The manipulatively-cut clip is meant to give the false impression that Zelenskyy is calling for American soldiers to fight in Ukraine, when he is in fact saying American troops would fight in Europe if Ukraine was defeated and Russia invaded a NATO country.
A viral clip of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is being shared out of context.
In the clip, Zelenskyy is seen talking about the U.S. sending “sons and daughters to Europe” to fight in a war against Russia.
The short clip – 19 seconds in length – is being shared by many people who are claiming Zelenskyy is calling for American boots on the ground in Ukraine.
However, that is false.
The full clip shows Zelenskyy talking about a scenario in which Ukraine was defeated, and Russia subsequently invades a NATO member state. Zelenskyy accurately notes that the United States would have a treaty obligation to defend a NATO state attacked by Russia, meaning boots on the ground.
Ironically, the Zelenskyy clip is being shared to give the impression he wants American troops to fight Russia in Europe, when the full context makes it clear he is arguing that helping Ukraine reduces the likelihood of American troops fighting in Europe.
Twitter’s community notes has been adding the context to the video, in an attempt to correct the false impression being given by the short clip:
You can watch the full clip which provides the full context:
Why are people sharing the clip out of context?
Many people are well-meaning, and since social media is dominated by short-term, emotional reactions, people see a clip and share it without asking too many questions.
But the origin of the edited clip – and the attempt to make it go viral out of context – is a classic example of Russian propaganda.
It’s always important to ask who benefits from a viral clip – especially when that clip is being used to misinform and manipulate.
Russia wants the Western world to stop providing support to Ukraine, because Russia wants to be able to conquer Ukraine, and Western support makes conquering Ukraine much more difficult.
Thus, Russia seeks to undermine support for Ukraine in the Western world by turning people in the West against Ukraine and hoping that will then pressure Western governments to cease their support.
Giving the false impression that Zelenskyy wants American boots on the ground in Ukraine is bound to anger many Americans, and that plays into Russia’s goal of undermining support for Ukraine in the United States.
That’s why it is important for all of us to resist the urge to believe the most sensational and emotionally-laden media clips and stories, and look deeper to find the truth.
Whatever we may think of world events, our opinions should be formed based on the facts, not based on false propaganda designed to serve the interests of Russia’s authoritarian state.
Photo – YouTube[widget id="top-posts-5"]