FAKE: Zelensky wore a T-shirt with the UPA emblem

FAKE: Zelensky wore a T-shirt with the UPA emblem

22 May 2022

Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

Social networks spread a picture of Volodymyr Zelensky allegedly wearing a T-shirt with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) emblem.

A screenshot of the post

However, that is not true. In the photo, Zelensky wore a T-shirt with the emblem of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The emblem on Volodymyr Zelensky’s T-shirt belongs to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and its use was approved by a presidential decree in 2006.

Official Emblem of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

In addition, the original symbols of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army look completely different from the one displayed next to the photo of the President.

Ukrainian Insurgent Army awards and insignia, source: The Ukrainian Institute of National Memory 

UPA awards, source: Istorychna Pravda 

It should be noted that no documents were found that would indicate the use of the UPA’s individual emblems or flags. In their activities, they used the Ukrainian national symbols: the blue-and-yellow flag and the trident. The symbols of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) were also widely used: the red-and-black flag and emblem.

Headlines of the magazine “Young Revolutionary,” 1949

The search for the image of the badge displayed next to Zelensky’s photo leads to Violity, an auction site for antiques. According to the auction’s website, the badge in question was made after 1991, i.e., it is not an original version of the UPA-era badge.

However, the trident styled like the one on the badge placed next to Zelensky’s photograph was used as the official OUN emblem.


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