Facebook video shows actors making a TV series in 2020—not staging the war in Ukraine

29 March 2022
What was claimed

A video shows actors pretending to be victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Our verdict

False. The video shows actors making a Ukrainian TV series in 2020.

A video of someone applying fake blood to actors is being shared on Facebook with the caption “White helmets in action, ‘innocent victims of Russian aggression’ smile and wave  you [sic]”.

The phrase “white helmets” appears to be a reference to a humanitarian organisation in Syria, which has been falsely accused by Russian state media and conspiracy theorists of staging atrocities there.

The post thereby wrongly suggests that the people in the video are pretending to be victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In fact the video shows actors in 2020 making a Ukrainian TV series about a man-made pandemic, called Contamin. (The words “Zombie movie” have been added to the clip.)

The Lithuanian fact checker Delfi established that the clip originated in a TikTok post by Daria Driuchenko, a co-owner of DRIU Production, which has been making Contamin.

Ms Driuchenko told Reuters that the clip was filmed in 2020 during production of the series. The woman with the green jacket in the clip appears to be visible  in footage on YouTube. A still image of the man in the clip was also shared on Twitter in December 2020.

False accusations that real victims of the war, or unrelated people, are “crisis actors” have been commonplace during the invasion of Ukraine. We’ve written other articles checking similar false claims before.

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