Russian war propaganda: Nazi slogans smeared? Why the report about Ukrainians arrested in Qatar is a fake

The Russian war propaganda has now also reached the soccer World Cup in Qatar: An alleged video report by the Arabic TV channel Al Jazeera claims that three Ukrainians were arrested after Nazi graffiti in Doha.

Russian war propaganda: Nazi slogans smeared? Why the report about Ukrainians arrested in Qatar is a fake

The Russian war propaganda has now also reached the soccer World Cup in Qatar: An alleged video report by the Arabic TV channel Al Jazeera claims that three Ukrainians were arrested after Nazi graffiti in Doha. However, Al Jazeera never released the clip. Rather, a wide-ranging Kremlin propagandist circulated the fake video.

Allegation: At the football World Cup in Qatar, three Ukrainian football fans were arrested by the police because, among other things, they daubed a picture of the World Cup mascot La'eeb with a Hitler beard and the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil".

Rating: Wrong. The video post contains old and manipulated footage and was never published by Al Jazeera, as the TV station also clarified on Twitter on Thursday.

Facts: The 45-second clip claims without any evidence that a total of three Ukrainian football fans were arrested in Qatar for spreading Nazi symbols. The drunk men were taken into custody after they daubed the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" and a Hitler beard on the World Cup mascot La'eeb, a flying ghost. Earlier, the men, who did not resist their arrest, are said to have destroyed more than ten posters at Al Bayt Stadium in the Qatari coastal city of Al Khour.

The video was first shared on November 22 on two Telegram channels by Russian TV presenter and Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. There alone there are now more than 630,000 views. The video, branded with Al Jazeera's official logo and very similar in appearance to real Al Jazeera posts, later made its way to other social networks. The goal is obvious: to spread Russia's propaganda that Ukraine is full of Nazis and therefore needs to be liberated.

As mentioned above, Al Jazeera has denied that the video was made by them. Accordingly, the contribution cannot be found on the broadcaster's homepage. There are also no reports from other media about the alleged incident - that alone is at least surprising.

The video actually contains current recordings from Qatar. In one scene, fans can be seen in front of the aforementioned Al Bayt Stadium. Recognized lettering on the stadium also appears in current reports from other media. But that was it with authentic image material.

At one point, Ukrainian fans are shown in the video. A reverse search of the recording revealed that the picture was already used in a report by a Russian sports portal in February of this year and can therefore have nothing to do with the World Cup in Qatar.

The alleged arrest of the Ukrainian fans can also be seen in the video - but it is so heavily pixelated that it is not possible to see or verify what is happening there and whether Ukrainian fans are really there. In return, the badge and the uniform of a suspected police officer stand out in the short scene. However, neither is used by the security services involved in the World Cup, as this article on the official presentation of the World Cup uniforms shows.

The alleged image of the smeared World Cup mascot makes it particularly clear that the video is intended to denigrate Ukraine and was deliberately manipulated for this purpose, as fact-checkers from the Belgian news magazine "Knack" report.

They presented the recording to an image forensic scientist, who found out that it was not a video recording, but a much easier to manipulate photo that was incorporated into the article and filmed. On the other hand, the expert found that the "Sieg Heil" lettering was probably added to the original photo later because "this part (was) compressed in a different quality than the rest of the photo".

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