Fact Check: Image Does NOT Show Ukrainian Soldiers Praying During Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Image Does NOT Show Ukrainian Soldiers Praying During Russia-Ukraine Conflict Not Recent

Does a viral image show a large group of Ukrainian soldiers praying during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict? No, that's not true: Although the image does show soldiers on their knees in prayer, the image was taken years before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The claim was implied in a Facebook post (archived here) on March 6, 2022. It has an image of soldiers on their knees with their heads bowed. The caption of the post reads:

Ukrainian soldiers praying. Another part of the unseen story. Join them in praying.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on March 8, 2022:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Mar 8 18:31 2022 UTC)

The image has appeared online since at least 2017. The caption of a Facebook post published on October 11, 2017, stated that the image showed U.S. soldiers praying after a chapel service held at Fort Benning in Georgia. That post is also embedded below:

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Mar 8 18:33 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories could not locate another description of the image that coincided with the one in the 2017 Facebook post and therefore cannot verify the validity of that post's caption. However, the date of the 2017 post alone proves that it is unrelated to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, meaning that the invasion started at least four years after the image in question was circulating online.

More Lead Stories fact checks about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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