Video Of Far-Right Assault On Roma Women In Kyiv Shared As Attack On Indians

The video shows an attack on a group of Roma women by far-right militant Maksym Yarosh with a sex toy and pepper spray, and does not show an attack on Indians in Ukraine.

A video showing a group of women being assaulted by a man in a black hoodie with a sex toy and pepper spray is being shared on social media with the claim that it shows a Nazi gang attacking Indians in Ukraine.

BOOM found this claim to be misleading; the video shows an attack on a group of Roma women by a man named Maksym Yarosh, and does not show an attack on Indians in Ukraine. BOOM also collaborated with Brussels-based fact-checker Brecht Castel, whose investigation revealed that Yarosh is a far-right militant with ties to the Azov Regiment - a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine.

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The video was shared by Twitter user Ukraine News (@Ukraine66251776) that shares pro-Russian content on the microblogging platform. The caption shared with the video reads, "Why is this ok for the Western media to ignore ? #UKRAINE. In this case the Ethnic Indians have become victim of vile Nazi gangs - beating 3 Indian ladies with a sex toy dildo in Kiev centre. #Donbas #DonbassWar #Donbass #Mariupol #Odessa. @republic @majorgauravarya @GeneralBakshi."


Click here to view an archive of the above tweet.

The viral tweet does mention once that the attack was on 'Ethnic Indians', and the Roma people are said to historically originate from India. Linguistic and genetic studies indicate that the Romas originated from North India. Further historical studies indicate that the group migrated out of India between 6th and 11th century, and arrived in West Asia and Europe round 14th century. Therefore, current Roma diaspora in Europe cannot be considered as 'Indians'.

Despite this, the viral tweet then goes on to misleadingly state that the man in the video is "beating 3 Indian ladies", and tags two retired Indian Army veterans (@GeneralBakshi and @majorgauravarya), along with an Indian news channel @republic, thus insinuating that the attack seen in the video is on Indians.

The video has been shared over 500 times, and has garnered over 23,000 views.

The tweet was further shared in a forum on the website Pakistan Defence (defence.pk), that posts on topics related to Pakistani defence forces and geopolitics, under the title "Ukrainian neo-Nazis beating and kicking Indian women".

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Fact-Check

BOOM did some keyword searches to look for news reports on Indian women being attacked with sex toys in Ukraine, but were unable to find any.

We then contacted Brussels-based fact-checker Brecht Castel, who writes for Belgian weekly magazine Knack. Castel suggested that the attack seen on the video might be against the Roma people, who have historical origins in India, but are not Indians.

He was also able to geolocate the incident seen in the video to Kyiv city center at the Maidan Square, using Google Street View.


We then refined our keyword search to look for possible assaults on Roma women in Kyiv, and came across an article from 2021 by Roma Times, a news portal dedicated to the Roma community.


According to the Roma Times article, which carried a screenshot of the viral video, the women being attacked are from the Roma community. The article also provided a link to a Facebook video uploaded on October 24, 2021 as the source.

Castel also found a mention of this incident on the website Violence Marker, that documents far-right attacks in Ukraine. According to this website, the attacker in the video is right-wing radical Maksym Yarosh. It also mentioned that Yarosh was behind another similar attack on a group of Roma men.

"On October 24, Yarosh used a dildo to beat up female Roma victims. He also pepper-sprayed them, accusing them of a phone theft. On December 20, he humiliated and punched in the head one of the three Roma men whom he accused of stealing a phone," the website wrote.

BOOM also reached out to Kyiv-based fact-checker Olena Churanova, who writes for fact-checking website StopFake. She confirmed to us that the incident did in fact take place in Kyiv last year, and that the attacker was Maksym Yarosh.

Castel was also able to find a video interview of Yarosh, where he shows an identification with his name in Cyrillic.


Castel also directed us to a video uploaded by Yarosh himself, on his personal YouTube page. By comparing the necklace and the tattoo on Yarosh on his YouTube video to the ones on the attacker in the viral video, he was able to further establish that the attacker was indeed Yarosh. We replicated his findings, and ended with the same conclusion.


Yet another video posted by Yarosh on YouTube showed him wearing the Azov Regiment uniform, while marching with other Azov members.

This establishes that the video does show an incident in Kyiv from October 24, 2021, where a far-right militant named Maksym Yarosh, with ties to the Azov Regiment, is seen attacking a group of Roma woman. The video does not show an attack on Indians in Ukraine, as purported by the initial post.

Updated On: 2022-06-24T17:12:02+05:30
Claim :   Video shows Indians under attack by Nazi gangs in Ukraine
Claimed By :  Twitter
Fact Check :  Misleading
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