FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A ‘Fake’ Humanitarian Crisis Being Filmed In Poland?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Twitter allegedly shows a “fake” news broadcast about a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Poland.

Verdict: False

The video is from Austria and shows a climate change protest. It has nothing to do with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fact Check:

The U.N. has reported that at least 351 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the invasion began Feb. 24, according to Reuters. Over 1 million people have since fled the war-torn country, with most seeking refuge in neighboring Poland, CNN reported.

One video shared on Twitter calls into question the legitimacy of the crisis. It shows a reporter speaking on camera in front of what appears to be dozens of body bags lying on the ground when suddenly a person emerges from one of the body bags in the background of the shot. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A COVID-19 Crisis Actor Emerging From A Body Bag?)

“About Ukraine Attention!” reads the tweet in part. “A FAKE STORY about a humanitarian catastrophe is being filmed in Poland right now. Fortunately, the ‘fake-makers’ ‘screwed up’ on the air.”

The video predates the Russian invasion and has nothing to do with Ukraine. Rather, it shows a Feb. 4 report on a demonstration in Vienna, Austria from Austrian news channel OE24. The video’s headline translates to, “Vienna: Demo against climate policy.”

The reporter states the demonstration was organized by Fridays For Future, which is “a youth-led and -organized global climate strike movement,” according to the organization’s website. The Vienna and Austrian branches of the organization posted a Facebook event describing a protest set to take place Feb. 4 in front of Ballhausplatz Square.

An image of the demonstration was shared on the Fridays For Future Vienna branch’s Twitter and shows demonstrators laying on the ground in black body bags.

“Austria has not had an effective climate protection law for 400 days,” the tweet reads, adding that approximately 49 people would die per day if greenhouse gas emissions were not lowered. The image matches both the news broadcast and the video shared on Twitter.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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