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An image of a Ukrainian road sign pointing in three different directions and telling Russian troops to “go f—” themselves isn’t genuine.
The lettering was digitally altered. Ukrainian officials shared the image to encourage residents to help dismantle and obscure street signs to confuse Russian troops.
As the Russian military mounted its invasion, the Ukrainian government instructed residents to alter and remove road signs in order to confuse Russian soldiers. Photos on social media show signs that are blacked out or painted over.
Other images supposedly showing this effort are not so genuine.
Example: A photo shared on Facebook that shows a blue road sign pointing to three locations north, west and east — in colorful language.
"From a friend following closely…Gotta love the moxie," one post on Facebook featuring the sign reads. "Ukraine’s Interior ministry asked residents to take down street signs in order to confuse oncoming Russian troops. The state road-signs agency went one step further. (Roughly: all directions are to ‘go f--- yourselves’)."
"Top: ‘Go f yourself’
Middle: ‘Once more go f yourself’
Bottom: ‘Russia is that way, get f’d.’"
The Russian translation of the words is close, reading: "Go f--- yourself," "Go f--- yourself again," and "Go f--- yourself back to Russia."
This isn’t a real photo, however. The lettering in an authentic photo of the sign — one released by a Ukrainian government agency — was digitally altered.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
On Feb. 26, Ukravtodor, the agency in charge of Ukraine’s national road system, announced on Facebook plans to remove road signs in an attempt to throw off Russian troops. The announcement includes the image of the altered road sign.
"Let's help them go straight to hell," the agency wrote in the post. "Ukravtodor urges all road organizations, territorial communities, local government authorities to immediately start dismantling nearby road signs."
The agency told PolitiFact in an email that its Facebook post is legitimate, but the sign was photoshopped to encourage people.
We rate posts that say this is a real sign in Ukraine False.
Facebook post, Feb. 26, 2022
Ukravtodor Facebook post, Feb. 26, 2022
Ukravtodor Facebook page, Accessed March 1, 2022
Snopes, Does Ukrainian Road Sign Read ‘Go F*ck Yourself Back to Russia’?, Feb. 28, 2022
Washington Post, Ukrainian agency, urging removal of road signs, posts fake photo with a colorful message for Russia, Feb. 26, 2022
Email interview, Ukravtodor press office, March 2, 2022
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