Fact-check: Did a billboard welcoming Zelenskyy to US misspell 'Glory to Ukraine'?

Following Zelenskyy’s address to world leaders last week, many on social media shared a video and images of the fabricated ad
Following Zelenskyy’s address to world leaders last week, many on social media shared a video and images of the fabricated ad Copyright euronews
By Sophia Khatsenkova with AP
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A video shows a spelling mistake on a digital billboard in New York reading “Glory to Urine” instead of “Glory to Ukraine". But is it genuine?


Footage purporting to show a technical error causing a digital billboard near New York City’s Times Square to read “Glory to Urine” instead of “Glory to Ukraine” has gone viral on the social media platform X, garnering hundreds of thousands of views.

Multiple accounts claimed the message was meant to welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who was visiting New York to address world leaders at the United Nations headquarters on 20 September. 

The video also bears the Fox News logo, implying the video was shared by a major international news outlet - a common technique used by propagandists.

However, a search of Fox News’ website did not yield any evidence this video had ever been published.

A Fox spokesperson told the US news agency AP that the footage is not in any way connected to the company, meaning the logo had been added without their consent. 

Some journalists even went to the exact place where this viral clip was filmed at the intersection of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in New York City.

NBC reporter Ben Collins, visited the location one day after the video was posted and found the viral clip could not have been filmed in September this year.

Collins pointed out that scaffolding appearing in the altered video is no longer present at this location. A pizza restaurant and a McDonald's are there, but the altered video does not show them.

A digital threats expert for Microsoft also shared posts showing the differences in the appearance of the intersection in September 2023.

He drew attention to the changes to the building on the corner, where a McDonald's is located today, but not in the clip shared on social media.

AP also reached out to Big Outdoor, the company that builds and operates the billboard. 

They said: “No Ukraine ad has ever run in the space… It was entirely fabricated.”

It's unclear when the original New York background video was captured, nor is it clear where it was first posted. But it's a common tactic used by pro-Kremlin accounts in order to disparage Ukraine and its allies.

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