There have been more than 200 civilian casualties since Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, according to Reuters. One widespread image on social media claims to show one of those casualties.
A Facebook post shared Feb. 24 shows a toddler with blood on her face.
“Keep praying for Ukraine. This is a child of God,” reads the caption. “Lord please cover your children with your shield. Praying for the world.”
The post generated over 1,000 interactions in less than a week. Similar posts have amassed hundreds of interactions on Facebook.
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But the claim is false, as independent fact-checking organizations have reported.
The image is unrelated to the conflict in Ukraine. It was captured after a bomb hit a Syrian city four years ago.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.
The image in the Facebook post shows a wounded little girl in a hospital after a bombing in Mesraba, a city in the Eastern Ghouta region of Syria. Mohammed Badra, a member of the European Pressphoto Agency, took the picture Jan. 3, 2018.
At least 19 other people were “killed in airstrikes on the cities of Erbeen and Mesraba,” according to the photo’s caption.
The coordinated attack was part of an ongoing civil war between the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and pro-democracy opposition forces that began in 2011, according to BBC News.
Tensions between the government and rebels who occupied cities in the Eastern Ghouta region intensified in 2018. Medical facilities and paramedics were targeted by airstrikes and artillery fire, according to BBC News.
Fact check roundup: What’s true and what’s false about the Russian invasion of Ukraine
USA TODAY has debunked a series of out-of-context images and videos that have spread online since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that an image of a wounded child is from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The image shows a wounded girl after a bomb hit a Syrian city in 2018.
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