Image of Boris Johnson doing a Nazi salute is photoshopped

By: Vivek J
September 15 2023

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Image of Boris Johnson doing a Nazi salute is photoshopped

(Source: screenshot/X/Facebook/modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Boris Johnson did not do a Nazi salute while he was in Ukraine. The image is digitally altered.

Claim ID 7d76dcd3

What is the claim? 

A photo of former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has gone viral on social media platforms, purportedly claiming to show him performing a Nazi salute during the event where he was given an honorary doctorate at the Ivan Franco National University in Lviv, Ukraine. 

One such post (archive here) found on Facebook shared a photo showing Johnson and two others raising their right hand in a manner that resembles a Nazi salute, also known as the 'Seig Heil' salute.

Screenshot of an X post purporting to show Boris Johnson performing a Nazi salute. (Source: screenshot/X/modified by Logically Facts)

Similar posts were shared in English on X (formerly Twitter) and other social media platforms (see the archives here and here). However, this image does not capture a real incident and has been digitally altered. 

What did we find? 

A reverse image search led us to several reports and social media posts of Johnson receiving an honorary doctorate from the Ivan Franco National University on September 9. One such article published on a Ukrainian website, “Lviv Media,” contained a similar photo, except the people in the photo are not raising their hands.

Screenshot of the photo shared in an article by Lviv Media dated September 9, 2023. (Source: Screenshot/Lviv Media)

The Lviv media article noted that the nuiversity awarded Mr. Johnson with the honorary title “Doctor Honoris Causa.” Taking cues from this article, we conducted a keyword search and found several news reports in English that covered the same news. 

Boris Johnson has also shared multiple images of this event on his X and Facebook accounts. We also came across a YouTube video in Ukrainian, which was a livestream of the event. From the video, it is clear that at no point did Johnson or the dignitaries present on stage with him show a Nazi salute.

Screenshot from the event’s livestream found on YouTube. (Source: Screenshot/Your CITY media hub/YouTube)

Screenshots of the comments by @smak_media on X where he clarifies that the image is photoshopped. (Source: Screenshot/X)

The verdict 

The photo purporting to show Johnson performing a Nazi salute during his visit to Ukraine is digitally altered. The person who photoshopped the image clarified it under his posts on X, and we did not see anybody on stage performing a Nazi salute in the event’s video. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before