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False, Ukraine President has not joined army to fight against Russia

Claim: Social media users claim Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has joined the Ukraine defence troops in the current war between Ukraine and Russia.

False. A Tineye reverse image search showed that the photo is old and that it was taken in December 2021 when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the front-line positions of the Ukrainian military in Donbass.

Full Text:

A viral photo with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a military uniform is circulating on social media, claiming that he has joined the Ukraine defense troops in the current war between Ukraine and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is center stage as Russia launches an invasion into its neighbour Ukraine.

There have been multiple reports of explosions, bombings, and Russian military vehicles entering Ukraine with a growing number of casualties being counted on both sides putting the Ukraine president under pressure. As a result, a photo has emerged on social media indicating that he is at the forefront of the war.

The claim posted by a Facebook user Hananya Naftali is captioned “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”. The claim has also been made here and here.

It has garnered over 70,000 shares and over 100,000 likes. A Twitter user @_MukadasMaestro has also made a similar claim, with users sharing diverse views.  

Source: Facebook and Twitter


We first conducted a Tineye reverse image search, and we found the same photo in a news article by Reuters published on December 10, 2021, with the caption “Biden assures Zelensky that NATO membership in Ukraine’s hands, Kyiv says”. This was about U.S. president Joe Biden assuring Ukraine that Kyiv’s bid to join the NATO military alliance was in their own hands.

Another report by Telegraph dated December 7, 2021, revealed the same picture of the president in a military uniform.

We also found the same image on Getty Images, a British-American visual media company and a supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video, and music for business and consumers.

The photo which was taken on December 9, 2021, is attributed to Anadolu agency. The caption of the photo reads “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the front-line positions of the Ukrainian military in Donbass, Ukraine”.

A decision by the Ukrainian president to join the military for battle will be a major politico-military decision with ramifications and which will be of interest to the international media. But checks by DUBAWA on major international news networks do not support this claim.


The photo claiming that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has joined the Ukraine defense troops in the current war between Ukraine and Russia is false. It is an old photo dated back to December 2021.

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