Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Ukrainians Are Staging Russian Attacks

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Ukrainians Are Staging Russian Attacks Film Footage

Does a TikTok video prove that Ukrainians are staging Russian attacks? No, that's not true: The video is behind-the-scenes footage of a Ukrainian film that is described by its Facebook page as depicting "the heroic actions of the residents of Kiev during the occupation."

The claim was implied in a TikTok video posted in August 2022. The video included the hashtags #Ucraina and #guerra in its caption. The text included in the video, translated from Italian, read:

In Gostomel, Ukraine, Kiev regime 'movie directors' are staging a video on the alleged atrocities made by Russian troops against civilians.

This is how the TikTok video appeared at the time of writing:

italian ukraine TikTok.png
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 22 15:24:31 UTC 2022)

The footage used in the TikTok video making the claim came from this TikTok video, posted in August 2022 and screenshotted below:

original ukraine film tiktok.png
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 22 15:23:34 UTC 2022)

This footage was taken while on the set for the film "Region of Heroes." The Facebook page for the film summarizes it by saying it "will demonstrate the heroic actions of the residents of Kiev during the occupation. These are the people, thanks to whom tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives were saved."

Similarly, the Ukrainian State Film Agency describes the film as follows:

Область героїв / Region of Heroes will be a large-scale film remake of 5 real-life stories about 'angels who went through hell'. The film project created by Ukrainian producer and actor Alexei Komarovsky / Aleks Komarovskii will show the heroic actions of the residents of Kiev during the occupation - people thanks to whom tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives were saved.

In an email sent to Lead Stories on August 22, 2022, the public relations team for "Region of Heroes" told us:

The video posted on TikTok is a video of an eyewitness of shooting of a Ukrainian documentary film about Kyiv region residents during the Russian occupation, based on real events.

We don't film any fakes about russia. You will be able to verify this when the film is released in cinemas in the fall.

The public relations team also claimed that the "Russian public having nothing in common with our filming, uses this video to spread false information."

There are more behind-the-scenes images of the film featured in the articles found here and here.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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