By: Sam Doak
May 2 2023
The footage in question shows a traffic stop unrelated to the ongoing conflict.
Since the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, both Ukraine and Russia have passed legislation allowing eligible citizens to be drafted into service in their respective armed forces. While Ukraine is not unique in requiring sections of its populace to enlist, pro-Russian accounts on social media have consistently amplified footage and content purportedly showing unwilling individuals being conscripted.
Against this backdrop, a video has circulated that some on social media have claimed shows a Ukrainian man being violently confronted by police due to his refusal to enlist. The video shows a man being stopped by two uniformed officers while sitting on a motorcycle. The individual enters into an altercation with the officer, breaks free from the officers’ attempts to restrain him, and flees.
This video has been shared widely in recent days. One Twitter user captioned it, “In Ukraine, the motorcyclist did not want to change to the Leopard,” referring to the model of German tanks supplied to Ukraine by its European allies. Since this tweet was posted, it has garnered over 8,400 likes and has been retweeted more than 3,000 times.
Despite the wide reach of this tweet, further examination casts doubt on the claim that police stopped the man shown in the attached video because of Ukraine’s rules concerning military service.
A longer version of this video can be found on a YouTube channel operated by the Ukrainian outlet Poltavshchyna, titled, “In Poltava, a motorcyclist fought with patrolmen after an accident and tried to escape.” Nowhere on YouTube does the outlet indicate that police were approaching the man shown for any reason related to the military.
Further context to this video can be found on Poltava’s website. In an article published on April 3, 2023, the outlet reported, “According to eyewitnesses, a 26-year-old biker crashed into a car - the drivers resolved all issues on the spot. After that, the car drove off, and the motorcyclist collected everything that fell from the motorcycle as a result of the collision in a bag. When the man was about to leave, law enforcement officers stopped nearby and asked the motorcyclist to get out of the vehicle. The patrol officers argued that in this form and condition, the motorcycle has no right to participate in road traffic because it can cause an emergency situation.”
This version of events has also been reported by Ukrainian outlets Kremenchuk Operative and Radio TREK. Logically Facts could find no reliable reporting that stated that this incident was related to the draft.
Local media reports make it clear that this video shows the result of a traffic stop. There is nothing to indicate that the man shown in the footage was being drafted or arrested for refusal to enlist with Ukraine’s armed forces. This claim has therefore been marked as false.