Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, an image featuring a group of people praying on their knees in the snow has been circulating on social media. It has been claimed that the image shows the tense state of affairs where Ukrainians are praying in the freezing cold.

Christine Caine, founder of Propel Women, tweeted that the image was posted by her friend @SheilaWalsh. The photo shows Ukrainian Christians praying for their nation on their knees in the snow, she claimed. Christine also appealed to her followers to join them in prayer. (Archive link)

Croatian member of parliament Mariana Peter also tweeted the image as recent. (Archive link)

It is also being circulated with a Hindi caption.

The photo is widespread on Twitter and Facebook.

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By performing a simple reverse image search, Alt News found the image in an article by the International Mission Board dated September 25, 2019. The Christian news platform mentioned that the image was taken in Kharkiv, a city in Ukraine.

As per the article, Russian separatists had attacked Ukraine’s eastern region in March 2014, prompting pastors and evangelical leaders to put out a call for prayer. Within a week, over 100 people gathered there to pray. Police and army personnel issued threats to the prayer group created in 2014. It also states that separatists had attacked the neighboring cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. Journalist Nicole Leigh herself participated in these prayer meetings held in Kharkiv’s Freedom Square and wrote this article sharing her experience.

In 2014, Russia had seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

To sum it up, an old image of Ukrainians kneeling in prayer in the snow was falsely shared as a visual of the ongoing conflict in the country.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.