Social media users are sharing a video that predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine saying it depicts a recent scene in the Slovakian parliament, a country neighboring Ukraine. Others imply the video means the Slovakian government’s official stance is against Ukraine.
The clip, which shows two opposition lawmakers holding a Slovak flag pouring water on a Ukrainian flag was recorded on Feb. 8, during a stormy parliamentary session to discuss a defense agreement with the United States.
Almost at the end of the 24-seconds long video making rounds online ( here ), two people enter the scene snatching the flag, while one of them smacks the face-mask of one of the people previously holding the Ukrainian flag.
A different angle of the moment was posted by Slovak news agency TASR on YouTube ( here ).
The treaty, approved on Feb. 9 despite rowdy opposition in parliament fueled by the Ukraine crisis, allows U.S. forces to use two airports in Slovakia, which shares a short mountainous border with Ukraine ( here ).
At the time, Reuters reported that the individuals holding up the Ukrainian flag below the Slovak flag were pro-government, while the one that tore it down and ripped the face mask of the man holding it was from the Slovak opposition.
The Slovak Spectator reported that the two men holding the Slovak flag and pouring water were Peter Krupa (right) and Andrej Medvecký (left with beard), members of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia ( here ) .
On February 8, the Minister of Defense of Slovakia Jaroslav Nad apologized for the actions of the opposition party via a Facebook post ( here ).
The footage has been re-shared in March 2022 with some online inaccurately interpreting it as showing the official Slovakian government’s stance on the conflict and support for Russia.
An iteration posted on Twitter on March 24 has been viewed at least 327,900 times ( here ). Other examples can be found ( here ), ( here ).
Comments from users recently sharing the content include: “Slovakia stands with Russia NATARDS!!! #russia #ukraine #moomiyo” ( here ) and “Slovakia is showing us all how it's done. Down with the Global Cabal.” ( here )
On March 3, the country’s government approved a further aid package of military material for Ukraine ( here ). It has received tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing violence ( here ).
Ivan Korcok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, has previously openly expressed the country’s support to Ukraine during the conflict ( here ) ( here ).
Missing context. This footage pre-dates the Russian invasion of Ukraine and shows opposition lawmakers pouring water in the Ukrainian flag and snatching it.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
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