An image of feminists unfurling a "National Idea — Feminist" banner atop the Kremlin is fake.
To celebrate International Women's Day, feminists in Moscow gathered at the Kremlin to demand equal rights.
But as the women protested and got detained, someone started spreading another image, of two women holding a banner on top of the Kremlin. People and publications were quick to pick it up, including BuzzFeed News in its initial report on the protest.
A security researcher covering the region also fell for the hoax.
As well as a prominent Russian blogger.
The organizers themselves admitted the image is fake, but did not say who's responsible. Activist Ekaterina Nenasheva wrote about it in a Facebook post:
"I'm hurting right now for Russian art activism and the feminist collective, because the picture of the Arsenal tower really did turn out to be photoshop. Only a few participants knew about it, and now I know too.
I deeply respect all participants of the protest and don't want to devalue their actions. All the other photos and videos are real. Thank you, girls!
But I also consider it absolutely unprofessional and unacceptable to have such an approach to work, in any case, the use of photoshop was not part of the original concept."
Even the commandant of the Kremlin, Sergei Hlebnikov, confirmed that there was never a banner on the tower. It's protected by "alarms, video surveillance, and other methods," which he cannot talk about, the Moscow Echo reports.
Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.
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