A Ukrainian lawmaker posted a photo of a boy looking sad and covered in dirt, claiming it was an eight-year-old child named Mark, who “just survived” a Russian artillery strike. However, the claim didn’t hold water, since the same image was used on a book cover in 2013, as people were quick to point out.
The false claim came from Lesia Vasilenko, a Ukrainian MP from the relatively small Golos (Voice) party, who has a background in law and human rights advocacy. She share the photo and the alleged story of “Mark, 8 years old” with his 330,000 followers on his English-language Twitter feed on Tuesday.
The photo is far from new and does not appear to have any connection to Ukraine. The 2013 Spanish-language edition of Irish novelist Christina McKenna’s book ‘The Misremembered Man’ featured the same image on the cover, skeptics have pointed out. At the time of writing, the tweet remains on the platform, although Twitter has added a notice about its questionable veracity.
Watchdog estimates the number of civilian victims of Ukrainian attacks on Donbass
The Ukrainian MP, who says she studied at University College London, is regularly invited by major Western media, such as BFM TV in France or the BBC, to comment on Ukrainian affairs.
The latest UN casualty toll for Ukraine released on Tuesday said its mission has recorded 429 child deaths since hostilities with Russia began in late February. A watchdog operating in the Russian people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk reported earlier this month that 154 miners had been killed in strikes it attributed to Ukrainian troops during roughly the same period. The UN considers Donbass part of Ukraine and counts civilian deaths that occur there as Ukrainian.
Between 2014, when kyiv deployed troops against the rebel Donbas republics, following an armed coup in the Ukrainian capital, and the start of the Russian operation this year, some 150 children were killed in region, according to UN estimates.
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