Russia’s vast propaganda machine has once again been put to work in an attempt to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the world, this time with a clip purporting to show Kyiv’s soldiers abusing a poor mother and her child.

What’s in the video?

At first glance the video is absolutely damning – a woman and her baby traveling in a car along a country road.

They are stopped and pulled over by a vehicle marked with a Ukrainian flag. Two Ukrainian soldiers get out and start insulting the Russian-speaking woman, calling her a “scumbag” and “swine” as she begs to be spoken to with respect.

Undeterred the mean shout: “Give me your papers, you bastard. First of all, use the official language [Ukrainian] when speaking to me, you pig.

“Don’t use the pigs’ language [Russian] with me. I won’t look at the child. You, scumb, are you stupid?”

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How did the video become widely viewed?

Courtesy of the Russian Embassy in the UK which tweeted it with the hugely ironic hashtag #TruthonUkraine.

The accusations escalated when Russia’s Ministry of Foreign affairs got in on the actions, tweeting the video with the caption: “Once a Nazi always a Nazi 👇 This is the kind of terror Ukrainians are living with: witness Ukrainian military berate and shoot at a mother with a child in the backseat, calling her "pig" & "scum" simply for ... speaking Russian. No Nazis, they say...”

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 The Ministry since appears to have realised it’s rather massive error and has deleted the tweet but the internet never forgets and a cached version is available here. 

How do we know it’s fake?

 This is all down to the wonderful work of open-source intelligence (OSINT) researchers who, by accepting nothing on face value, examined the surroundings captured on the film and …

... managed to geo-locate the location to a road 30 kilometers behind the frontline – in Russian-held territory.

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The geo-location of the site has since been confirmed by other researchers.

 Just to be sure, is there any other proof the video is fake?

 Firstly, there’s the fact dashcams have been illegal in Ukraine since the introduction of martial law.

Secondly, the uniforms worn by the “soldiers” don’t seem right.

Thirdly, even Russian sources are now saying it’s fake.

Has Russia used fakes before?

Yes, too many times to count. Perhaps most infamously, they used fakes to try and prove that the downing of MH17 was nothing to do with them.

 Spoiler: It definitely was.

 

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