Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation

Since 12 August, a video has been circulating on TikTok, Telegram and Twitter showing people running in war scenery on a film set. This material is shared as an alleged “proof” of a hoax prepared by the Ukrainian authorities. The video is often accompanied by additional comments informing that the footage shows a war staging made by Kyiv propaganda with the support from the western media. In this article, we will examine the original source of the recording, and where and how the material has been distributed.

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation
Fact-checked recording

Claim:
Ukrainian authorities record propaganda, staged videos showing non-existent war events.

Accusing the Ukrainian authorities of staging crimes

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, there have been many conspiracy theories in Ukraine. Some of them accuse the Ukrainian authorities of staging the massacres and having actors to play victims of the war. On 9 August, a TikTok account yarikfors posted a video without any comment, in which TV crew filmed several people fleeing a burning building.

This post was enough for commentators to believe that recordings shown by Ukrainian channels with people fleeing the war could be falsifications arranged by the authorities in Kyiv.

Film set. True origin of the recording

In fact, the footage comes from the set of the film Область Героїв / Region of Heroes. It is a documentary about the heroic deeds of the inhabitants of Hostomel, Irpin and Bucha. Journalists of the spamchronicles.com service contacted the filmmakers and asked about the origin of the video in question. In response, they received a confirmation that the material comes from their film set, and the film itself will be screened in cinemas this Autumn.

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation - Creators Statement
Statement from movie creators

The location and time of the recording

The recording features subtitles in Ukrainian, according to which the film was shot in Hostomel in February 2022. Hostomel is a settlement in the Kyiv Oblast (Bucha Raion) in Ukraine. In February, temperatures in this area oscillate between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius. However, in the video we can see members of the crew wearing summer short-sleeved T-shirts, while the actors are wearing hats and warm jackets. Green vegetation is also clearly visible. This proves that the recording was certainly not shot in Hostomel in 2022.

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation - Keyframe with movie crew summer cloths
Keyframe with movie crew summer cloths
Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation
Average temperature in Hostomel in February

Distribution of fake news by Russian propaganda

The first publication dates back to 12 August when the video was shared by TikTok channel yarikfors. In just 4 days, it had over one million views and over 2,400 comments. On the same day, an avalanche of re-shares began, often with additional comments, on TelegramTwitterTikTok, but also e.g. Gloria.tvVery often, the material was shared by channels known from spreading Russian propaganda in the past. 

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation - Examples
Examples

On 13 August, the tweet with this video and a comment was published by the Russian Embassy in the UK.

“This is how the supported by the Western media #Kiev propaganda is staged. Just look at this video. #StopNaziUkraine”

Russian propaganda uses footage from a film set to spread disinformation, Russian Embassy in UK, flagged post
Russian Embassy in UK, flagged post

This tweet is currently flagged as violating the rules on spreading false or misleading information. It cannot be shared or commented anymore. In the comments to various publications comprising this footage, the majority of those commenting seem to believe the message created by the Russian side.

Summary

As in the case of the mannequin that was supposed to be used in provocations or fake news about the staging of the Bucha crimes, this time Russian propaganda is also trying to convince the public that the recordings showing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are not true. In this case, recordings from the film about Ukrainian heroes were used for creating a false narrative.

The mechanisms of distributing this lie remain similar to numerous other attempts by Russia to influence the perception of its criminal acts in Ukraine. 

Comments

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