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Video shows soldiers checking bodies for explosives in Bucha

April 7, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows Ukrainian soldiers staging bodies in Bucha.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video, filmed by The Associated Press on April 2 in Bucha, a suburb of Kiev, shows soldiers attaching cables to the bodies to pull them off the street, in case Russian forces left the bodies booby-trapped with explosive devices.

THE FACTS: Days after gruesome scenes emerged showing bodies on the streets of Bucha, along with evidence of torture, social media users misrepresented a video of Ukrainian soldiers checking the corpses. The video shows the soldiers pulling bodies along the street with a wire cable, and some users falsely claimed it showed the bodies were staged.

One Twitter user shared the video with the caption, “Behind the scenes before the movie was shot.” Another user tweeted the video with the false claim, “Everything was staged.”

AP journalists were at the scene and filmed the video on April 2. Wary that Russian forces had placed explosives on the bodies, Ukrainian soldiers attached the cables and pulled the bodies off the street from a distance.

Russian officials and state-media have continued to promote their own false narrative around the images and videos of dead civilians that emerged after Russian troops left Bucha last week, dismissing the scenes as a hoax.

Earlier this week, the AP debunked posts claiming that a video showed corpses in Bucha moving on the street. The clip had been edited in a misleading way, and misrepresented distortions created by filming through a car’s windshield and side-view mirror.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the Russians of horrific atrocities in Ukraine, telling the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that those responsible should immediately face war crimes charges. The AP and the PBS series “Frontline” have jointly verified at least 90 incidents during the war that appear to violate international law.


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.