Old video of Spanish religious parade falsely shared as Ukrainian troops keeping Lent in 2023
A video of a group of uniformed people carrying an effigy of Jesus Christ on a crucifix through a crowd of spectators has been repeatedly shared by Korean social media users in March 2023 that falsely claim it shows Ukrainian troops observing Lent -- the period before Easter -- even during its war with Russia. In fact, the video is from 2018 and shows a Spanish army unit during a ceremony celebrating the Holy Week of Easter in Spain's southern Malaga province.
The video was shared here on Naver Blog, a South Korean forum, on March 7, 2023.
It shows a group of uniformed men carrying what appears to be a statue of Christ on a crucifix through a crowd of onlookers. The procession also passes in front of a formation of armed troops in uniform.
Korean-language text superimposed onscreen reads: "Ukrainian troops keeping Lent even in the middle of war" and "Jesus, for me".
Christians observe Lent by praying and fasting before the Easter festival, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
An English-language Christian song "Near the Cross" has been edited into the video.
The claim has circulated online in multiple South Korean Christian blogs, including here, since at least April 2022, which was the first Lent since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The same claim was also shared on Facebook in 2022 here and here, as well as on Naver Blog here.
But the video has been shared in a false context.
Holy Week in Malaga
A Google reverse image search using keyframes from the video found corresponding footage in a YouTube video showing a religious procession of the Spanish Legion passing through a church in Spain's southern Malaga province in March 2018.
The video was published by PTV Malaga, a Spanish broadcaster.
Its Spanish-language title translates as: "Holy Week 2018: Holy Thursday (morning)."
At the video's two-hour, 41-minute mark, the soldiers can be seen carrying the effigy through the church Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán while chanting a Spanish hymn. A voice can also be heard delivering a prayer in Spanish.
Below are screenshot comparisons of scenes in the falsely shared video (left) and the PTV footage published on YouTube (right):
The city of Malaga in Spain holds a major religious festival during the last week of Lent, known as the Holy Week, in which various processions and ceremonies take place throughout the city.
One of these, as featured in the video, is the annual Traslado del Cristo de la Buena Muerte (Transfer of the Christ of the Good Death), which is traditionally undertaken by members of the Spanish Legion, a Spanish Army unit.
The troops' uniforms and emblems seen in the PTV video match the ones in photos published on the Legion's official website.
The scenes in the PTV video also correspond to photos and footage published in Spanish-language news reports from 2018 here, here and here.
AFP photos of the same procession by the Spanish Legion during the 2022 Holy Week festival, on April 14, 2022 show similar scenes: