FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Ukrainian Person Smoking A Cigarette In A Body Bag?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows one of the victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine smoking a cigarette while wrapped in a body bag.

Verdict: False

The video shows a behind-the-scenes moment from the production of a 2020 Russian music video. It is not related to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Fact Check:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) estimates that at least 596 civilians have been killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine as of March 12. Over 3 million Ukrainians have fled the country while 1.85 million have been internally displaced, the organization reported.

A Facebook video calls into question what is actually happening in Ukraine. It appears to show a man in a body bag smoking a cigarette, surrounded by a pile of other bags in the back of an orange truck. “A Ukrainian dead body was caught on camera smoking cigarette,” the video’s caption claims in part. “Propaganda is part of warfare strategy most time inorder(sic) to attract external sympathy and condemnation against your opponent and traducers.”

The video predates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and does not depict a person caught pretending to be a victim of the Russian invasion. A reverse image search revealed the video first appeared March 28, 2021, on the TikTok of Russian user Vasya Ivanov with a Russian title that translates to, “Husky video shooting – Never ever.” Several days later, on April 4, 2021, Ivanov shared another video on TikTok with the same caption. The second video shows several body bags being pulled vertically up the side of a building above an identical orange truck. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A COVID-19 Crisis Actor Emerging From A Body Bag?)

The orange truck loaded with black body bags can be seen in a 2020 music video by a Russian rapper named “Husky.” The video, titled “Never-ever” in Russian, was uploaded to YouTube on Sep. 26, 2020. The truck and body bags appear at the end of the video. The videos Ivanov shared on TikTok appear to be behind-the-scenes moments from the production of the music video.

This is not the first time a video has been misattributed to suggest there is a “fake” humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show a news broadcast staging a shot of deceased Ukrainians in Poland.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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