Posts misrepresent video of Ukrainian film production

CLAIM: A video from a movie set in Ukraine shows the country is staging Russian atrocities against civilians.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video, filmed in a town near Kyiv, shows the production of a Ukrainian film based on events from the war called “Region of Heroes,” the crew member who recorded the footage confirmed to The Associated Press.

THE FACTS: Social media users, including accounts affiliated with the Russian government, misrepresented a film production in Ukraine on Friday. The video shows a crew filming a crowd of people running near destroyed buildings in Hostomel. An apartment building with a massive hole blown through it is shown in the background.

Social media posts falsely claimed the video was evidence that Ukrainians are staging Russian attacks against civilians.

“This is how they shoot videos in Ukraine, about allegedly being bombed by Russia,” a Twitter user falsely claimed.

“If the atrocities of the Russian military do not exist, they must be invented,” the Russian Embassy in Madrid tweeted in Spanish on Friday. “Staged shots of civilians fleeing Russian ‘aggression’ in Gostomel.”

But the clips actually show actors reconstructing scenes for a Ukrainian film about the war called “Region of Heroes.”

Yaroslav Forsik, a casting assistant for the film, originally posted the video on TikTok on Aug. 9. The TikTok clip had more than 900,000 views. He confirmed to the AP that the video was from the film set.

“I posted a video for my audience,” he wrote to the AP in Ukrainian. “I did not think that there would be a million views and speculation on this topic.” Forsik shared a photo of himself on set lying on a stretcher, wearing special effects makeup to make it look like he’s covered in blood.

The film, being produced by Aleks Komarovskii, will depict the “heroic actions of the residents of Kyiv during the occupation,” according to a description posted on its Facebook page on July 27. “These are the people, thanks to whom tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives were saved.”

Ukraine’s State Film Agency also posted photos of the film on Facebook on July 27, writing: “This movie project is a component of the emotional and moral recovery of Kyiv region and all Ukraine.”


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.