Fact Check-These images do not show Ukrainian President Zelenskiy fighting after Russia invaded his country

Old photographs of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wearing military garb have been shared on social media, with users wrongly claiming that it shows the president fighting after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

The sharing of miscaptioned images comes as Russian missiles pounded Kyiv and President Vladimir Putin urged the Ukranian military to take power and make peace (here and here).

The posts (here , here , here), one of which has amassed over 71,000 shares on Facebook, feature two images of Zelenskiy wearing a camouflage uniform.

“Ukraine’s President is on the front lines fighting for his people. President Zelensky has taken up arms and joined the troops to repel Russian invasion”, the photos have been captioned on Twitter (here).

Another reads: “This is the President of Ukraine Zelensky. He took off his clothes and put on a military uniform to join the troops in fighting to protect the Ukrainian homeland. He is a true leader” (here).

These pictures, however, are several months old.

As reported (here) and (here), the images were taken on Dec. 6, 2021, and show the president meeting with service members in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy has said that despite being "the number one target" he plans to stay in Kyiv in the face of the Russian attack (here).

Miscaptioned images – that users have claimed show Zelenskiy on the front line - have also spread in Hebrew, as can be seen (here , here , here).


Miscaptioned. The pictures of Zelenskiy wearing military uniform are old, having been taken in December 2021.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.