Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show A 'Corpse' In A Bodybag Smoking A Cigarette After Moscow Attack -- It's A 2020 Scene From A Music Video

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show A 'Corpse' In A Bodybag Smoking A Cigarette After Moscow Attack -- It's A 2020 Scene From A Music Video Music Vid Set

Does a video circulating on social media show a Russian propagandist's outtake -- a live actor having a cigarette break while pretending to be a corpse after the deadly March 22, 2024, music venue attack in Moscow? No, that's not true: This video - which has been used in disinformation repeatedly - does show actors. This is a behind-the-scenes view of the production of the 2020 music video for the song "Never Ever" by the Russian rapper Husky. There is no evidence to support claims that the footage shows a propagandist staging scenes from the 2024 shootings.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published by @oldudefellow on March 23, 2024. It was captioned:

Russian corpses smoking.

Miracle of medicine or pure propaganda???

Fuck Russia

Fuck Putin

Can I get an, Amen?

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:


Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Mar 25 15:12:28 2024 UTC)

The post appeared on X a day after gunmen opened fire on crowds at Crocus City Hall, a major music venue in Moscow.

The age-restricted music video titled, "Хаски -- Никогда-нибудь" was posted on the official YouTube channel of the Russian rapper Хаски (Husky) on September 26, 2020. The graphic video depicts a janitor, played by Husky, who cleans up inside an industrial building after a gang fight where many men have been killed in a gun battle. In the final scenes at 02:10 minutes into the video (pictured below) the bodies, having been placed in black body bags and strung together, are lowered with a winch from the roof of the building. The bodies are piled in an open orange garbage truck parked below. The bloodied janitor waves goodbye to snipers positioned on the neighboring roof and drives the truck away.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite image with YouTube screenshots taken on Mon Mar 25 16:50:40 2024 UTC)

The clip posted on X, showing the actor in the body bag smoking, and the interior of the truck's bed from above, does not appear in the music video. But the orange truck, typical of the municipal recycling trucks in Moscow, and the white tiled building with a stripe of black tiles at the sidewalk, does match with the scenes in the video. Additional behind-the-scenes images showing the actors who played the corpses with the production crew were posted on Instagram on September 30, 2020, by the video's director Evgeniy Bakirov.

This is not the first time this video clip has been misrepresented as evidence of a deception. In 2021 Lead Stories debunked a different claim that the actor who was caught smoking was pretending to have died from COVID-19.

Lead Stories has debunked other similar claims where images of protestors who were symbolically representing the dead, were misrepresented as crisis actors (here) as well as claims that people who really were dead or injured were just actors participating in a staged event (here, here, and here).

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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