russian woman, Juliana Kuznetsova, with her Ukrainian fiancé.
It was taken at a concert in the Polish capital Warsaw for Belarusian rapper Max Korzh on November 27, 2019.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading posts (L) and The Washington Post’s photo (R):
The image also appeared here on an Instagram fan account for Max Korzh on November 29, 2019.
AFP previously published this fact check about the same image in the French language.
AFP Fact Check has debunked other inaccurate claims about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine here.