FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Crisis Actors Putting On Makeup To Appear As ‘Innocent Victims Of Russian Aggression’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows crisis actors having makeup applied in order to appear wounded and be perceived as “innocent victims of Russian aggression.”

Verdict: False

The video was filmed in 2020 and shows actors being applied with makeup for a television series. The video is unrelated to the current conflict in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

The U.N. estimates that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed at least 1,189 civilians, though acknowledged the actual toll is likely much higher, according to Business Insider. Approximately 4 million residents have fled their homes since the start of the conflict in February, the outlet reported.

One video shared on Facebook calls into question what is happening in Ukraine. It appears to show an individual applying makeup and fake blood to an unidentified man. “White helmets in action,’innocent victims of Russian aggression’ smile and wave you,” reads the video’s caption, implying the people visible are crisis actors in Ukraine.

The “white helmets” refers to a Syrian civil defense group that has been falsely accused of staging evidence of Russian and Syrian government war crimes, according to BBC News. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Missile Strike On A Ukrainian Building?)

The video predates the Russian invasion and there is no evidence the individuals visible in it are crisis actors. A reverse image search revealed the video is from a Ukrainian television series called “Contamin,” which was created by DRIU Productions. One of the actors visible in the video, a woman in a green jacket, can be seen in a YouTube clip of the series shared Feb. 17, a week before the Russian invasion.

An image of the man seen in the Facebook video was shared to Twitter in December 2020 and shows him receiving makeup during a break in filming.

The video shared on Facebook appears to have originated from a December 2021 TikTok, which has since been deleted, according to Delfi. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Missile Strike On A Ukrainian Building?)

Daria Driuchenko, a producer and director for DRIU Productions, told Check Your Fact in an email that the footage was filmed “2 years ago” and provided screenshots from her phone that dated the video to November 2020. “Yesterday I deleted the video from Tik-Tok,” Druichenko confirmed, adding that she had been contacted by other outlets regarding the footage.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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