At the time when a year has passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of conspiracy theories questioning whether the war is real on social media has significantly increased, writes the BBC.
A large number of US radical right-wing social media accounts with large followings have published a series of baseless claims that the war in Ukraine is a fabrication perpetuated by western media and governments. Among the spreaders of fake news are also persons whose accounts on Twitter have been closed before. These people regained the ability to use the platform after Elon Musk took it over.
One assumption that quickly became popular suggested that the entire war was staged and as evidence served the shortcomings of video recordings from the front line. One such post was later shared by former US national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Anyway, the war in Ukraine has been deeply documented.
In addition to the videos filmed by eyewitnesses, extensive front-line footage from the BBC and other broadcasters is also available.
Since the start of the war, social networks have been flooded with videos from the war, and many of them have been recognized as genuine.
Another theory revolves around the high-rise building in Kyiv. The building was hit by a missile fired by Russia. A few days ago, pictures of the building, which is now partially restored, became popular again. This time, claims were made that either the building was never hit by a missile, or that the entire war was a hoax, as it was impossible to rebuild the building during an active conflict.
Although Kyiv regularly experiences rocket attacks, no direct hostilities have taken place near the city since the end of March 2022. The renovation of the building started in May 2022 and is covered in the Ukrainian media.
Conspiracy theorists have even reused videos, previously used for fake news about Covid-19. Over the past few days, internet users have watched a video in which a journalist is standing next to rows of corpses placed in bags, and one of the bags is moving. This is used as «proof» that actors are hired to play the dead to make a Western war story believable.
In fact, the video was filmed in Austria, during protests in early February 2022, before the war in Ukraine started.
Protesters lay on the ground in body bags to highlight the dangers to humans of increased carbon emissions.
The latest fantasy is «Zelensky’s double». A video and a photo are circulating on the Internet, in which a double of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is «accidentally» visible. One of the claims is that the Ukrainian president has a secret double who is mistakenly captured on Polish television footage wearing the same clothes as the president. In other posts on social networks, there is a photo with the same man in the background during the visit of US President Joe Biden to Kyiv.
Actually, there is no secret. This is Zelensky’s bodyguard Maksym Donets. He has been leading the presidential security team since 2019. Pictures of Donets, where he can be seen following the president, are easily found on the internet.
It’s Zelenskys bodyguard Maksym Doniec, if he was a double why would they show him with Zelensky 🤦♂️ Doniec goes everywhere with him, is very loyal and been Zelenskys personal body guard since 2019… pic.twitter.com/nXYloGJNqW
— Bigpodski 🇵🇱🇬🇧🦥🛸🪖🎛🎚🏴☠️ (@bigpodski) February 25, 2023
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