In the video, which was falsely attributed to the popular German tabloid newspaper Bild, the perpetrators of the flag burning set up a bizarre “lightning bolt” Tesla device to ignite the outstretched flag which soon catches fire. As the flames spread across the flag, and it comes loose from its housing, the situation rapidly loses control and the resulting inferno takes charge. The fake incident is alleged to have happened in Wulfen in central Germany.
False reports suggested the Ukrainian refugees were taken in by Germans as the war rages on in their home country.
According to a post on YouTube of the false incident, the refugees performed the stunt to gain hype and likes on their social media channel as the original footage is shown in a format suitable for most mobile phone video and picture apps.
After the flag “catches fire”, footage can then be seen of a house totally engulfed in flames as the fire spreads.
Huge plumes of black smoke can be seen billowing out of the house as onlookers film the incident.
A tearful woman by the name of Natalie Michalski appears in falsified footage after the fire had been put out.
Standing in the charred remains of the home, the camera pans across the damage, with burned-out items strewn across the floor and worktops.
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However, according to fact-checking website corrective.org, the entire video is fake Russian propaganda.
It states: “The supposed headline reads: ‘Ukrainian refugees wanted to burn a Russian flag but ended up burning down the house they were staying in.’
“However, the screenshot is a fake, the alleged article does not exist.
“We did not find the alleged article either on the Bild newspaper page or with a Google search.”
The newspaper’s deputy editor-in-chief, Timo Lokoschat, described the screenshot as a fake on Twitter: “BILD never wrote this report. A complete fake.”
According to reports by the UN, around 14 million Ukrainian people have fled their homes since the start of the war.
Many have moved to safer parts of the country, in and around the city of Lviv.
Figures in April showed nearly 5 million people had left Ukraine altogether, with the large majority headed for Poland.
In fact, some 3.5 million Ukrainian have ended up in neighbouring Poland.
The EU has granted Ukrainians the right to live and work in the bloc across its 27 member nations for up to three years.
Yet as the war slowly changes format and location, reports by the United Nations suggest up to 1.8 million refugees have in fact returned home as their areas and homes were clear of Russian troops.
In the United Kingdom, growing numbers of Ukrainian refugees are finding themselves homeless after falling out with host families.
With many Britons rushing to house refugees in return for Government incentives, the initial programme appeared to be a popular way of helping the victims of the war-torn country.
However, many were soon being asked to leave homes with a day’s notice as clashes of personalities started to occur.
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Many refugees have now been referred to housing shelters after hosts cited the cost of living issues, personality and culture clashes, hosts not setting house rules, misunderstandings and language barriers.
Community leaders have suggested although many hosts meant well in the gesture, many did not understand the responsibility and quotidian demands of hosting a family who in all likelihood had suffered highly traumatic events prior to their arrival.
Iryna Terlecky, a board member of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, told The Guardian: “Our community is seeing these cases frequently and our perception is that they’re increasing.
“We are finding that sponsorship relationships are breaking down – in spite of the very clear desire of people to help,”
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Northern Ireland has also seen Ukrainian refugees left in the lurch over their status.
Ireland was the first country in the European Union to waive visa requirements for Ukrainians and, to date, nearly 30,000 have sought shelter there.
The UK, which includes Northern Ireland, has instead opened sponsorship and family reunion schemes, which have been criticised for delays and complexity.
Unable to wait for visas, many refugees came to Northern Ireland via the open land border from the Republic – as many as four in five, according to Finance Minister Conor Murphy.
With the transition across the border, officials are not able to determine who arrived, when they arrived and where from, making dealing with their status an impossible task.
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