News

Fake Video of 'Glory to Urine' New York Billboard Fools Internet

"Zelensky was greeted with this 'Glory to Urine' banner in New York in apparent typo," NotTheBee.com reported in a since-deleted article.

Published Sept. 21, 2023

Updated Sept. 21, 2023
 (X (Formerly Twitter))
Image Via X (Formerly Twitter)

On Sept. 21, 2023, the phrase "Glory to Urine" became one of the top trending U.S. topics on X (formerly Twitter). The phrase was trending thanks to a fake video that allegedly showed a billboard in New York City's Manhattan with the same three words, supposedly as an accidentally misspelled welcome message for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He had been in town for the United Nations General Assembly.

For example, NotTheBee.com reported with the following headline in a since-deleted article (archived), "Zelensky was greeted with this 'Glory to Urine' banner in New York in apparent typo."

Similarly, The Blaze reported, "OOPS: Billboard in New York accidentally greets Zelenskyy with 'Glory to Urine' instead of 'Glory to Ukraine.'"

The video also appeared in many different posts on X.

NBC News' investigations senior reporter Ben Collins visited the same street corner on Sept. 21 and posted a video. In the video, he showed that the background clip of New York City that had been used to make the fake "Glory to Urine" video was not recent.

In Collins' humorous video, he praised "the ingenuity of American construction workers," pointing out in a joking manner that, according to the viral video, several visible structures had apparently miraculously changed in just a matter of hours.

"You know where it said 'Glory to Urine' this morning, and all that scaffolding was there and all that stuff was different?," Collins jokingly asked in the video. "Now it's just all gone, and they put in new, entirely new businesses, all today. So really good work, America. I'm very proud of us."

Another user on X named Markian Kuzmowycz also posted about visiting the same street corner and took a picture and a video, again showing that the person or people who created the fake video had used an older clip of New York to serve as the backdrop to the digitally added elements of the "Glory to Urine" billboard.

It's unclear exactly when the original New York backdrop video was captured, nor was it clear where it was first posted. Some posts mentioned that it may have first appeared on Russian websites as a way of advancing propaganda as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continued.

The video also showed a logo for Fox News Digital. However, we found no evidence that it had been posted by the publisher. By email, a spokesperson for Fox News said that they "did not publish this video."

Sources

@markiank. "RU Info Ops Doing the Fake Ad in Times Sq. Thing, yet Again, Claiming a pro-UKR Ad Today Reads 'Glory to Urine', Shared by Top RU War Correspondent WarGonzo. I Snapped a Photo of That Intersection of 42nd/8th, Where There's No Scaffolding. Video Manipulated, Not Remotely Recent." X (Formerly Twitter), 21 Sept. 2023, https://twitter.com/markiank/status/1704917863855714786.

McCausland, Phil. "Russia-Ukraine Live Updates: Zelenskyy Arrives at White House for Biden Meeting." NBC News, 21 Sept. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/live-blog/zelenskyy-biden-meeting-washington-dc-live-updates-rcna105682.

@oneunderscore__. "I Just Want to Thank the Absolute Morons Who Got 'Glory to Urine' Trending.  They Were Able to Shine a Light on a New York Miracle: The Construction and Grand Opening of an Entire Pizza Restaurant in Six Hours." X (Formerly Twitter), 21 Sept. 2023, https://twitter.com/oneunderscore__/status/1704953265459540345.

Peltz, Jennifer. "Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Starts UN Trip by Visiting Wounded Soldiers at Staten Island Hospital." ABC7 New York, 19 Sept. 2023, https://abc7ny.com/ukraine-soldiers-zelenskyy-staten-island/13800280/.

Peltz, Jennifer, and Derek Gatopoulos. "Russia Has Turned Food, Energy and Even Children into Weapons against Ukraine, Zelenskyy Says at UN." The Associated Press, 19 Sept. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/zelenskyy-united-nations-general-assembly-us-biden-congress-1e6b464628a7a391289b2ad386bd2d8e.

Updates

Sept. 21, 2023: This report was updated with word from a spokesperson for Fox News who said they "did not publish this video."

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.