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This Video Does Not Show Ukrainians Recently Burning a Russian Church

Khadija Boufous Khadija Boufous
8th April 2023
This Video Does Not Show Ukrainians Recently Burning a Russian Church
The video is older than claimed (Twitter)

The Claim

The video shows a Russian Church in the Mykolaiv region burned by Ukrainian militants.

Emerging story

Russian media outlets and social media users have circulated a clip claiming it shows Ukrainians recently burning a Russian Orthodox church in the village of Novopoltavka.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the claim and found it to be misleading. The video is old and unrelated to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Old Video of a Burning Church

Our team found that the video is old. It dates back to at least 2013 and shows a Russian church on fire in the Russian region of Astrakhan.

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Photo Description: Screenshot of the original video

According to news reports, the church was burned, but the incident is not recent and did not happen in the Ukrainian Novopoltavka. 

The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security also confirmed the video was filmed ten years ago, not in Ukraine, but in the Russian village of Ilyinka.

Pro-Kremlin Accounts Spreading Disinformation

Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, researchers noticed that a small network of pro-Kremlin social media users and content creators have been making their audiences dramatically grow while spreading disinformation about the war and curbing the social media platforms’ strategies devoted to countering Russian propaganda.

According to the research, those creators were self-described as “independent journalists” whose reports were often made from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and backed Kremlin narratives or denied the reported atrocities and casualties in Ukraine.

Today, after more than a year of the war between the two countries, misinformation still invades social media platforms, and floods of visual content related to the conflict, including images and videos, are hard to monitor or debunk.

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