The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A Facebook post published Feb. 28, 2022, claims that the photo show cars in Ukraine vandalized for displaying stickers of China’s national flag.
- The photo presented in the Facebook post was altered to include China’s national flag. They were both taken years before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
- The black car in the Facebook photo was a vehicle smashed in Utah, the United States, while the yellow one was a car vandalized in Shanghai, China. The accidents both happened in 2017.
- Our ruling: We rate the claim as FALSE.
A photo was shared Feb. 28, 2022, on a Facebook post, along with a claim that it shows cars in Ukraine targeted after the Russian invasion for displaying stickers of the Chinese flag. The caption, written in traditional Chinese, translates as, “Listen to the will of the China Communist Party and follow the party’s instructions. The locations of these cars are in basement car parks in Kyiv, Ukraine.”
Following the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, China’s Embassy in Ukraine published a WeChat alert to remind Chinese nationals to keep safe and to recommend sticking the Chinese flag on their cars. But some people thought it would be dangerous to highlight personal identity in a war zone, because it might trigger insults or attacks on you.
Based on the contextual information, the post indicates that these two cars were smashed because they displayed China’s national flags.
As of the issuance of this report, the post had been shared nine times, and it had received 23 comments and 177 likes or reactions.
Reverse image searches found a similar photo of a black car shared Oct. 31, 2017 on Facebook, with the corresponding number plate, and other features. Therefore, we can confirm it shows the same car but without a Chinese flag affixed. In the 2017 post, the author Daryl Kemsley said he “woke up this morning to my parked i8 damaged and vandalized right in front of my home. Someone took large rocks and smashed both the front, and rear of the car… Lindon PD (Police Department) has been very helpful and they’re currently getting fingerprints from the rocks.” According to the Facebook post and Kemsley’s LinkedIn page, we can conclude that the incident happened in Lindon, Utah, the United States.
Therefore, the photo of the black car shared in the claim was altered to include China’s national flag. The photo shows an incident of car vandalization that occurred in the United States in 2017.
Another reverse image search of the yellow car photo found a similar photo shared Dec. 18, 2017, in a news article. The article was published by the Chinese digital newspaper, The Paper. The car in The Paper article does not include China’s national flag. The article claims that Shanghai Xuhui police received a report from a security officer who found a yellow Ferrari with a smashed windshield when he was on routine patrol on the morning of Jan. 30.
Therefore, the photo of the yellow car stemmed from a vandalism incident in Shanghai, China in 2017. The photo of the yellow car shared in the claim was altered, as well.
Therefore, the photo shared in the claim was altered to include China’s national flag. They were both taken years before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Facebook post, Feb. 28, 2022.
- Chinese Embassy in Ukraine, “Security alert to Chinese nationals in Ukraine,” Feb. 24, 2022.
- Facebook, post, Oct. 31, 2017.
- LinkedIn profile of Daryl Kemsley.
- The Paper, “Smashed Ferrari, Aston Martin and eight other cars, man steals money and causes up to 700,000 yuan in damages,” 18, 2017.