Pro-Separatists Mislead With Recycled Images (WARNING: Graphic Images)
Published 4 June 2014
Bloggers have debunked some of the most outrageous fabrications about Ukraine in the Russian state media and pro-Russian online communities, which often use shocking images from other countries to illustrate the situation in Ukraine. This compilation from social-media websites was made by Ihar Losik of RFE/RL's Belarus Service.
Pro-separatist groups on Russia's top social network, VKontakte, circulated a 2013 photo of a derailed freight train in Canada as proof of "bombardment of residential neighborhoods" in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.
The Russian state television channel Rossia aired a report showing a civilian it said was killed by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk region. The footage was identical to a November 2012 report by Rossia's sister channel about a counterterrorism operation carried out by Russian forces in the restive North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
Novorossia, a pro-separatist news portal in southeastern Ukraine, said Donetsk militants shot down a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle. The photo used in the report is from Nagorno-Karabakh.
RIA Novosti used a 2011 Associated Press photo from Cote d'Ivoire to illustrate a story about the Ukrainian military using a UN-marked helicopter in Donetsk.
Under the Twitter hashtags #SaveDonbassPeople and #DestroyKievJunta, pro-separatist users circulated this photo of a woman killed in Venezuela.
A separatist user group on VKontakte posted a 1998 photo from Tiananmen Square in Beijing to illustrate military action in eastern Ukraine.
A VKontakte group named "Russia - Great Power | Antimaidan" posted this image of "a boy killed by the Ukrainian junta" in Slovyansk. The same photo was earlier used by a news website to illustrate a story about a beheading in Saudi Arabia.
Russia's Channel One television used this archive 2011 footage of a packed Crimean beach to illustrate a current story about the peninsula adopting the Russian ruble.
Russia's NTV television used an older photo of Italian students protesting social reforms in a story about "hundreds of supporters of Russia" rallying in Rome.