On March 30, 2021, Facebook user Kakhaber Chichinadze uploaded a video, showing how several people are putting the bodies of people wrapped in black bags in a truck with one of the “corpses” smoking a cigarette. According to Chichinadze’s post, the video is linked to “liberals’ COVID propaganda.” Later on April 2, Facebook account Lena Elena shared an identical video in the context of the coronavirus pandemic with the following caption: “COVID-19 victims are smoking cigarettes from time to time.” The video contains the same text in Russian. On April 4, another Facebook user ლევან ნავი published the same footage without any caption.
As of April 7, 2021, Kakhaber Chichinadze’s post has 61 shares, while Lena Elena’s post was shared by 3,500 users.
In fact, the manipulatively spread footage does not depict “the coronavirus victims,” but rather it shows the process of filming Russian rapper Husky’s video clip and it has nothing in common with the pandemic. Thus, an actor, not a corpse, is smoking a cigarette in the video. The claims circulating among social media users that the video uncovers “the coronavirus propaganda” are false.
The video spread by Georgian Facebook users was initially uploaded by Russian artist and designer, Vasiliy Ivanov on his TikTok page on March 30, 2021. According to the video description, the footage shows the process of filming Russian rapper Husky’s video clip “Never Ever.”
It is clearly seen in the video uploaded by Vasiliy Ivanov that “the corpses” wrapped in black bags are put in an orange truck with one of the actors smoking a cigarette. The Russian rapper’s video clip really involves a footage featuring the truck in the same color full of “corpses.” The rapper uploaded the clip on YouTube channel on September 26, 2020.
The disinformation as if Vasiliy Ivanov’s video was linked to the coronavirus pandemic was also spread by Kazakh Kaznet’s users. Like Georgian users, they also claimed that the coronavirus pandemic is nothing but propaganda and that the reports about COVID-19 victims were actually spread to intimidate people.
The disinformation as if the coronavirus is not lethal and official death reports are false is especially popular amid the pandemic. Anti-vaxxers frequently use such disinformation against vaccination campaign as well as COVID-19- related restrictions, claiming that the coronavirus threat has been exaggerated. See Myth Detector’s articles on the same topic:
- What Video Fabrications are Spread in the Media regarding the Coronavirus and What do Statistics Say?
- How did the “National Congress. Power to People” Become “Corona Mafia” and who Manipulates Statistics?
By Medea Sulamanidze
Archived link of Elena-K’s post:https://archive.is/fgkFs
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