Disinfo: Ukrainian’s national trident symbol recognised as an extremist symbol by British police


The UK Counter-Terrorism Police consider a tattoo with the image of the Ukrainian “Trident” a sign of belonging to an extremist group. Before becoming Ukraine’s official symbol, “trident” traditionally used to be a symbol of radical Ukrainian nationalism.


Part of the Kremlin's ongoing narrative that Ukraine is a Nazi state. See similar cases such as Nazi took over Ukraine with a coup and the EU accepts a Kyiv government filled to the brim with Nazi's.

This case is based on a guide, issued in June 2019,  created for British police and used by the Prevent scheme (to combat radicalisation), to identify and understand symbols and organisations they may encounter. Among the symbols, the Ukrainian "tryzyb" appears as a tattoo in the guide under the heading "symbols commonly associated with white supremacy".

On 19th January 2020, the Ukrainian Embassy in the United Kingdom demanded that the country's coat of arms be removed from the guide and called for an official apology. The following day, the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Kyiv apologised for the British police’s decision to include the "tryzub" in the manual distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings. After a meeting with civil servants of the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK, British police made the decision to remove the symbol in question from the manual.



  • Reported in: Issue183
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: UK, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Terrorism


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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