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Facebook labels holiday greeting of Ukrainian General as hate speech

Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk. Photo by Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Facebook has blocked the post of Mykola Oleshchuk, Ukraine’s Lieutenant General and Air Force Commander, congratulating Ukrainian radio engineering troops with their professional holiday, according to the Air Force Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Oleshchuk’s post on the official Facebook page of the Ukrainian Air Force was labeled as hate speech and blocked four hours after being published.  More than 200 000 people have shared the post before Facebook banned access to it.

Oleshchuk posted the greeting again few hours later with few minor corrections. He replaced the phrase “effective disposal of the Russian evil in the sky” with the words “disposal of the enemy” and changed the wording in “wild Russian world” ommiting the word “wild”.

This is the English translation of the original post written by Mykola Oleshchuk:

Dear unbreakable warriors of radio engineering forces,

You are the main source of information about the security situation in Ukrainian sky. You are the eyes of the Air Force! You were the first ones to see the aggression of Russian invaders on February 24 and fight it back. You managed to keep your composure, regenerate combat power after losses and dispose of the Russian evil in the sky.  You are unbreakable radio engineering troops. On the way to our victory, we still have a lot of work to do. We will have to work hard to rebuild the country after our victory. Nevertheless, we all have to do our best to secure the safe future for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who should live in a free, democratic country without the influence of the wild Russian world. I am sure that together we will defeat Russian invaders, set our land free from occupiers and bring back peace to Ukraine.

Best regards,

Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,

Lieutenant General,

Mykola Oleshchuk

Facebook regularly labels posts of Ukrainians about the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine as hate speech. Thousands of posts about Russian war crimes in Ukraine have been banned by Facebook this year stirring vigorous debate and strong criticism among Ukrainians and those who support Ukraine in its resistance to the Russian invasion.

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