Fact Check: President Zelenskyy Did NOT Burn Bulgarians Alive And Doused Them With Acid

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: President Zelenskyy Did NOT Burn Bulgarians Alive And Doused Them With Acid No Such Events

Is President Zelenskyy responsible for burning Bulgarians alive and dousing them with acid, and do the pictures in the video show tied-up and tortured Bulgarians? No, that's not true: There is no evidence to support the claim that President Zelenskyy is responsible for committing such crimes, and there is no information to prove that Bulgarians in Ukraine have died in the ways described in the video. The disturbing images of people shown tied up in the TikTok video are not photos of Bulgarians being tortured by President Zelenskyy or on his orders. The horrific footage of civilians tied up shows the first days of the war in Ukraine when many looters took advantage of the country's chaos are caught looting properties abandoned by people who fled their homes. As a form of humiliation, looters have been publicly tied up.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @vikibq72 on July 8, 2023.

The Bulgarian text above the pictures of tied-up people with the image of Zelenskyy in the middle is translated as:

This individual who burned and poured acid on living Bulgarians, and banned the Bulgarian language, is now asking Bulgaria for help.

And anyone who has put a Ukrainian flag on his profile, I don't know what else to call such a person but a Bulgarian hater.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 8.41.01.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jul 11 05:38:12 2023 UTC)

A reverse image search on the photos presented in the video shows many similar cases covered by the media. The pictures showing people tied up in a helpless state are of looters caught at the crime scene who have become victims of street justice. They were punished by being publicly tied up as a form of humiliation. However, there is no evidence that they suffered in the ways described in the TikTok video.

Such a practice of street justice was stopped almost immediately by the authorities, who managed to stop the chaos in the country that occurred in the first days of uncertainty since the beginning of the Russian invasion. There is no proof that Bulgarian citizens were subjected to similar punishments or suffered in the ways described in the TikTok video, let alone by the order of President Zelenskyy.

Moreover, the Bulgarian language is not banned in Ukraine, as the TikTok video claims. According to the director of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, Raina Mandjukova, the closed schools where the Bulgarian language is taught are in the territories occupied by Russia, while these schools are working in free Ukraine.

In an article from March 22, 2022, Czech media recounts the chaos of the first days of the war. Similarly, a group of pickpockets are caught and punished in the same uncivilized manner. One of the photos in the article matches the top left photo shown in the TikTok video. According to the report, Kremlin propaganda cleverly portrays this and similar cases as an attack by Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups against civilians. It emphasizes that Ukrainian police have identified and captured some of the perpetrators of the crime.

The top right photo of a man tied up was taken by photographer Ron Haviv, which he described as a photo of a Ukrainian caught looting and punished by being tied up in public until the police arrived.

Russian propaganda has repeatedly used similar statements claiming that Ukrainians killed or tortured Ukrainians of Bulgarian origin. The original case that became the basis for such false information is based on the tragic events of 2014 in Odessa when, after a Russian provocation, the subsequent events escalated into a tragic outcome in which 42 people lost their lives in a fire. One of the dead civilians is Ivan Milev, whom Russian propaganda claims is Bulgarian. The Bulgarian media have repeatedly debunked those claims and similar claims about dead Bulgarians in the events in Odessa.

За Нас

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