Fact Check: Movie Clip Falsely Shared To Show How Ukrainian Soldiers Killed Civilians In Chechen War

Amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, a video in which a group of soldiers can be seen assaulting and shooting an elderly man is being widely shared on social media with a claim that Ukrainian soldiers are killing civilians during the Chechen War. 

According to a BBC article timeline, Chechnya, a small, oil-rich province in Russia’s North Caucasus area, was invaded by Russia in 1994, and the conflict continued until 1996. The first Chechen War erupted as a result of this. The second Chechen War broke out in 1999 and lasted until 2000 when Russian soldiers took Grozny, Chechnya’s capital.

The video is being shared on Facebook with a Hindi caption, “क्या आप जानते हैं!? ..यह वही हो रहा है, जब यूक्रेनी सेना ने चेचन्या की भूमि में प्रवेश किया था और एक बूढ़े व्यक्ति को मार डाला था बिना रहम किए, वो भी तब जब वो अपनी बीवी के साथ सूरत अल-फातिहा पढ़ रहा था , कहते है ना वक्त हर मर्ज कि दवा है ! अब देखीऐ वक्त का पहीया कैसे घुमता है आज कुदरत की तरफ़ से वही हो रहा है, आज वो कहानी उलट गई है और चेचन्या रूसी सेना के साथ प्रवेश करती है। यूक्रेनियन ने उनके साथ जो किया उसका बदला शायद अब वो भी ले … लोगों को यूक्रेनियन की सच्चाई का भी पता चलना चाहीए बेशक कुदरत बेहतर बदला लेने वाला है”

(English translation: Do you know!? ..This is what is happening when the Ukrainian army entered the land of Chechnya and killed an old man without mercy, while he was reciting Surat al-Fatiha with his wife, says No time is the medicine of every problem! Now see how the wheel of time turns, today the same thing is happening from the side of nature, today that story is reversed and Chechnya enters with the Russian army. Ukrainians should take revenge for what they did to them… People should also know the truth about Ukrainians, of course, nature is the best avenger)

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be MISLEADING. 

Using the InVid Tool, we extracted keyframes from the viral video and performed a Reverse Image Search. This search directed us to a Twitter thread dated March 10, 2022, that carried a screengrab from the viral video. The text read, “Another anti-Ukrainian fake is spreading these days. The footage from the fiction film is shared as a real video of the “crimes” of the Ukrainian army in Chechnya in 1999. According to the authors of the posts, Kadyrov is now taking revenge for civilian Muslims.”

Taking a cue from this, we did a keyword search and found the film uploaded on a YouTube channel on February 25, 2020. The viral video can be seen from 3:48 to 5:45 minutes. The video description can be translated in English to, “Director Michel Hazanavicius and (his wife) actress Berenice Bejo are coming together in a war drama this time after five Oscar-winning Artists. Competing for the Palme d’Or in Cannes, the story of the film takes place in 1999, during the Second Chechen War, and follows four people whose lives intersect as a result of a cruel game of fate.”

Searching further, we found an article published by France 24 on May 21, 2014, which stated, “In today’s Cannes Chronicle we focus on the return of Michel Hazanavicius, the French director internationally renowned for the Oscar-wining film “The Artist”. His new movie, “The Search”, also featuring actress Berenice Bejo, takes a completely different tack to his previous offering and focuses on the Chechnya war.” The movie is also rated and listed on IMDb as well. 

According to a recent news report by Reuters, amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechnya province and a Putin loyalist, announced that Chechen militants had been dispatched to Ukraine.

Thus, it is evident from the above information that the viral claim is misleading and visuals from a movie clip are being falsely linked to the Ukraine-Russia war. 


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