Update 12.10.2023: Photos taken in New York have been added to the article, confirming that the bar seen in the footage closed in January 2023, so its banner could not be included in the video recorded in September.
On September 25, 2023, the news agency Pia.ge, and the anonymous Georgian-language Facebook account published a video, according to which a member of the bodyguard of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called on citizens to shout “Glory to Ukraine” in a bar in New York, and after receiving a refusal, he got into a fight. According to the post, a drunken member of the President’s security guard was seriously injured during the confrontation. Pia.ge publishes the video with the logo of the American media USA TODAY.
On September 24-25, 2023, Russian news agencies published the same information based on gazeta.ru, which, in turn, named USA TODAY as a source (1;2;3;4). The video was also distributed by Russian-language Facebook accounts (1;2;3).
A Video fabrication is being distributed in the name of USA TODAY. American media outlet published a statement, according to which they did not distribute such information and video, and the authors of the disseminated video misused their logo. Also, the information that Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s bodyguard had a fight in a New York bar is not confirmed.The footage shows a sign for the bar, which is located away from The Campbell and closed down in January 2023, so it could not have been included in the footage taken in September.
On September 25, 2023, USA TODAY published a statement, informing the audience that they did not publish any video or story reporting such an incident. The video shared on the English-language Facebook page ChatterBox has been flagged as fake information by them.
In addition, USA TODAY contacted representatives of the New York Police Department – according to their statement, they did not receive a report on the matter of a fight with a member of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s security guard.
Update: Science Feedback researcher Flora Teoh helped “Myth Detector” to locate the location of the footage of the confrontation used in the video fabrication. The footage shows the signs of the store and bar – Soho Boutique and Joe-Joe’s Bar. The store and bar are located on Quentin Road in Brooklyn, and across the street from them is another clothing store labeled “Gift Depot,” which is seen in another shot used in the video. Accordingly, the video of the confrontation was shot on the same street.
According to an Instagram post from Joe-Joe’s Green Bar, the bar closed on Quentin Road in January 2023 and opened at another location.
“Myth Detector” obtained a photo taken on Quentin Road in Brooklyn, where Joe-Joe’s Green Bar was located until January 1, 2023. As you can see in the photo, the sign has been taken down, and Shaurma Factory has opened in its place. Therefore, it is impossible for the bar sign to be in the video taken in September 2023.
It is also worth noting that the place where the bar and SOHO Boutique are located, is far from The Campbell, the bar where, according to the authors of the video fabrication, the confrontation between the members of Zelenskyy’s bodyguard and the locals started.
The President of Ukraine arrived in New York with his wife, Olena Zelenska, on September 19. Zelenskyy attended the 78th session of the UN General Assembly and met with President Joe Biden, members of Congress, and leaders of various countries.
Notably, this is not the first time that a fabricated story has been spread in the name of the Western media. In the past, “Myth Detector” verified a video, which was distributed with the Euronews logo. See:
Archive link of Pia.ge’s post
The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.