Russia-Ukraine War | Old Image of a Ukrainian Soldier Goes Viral as Wife of Ukrainian Vice President on the Frontlines…

False International

An image of a female soldier with an assault rifle is doing rounds on social media with a claim that she is the wife of Ukraine’s Vice President on the battlefield resisting the Russian aggression.

However, we found out that the image is old and is not of the wife of the vice-President of Ukraine. Let us check the details of the posts sharing the image on social media and the truth about the photo.

Photo Viral on Social Media

Archived Link

In the tweet given above, we can see a female soldier smiling and posing for a photograph with an assault rifle in her hand. The tweet claims that she is the wife of Ukrainian vice-President who is fighting against Russia on the warfront. 

The same claim can be found on Facebook as well. When we searched the claim on Facebook we found a few videos claiming the image of the soldier is of Ukrainian Vice-President’s wife.  An example of such videos can be seen below:

FacebookArchived Link

An important thing to note is that neither her name is given nor the name of her husband. So, who is this soldier seen in the viral image? Is she the wife of the Vice-President of Ukraine? To find answers to these questions and more, let’s find out more context about this photo.

Fact Check 

We did a Google reverse image on the viral image and found that the image is actually old and not related with the present situation in Ukraine. As per stock image website Alamy, a Ukrainian photographer Volodymyr Zakharov captured the image. The description of the photo states that the image of the smiling female Ukrainian soldier is from a rehearsal of military parade to be held to mark the 30th Independence Day of Ukraine. The description also states that photo was taken on Khreshchatyk street in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.

To see the image on the website click here.

Another image of the same soldier was found on another stock image website iStock photos with a similar description and attributes. Here the soldier is with two other soldiers and the description credits for this image to Voldomyr Zakharov as well.  As per the description, the image is from the Rehearsal of the military parade to mark the occasion of 30th Independence Day of Ukraine.

To see the image on iStock, click here.

There is No Constitutional Post of Vice President in Ukraine.

As per the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukraine is a semi-Presidential democracy of Premier-President subtype. In this form of governance, both President and Prime Minister share the executive powers. Similar to the United States, the President is elected via popular election. However, popular elections are also held to elect the members of Ukrainian Parliament called the Verkhovna Rada. These elections are similar to the general elections in India. The President based on suggestion of the legislature appoints the Prime Minister of Ukraine. The President, however, can also nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate and then seek the approval of the legislature. This can happen when there is a divided legislature. There is no constitutional post of Vice-President in the Ukrainian Constitution. The Prime Minister of Ukraine is Mr. Denys Shmyhal. 

We contacted Voldomyr Zakharov, the photographer who had clicked the viral photo. Mr. Zakharov confirmed to us that he had indeed clicked this photograph and the person is not the wife or President or Vice-President of Ukraine. He said, “Yes, she is not the wife of the Vice President of Ukraine. She is a Ukrainian soldier Vitalia Antonova. It is also true that there is no position of Vice-President in Ukraine.” He also send us the Facebook and Instagram profiles of Vitalia. It is clear from the pictures posted by her on Instagram that she is indeed the soldier posing with a rifle in the viral photo.

Conclusion

The photo shared widely as the wife of Ukrainian Vice-President on the battleground is actually of a female Ukrainian soldier taken during a rehearsal of a military parade. There is no constitutional post of Vice-President in Ukraine.

(Note: The article was updated on 24 Mar 2022 with the inputs given by Voldomyr Zakharov.)

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Title:Russia-Ukraine War | Old Image of a Ukrainian Soldier Goes Viral as Wife of Ukrainian Vice President on the Frontlines…

Fact Check By: Harish Nair 

Result: False