Russian fake: Vatican Cardinal allegedly accused Dmytro Kuleba of genocide of Ukrainians

Russian fake: Vatican Cardinal allegedly accused Dmytro Kuleba of genocide of Ukrainians - фото 1
Russian propagandists are spreading a story on Telegram channels, supposedly published by the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, in which Vatican Cardinal Mario Zenari allegedly accuses Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba of "genocide" against his own people.

However, this is a fake, reports Detector Media.

Experts from the VoxCheck project pointed out the falsehood. They discovered that Cardinal Zenari did not make such statements, and the story was not published in any Italian media outlet.

The video shows a logo. A Google Images search revealed that it belongs to the Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero. However, this publication did not feature such a story on its website or its social media pages. Russians often use logos of well-known media to make their fakes more credible. Moreover, original videos from Il Messaggero have their logo in the bottom right corner, while the logo is not added to vertical videos at all.

Propagandists claim that Cardinal Zenari originally criticized Kuleba on the Vatican News channel. However, Vatican News is a news portal of the Holy See that only has a radio and YouTube channel but no television channel. There was no such story on the Vatican News YouTube channel. The latest news about Mario Zenari on the Vatican News site appeared on April 10, 2024, and concerned the lives of civilians in Syria, whereas the fake video was first circulated by Russians on April 26.

Additionally, Russian disinformers spliced together videos from different, unrelated recordings. For instance, the segment where the cardinal appears in black attire was taken from his 2022 interview about the "Open Hospitals" project in Syria, where he did not mention Ukraine. The part with Dmytro Kuleba was taken from his meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on January 29, 2024.

Russians also exploit the topic of changes to the mobilization law, quoting Kuleba's post about restricting consular services for men of conscription age abroad. This refers to the issuance of passports, which men aged 18 to 60 can now only obtain in Ukraine. However, these restrictions do not apply to individuals with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, victims of Russian aggression who have gone abroad for treatment, etc.