The Facebook group of the Ukrainian show "Toronto Television" posted a call to all football fans to skip the key football event, the World Cup in Russia; with the call being followed by a number of scaremongering pictures regarding the event. The pictures are based on promotional posters for the World Cup, but altered in a way that features numerous events widely brought up in Western media to stir anti-Russian hysteria, such as the Skripal poisoning case and the investigation into the crash of MH17.
"Propaganda and zealotry. Sad. I have no questions to the authors. It's all clear. I'll give them a hint: Russians also play hockey! And chess! You have limitless opportunities. Also figure-skating and rhythmic gymnastics," a user named Vladimir Sergienko wrote.
Поздно, уже вовсю едут, на Белорусский вокзал прибывают поезда с немцами и французами, даже англичане собираются.А укроканадцы пусть об'являют —переживем.Тем более,что —то не слышно о сборной Канады по футболу)))— Ирина Васенкова (@iev20) June 6, 2018
"Too late — they are already arriving at the Belarus railway station. Coaches full of Germans and French, even Brits. We can survive if the Ukrainian-Canadians don't come," a user named Irina Vasenkova wrote.
Ребят, вы просто фашисты.— Renat Devletov (@renat_devletov) June 6, 2018
"You guys are just fascists," wrote another user.
"Nothing changes," a user named Vladislav Brig wrote.
The posters were also promoted by the Russian-language "Radio Svoboda," which is listed as a foreign agent by the Russian government.
Earlier, several British tabloids started publishing articles ahead of the World Cup "warning" football fans about significant troubles they might face in Russia. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova subsequently warned that UK "journalists, several media [outlets], had received a state order to launch a media campaign to create an image to tarnish the [upcoming] World Cup."