Russian propaganda strives to present the Ukrainian army as incapable. This time, an announcement allegedly from the New York subway appeared on Russian social media news. According to it, the ranks of the International Legion that defends Ukraine include people without combat and military experience, those who are “tired of living on social benefits,” and, judging by the photo, people without housing.

What happened?

The news is spreading on the Internet that allegedly, in the American subway, homeless people are encouraged to join the International Legion for the protection of Ukraine.

Most news stories with this announcement refer to a tweet by user @Spritter9980.

The user added the following comment to the photo:

“Homeless Americans are lured to Ukraine with promises of a monthly salary and health insurance.”


Please note @Spritter9980 himself does not say that the photo was taken in the American subway. We found another user who also spread this ad to a large audience.

It was him in the comments to the question “Where is it?” answered: in the New York subway.

To begin with, the places for ads in the New York subway look entirely different. The selection below shows precisely how the advertisements are located in the subway. First, announcements and posters are placed in metal frames — not white, as in the photo spread on social media. Second, there are no boards with room for four posters placed side by side.

Moreover, if we assume we really have a New York subway, putting a Washington number on the ad seems illogical.

The International Legion of Ukraine really recommends contacting this number on its official website.

The website also states that to join the International Legion, people need to have the following:

  • military experience (documentary confirmed);
  • no criminal record;
  • age from 18 to 60 years.

We also checked the photo shared on Twitter with Fotoforensics and found that it contains traces of post-processing by editors.

Finally, we contacted the International Legion directly and received the following response from the Comms Director/CIMIC for International Legion.

“As far as I know, it’s fake, and so far, no one we asked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence knows about it.”


The ad shared on Twitter is fake. We’ve debunked every aspect, from the location to the content. As we can see, the presence of military experience is an essential condition for accepting citizens of other countries into the International Legion.

It may be challenging to understand whether the information is trustworthy. That is why we created the Perevirka bot. Send any news in Ukrainian or English, and within 24 hours, you will find out whether you can trust the chosen publication.

by Yuliana Topolnyk,

translated and edited by Tetiana Fram

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