Purported photo of Russian military mocking President Joe Biden is not real
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Some people online have been posting a screenshot that seems to show a social media post from the the New York Post with a satellite photo of Russian tanks at the Ukrainian border. The tanks seem to spell out "Let's Go Brandon," a phrase that has been used to mock US President Joe Biden. But the image isn't real, and it was never published by the New York Post.
The image of a tweet, purportedly published by the US newspaper the New York Post and showing a satellite image of Russian tanks forming the words "Let's Go Brandon", has been shared in English on Facebook since January 21, as well as on Twitter.
"Let's Go Brandon" is a slogan that comes from an interview with American stock car racing driver Brandon Brown by an NBC reporter on October 2 in Alabama. The reporter said on air that the crowd was chanting "Let's Go, Brandon", while some spectators were actually saying "F--- Joe Biden".
The interview was interpreted by some US conservatives as evidence that Joe Biden is protected by the media, and has since been used by his opponents to be synonymous with "F--- Joe Biden".
A satirical Tweet taken seriously
The screenshot was posted on January 20 by a satirical Twitter account focused on "meme making", but many people online took it seriously.
You can find the origin of the hoax by searching for the New York Post headline: “New satellite images show extent of Russia buildup along Ukraine border".
Now Putin is just mocking us… pic.twitter.com/nvRmp9QwZj— Prison Mitch (@MidnightMitch) January 20, 2022
By searching the text in the screenshot on Twitter, you can find the New York Post's original Tweet.
It has the real satellite image showing a buildup of military vehicles at the Ukrainian border. They're lined up in rows, not spelling out "Let's Go Brandon".
The satellite images published by the New York Post were taken by Maxar Technologies, a US space technology company, on January 19, as reported by Reuters on January 20.
They were taken after Russia began military manoeuvres near Ukraine and in Crimea, a Ukrainian territory annexed by Russian authorities in 2014. The move has stoked fear in Europe, and several European countries have called for a de-escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
The bottom line
This photo does not show Russian military equipment in formation to spell out "Let's Go Brandon". It's actually an edited version of a real satellite photo, showing a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, posted on a parody account.