A viral social media graphic claiming Russian Defense Minister and General of the Army Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoigu said Indians stranded in Ukraine would be moved to a safe location if they displayed the Indian national flag on their houses and vehicles, is misleading.
The statement in the graphic claims that Russian soldiers will not say anything to Indians stranded in Ukraine if they put the Indian national flag on their vehicles and houses. Instead, a search party of the Russian army will escort them to a safe place.
BOOM found that the statement is being falsely attributed to Shoigu. The directive to put Indian flags on vehicles of stranded Indian citizens has been issued by the Indian government. There is no record of Russia promising the same.
The graphic is viral at a time when thousands of Indian medical students are stranded in war torn Ukraine after Russia launched a full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.
The viral graphic has an image of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and text in Hindi which translates to 'If Indians stranded in Ukraine put up the tricolour on their vehicles and houses, Russian soldiers will not say anything to them. Instead a search party of the Russian army will accompany them to a safe space - Sergey Kuzhugetivich Shoigu- General of the Army Defence Russian Federation. Our tea-seller has something in him'.
The tea-seller reference here is to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Hindi: 'यूक्रेन में जो भारतीय घर और गाड़ी पर तिरंगा लगा लेंगे. उनसे रूसी सैनिक कुछ नहीं कहेंगे. अलबत्ता उन्हें सुरक्षित स्थान पर स्वयं पहुंचाया रूस की सेना का खोजी दस्ता. Sergey Kuzhugetivich Shoigu- General of the Army Defence Russian Federation कुछ तो दम है हमारे चाय वाले में'
A caption with the viral post translates to 'And people say Modi only makes trips to foreign countries'.
(Hindi: और लोग कहते है की मोदी केवल विदेश घूमते है)
Click here to view the post.
The post has been shared with similar claims from several Facebook pages.
Click here to view the post.
BOOM looked for news reports on Russia directing Indians stranded in Ukraine to put up their national flag on vehicles and houses. We found no such reports. Had the Russian government issued any such advisory, it would have been widely reported by news outlets in India.
However, we did find an advisory issued by Indian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine advising the Indian nationals stranded near border areas to print out the national flag and paste it prominently on vehicles while traveling.
News reports published in NDTV and other news websites stated that the Indian embassy in Kyiv had asked Indians stranded in Ukraine to prominently put the Indian flag on their vehicles while traveling.
An ANI report published on February 26 attributed a statement to Union minster G Kishan Reddy stating that Indian students stranded in Ukraine are advised to carry the national flag on their vehicles for safety.
The Union Minister, speaking to ANI, said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Ministers and heads of the countries surrounding Ukraine. So if Indian travelling on buses, cars or two-wheelers, reach the border of Ukraine to get into another country, the Indian government has made sure that they are allowed entry without any problem. For the people who are reaching the border of Ukraine into Romania, the Indian government had taken measures to bring students from there for free of cost."
BOOM checked the official Twitter account of the Indian embassy in Russia for any statement issued by the country on Indians being taken to safe places by Russian soldiers if they displayed the Indian flag but did not find any such statement.
Claim : If Indians stranded in Ukraine put up the tricolour on their vehicles and houses, Russian soldiers will not say anything to them. Instead a search party of the Russian army will accompany them to a safe space - Sergey Kuzhugetivich Shoigu- General of the Army Defence Russian Federation
Claimed By : Social media handles
Fact Check : Misleading