The ‘message’ was a call to lay down the arms and stop fighting Russia
A screenshot from a Ukraina 24 news broadcast on March 16, 2022. © Ukraina 24/social media
President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Ukrainians to surrender, according to a news ticker during a live broadcast on a Ukrainian TV channel on Wednesday. The channel said the message was fake and blamed the incident on hackers.
“I advise you to lay down arms and return to your families. You shouldn’t die in this war. I advise you to live, and I am going to do the same,” was the message, supposedly from the Ukrainian leader, that appeared in the middle of a regular newscast on Ukraina 24.
The channel quickly released a statement blaming “enemy hackers” for compromising the crawler. Zelensky himself soon disavowed the supposed call to surrender and described the incident as “a childish provocation.”
“I can only propose that the Russian troops lay down arms and return home,” the president said in a short video address. “We’re at home, protecting our land, our children, our families. So we will not lay down arms until our victory.”