FACT CHECK: Did BBC News Air This Chyron About Anti-War Protests In Russia?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a BBC News chyron that states footage showing the suppression of anti-war protests in Russia “proves Russia is not a true democracy.”

Verdict: False

The image is digitally altered. A spokesperson for BBC News denied the network aired such a chyron.

Fact Check:

Some 15,000 people have been arrested in Russia for demonstrating or participating in protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, France 24 reported, citing independent media outlet OVD-Info. Now, an image being shared on Facebook claims BBC News, which has covered the conflict in Ukraine extensively, aired a chyron alleging these arrests prove “Russia is not a true democracy.”

The Facebook post’s image shows “BBC News at Ten” anchor Huw Edwards reporting from a BBC newsroom with a “Breaking News” chyron across the bottom of the image. The purported chyron states, “Footage of police violently suppressing anti war protests,” followed by the sub headline reading “This proves Russia is not a true democracy.”

“This is peak Imperialist propaganda. Remember when the West absolutely crushed the Occupy movement,” the post’s caption reads in part. (RELATED: Has Vladimir Putin Banned The Rothschild Banking Family From Russia?)

The chyron is digitally altered. The alleged statement can’t be found on the network’s website or social media pages. There are no credible news reports suggesting BBC News aired such a chyron or that Edwards made the statements contained within the alleged chyron.

“This is a fake/mocked up image,” said BBC World Service Head of Communications Philly Spurr in an email to Check Your Fact. “It did not appear on the BBC.”

The unedited version of the image shows Edwards in the newsroom without a chyron beneath him and can be found in a 2015 article from The Guardian titled “BBC could be forced to change time of 10pm news programme.” The article makes no mention of protests, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine or democracy.

This is not the first time a news network has been the target of misinformation regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked an image that allegedly showed CNN running a seven-year-old image of an explosion during its coverage of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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