Photo of Swedish woman falsely shared as 'Ukrainian winner of World Sex Championship'

In the wake of Russia's invasion that triggered disinformation narratives portraying Ukraine in a state of moral decline, social media posts shared a photo of a Swedish citizen with a false claim that she was a "Ukrainian woman who won the World Sex Championship". Both the woman and the organisers of the games -- which was not an official sports event -- confirmed to AFP that she was from Sweden, not Ukraine.

"This is extremely exhausting haha. Ukrainian woman wins World Sex Championship!!!", read a Facebook post in a mix of English and Visayan -- a language spoken in southern Philippines.

The post, shared on April 13, 2024, contained images of a woman draped with a blue-and-yellow flag standing next to a man.

Its caption went on to say the competition, supposedly held in Spain, was cut short due to some participants becoming so invested in the sexual acts "that they sustained injuries" while others got disqualified for doping.

"In the final, the men's world champion was Capitano Erik of Italy, and among the women, the Ukrainian Olesia Prykhodko (known as the stage name Naousi Love)," it added.

Screenshot of false post taken April 30, 2024

An altered version of the photo bearing the face of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky doctored on to the woman's body was published on

The site belongs to a coordinated network disseminating Russian propaganda in Europe and the United States, according to Viginum -- a French government agency that fights against foreign digital interference (archived here).

Milena Yakimova, a sociologist at the Bulgaria-based think tank Human and Social Studies Foundation, told AFP on April 26, 2024 that claims portraying Ukraine as a decadent nation underscored a shift in Russia's approach to anti-Ukraine propaganda following its failure to sway public opinion in Bulgaria (archived link).

She added that this approach was valid for claims related to Ukrainian women, with the message being: "They are depraved and corrupt, and they are here to steal our men."

The claim circulated in similar posts across multiple countries herehere, here and here and previously triggered derogatory and anti-Ukrainian sentiments in Bulgaria.

Comments from users suggested some believed the posts shared genuine information.

"Oh my, God forbid,"  one user said.

"They're so shameless," another said.

However, the woman in the false post told AFP she was not from Ukraine. 

Swedish, not Ukrainian

Reverse image search and keyword searches revealed the picture was originally published on the website of an organisation called "Swedish Sex Federation" (archived link).

"We are proudly announcing the winners of the first World Sex Championship 2024," read a pop-up window sharing the image and names of the winners. It also identified the woman seen in the false post as Nausi Love from Sweden.

The message shared a link to the official X account of LiveSexHouse -- the competition's streaming partner -- where a close-up version of the false photo could be seen (archived link).

Nausi Love said she was a professional sex worker on her website (archived link). She told AFP on April 25, 2024 that she was Swedish.

"I'm not Ukrainian or Russian. I have no Ukrainian or Russian roots anywhere in my family history," she said in an email. "I'm only Swedish by citizenship. And I have Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Jewish roots."

She went on to reject the claim that her name was Olesia Prykhodko as false.

The Swedish Sex Federation also told AFP on April 25, 2024: "Nausi Love is a Swedish citizen."

A visual analysis of the photo in the false posts revealed the way it was cropped made it seem as though Nausi Love was draped with a Ukrainian flag, which bore the same colours as the Swedish flag but with a different pattern.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo shared in the false posts (left) and published by LiveSexHouse (right):

Screenshot comparison of the photo shared in the false posts (left) and as shared by LiveSexHouse

The Swedish Sex Federation describes itself as "the only organisation in the world that practices sex as a sport" and says it was the first in the world to organise the World Sex Championships (archived link).

But the Swedish Sports Federation does not recognise the Swedish Sex Federation, which means the competition cannot be considered an official sport. 

AFP debunked claims that Sweden had recognised sex as an official sport in June 2023 and has also debunked similar false claims targeting Ukrainian women here.

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