[Disclaimer: Video depicts violence. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Against the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, a video of a group of soldiers beating and shooting an elderly man is circulating on social media. It has been claimed it shows atrocities carried out by Russian and Ukrainian armies against residents of Chechnya during the Chechen War. Twitter handle @Archive__News shared the visuals with the same claim. (Archive link)

The clip is also making the rounds on Facebook accompanied with an Urdu message.


کہتے ہیں 1999 کی ایک ویڈیو جب یوکرائن کے باشندوں نے چیچن کی اسلامی سرزمین پر قبضہ کیا تھا ، وہاں ایک سفید فام شخص سورہ حمد پڑھ کر اپنی بیوی کے سامنے شہید ہو گیا تھا ۔ جب بیوی روتی ہے تو اس بھی مار دیا

Posted by Ishtiaq Pathan on Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Numerous users promoted the footage on Facebook. According to the viral claim, the Ukrainian army executed an elderly man as they made their way into the Chechnya province. It further alleges that the man was reading the Surah Al-Fatihah when he was killed, and now the Chechen army is backing Russian troops to take revenge. The message also contains instructions to forward the video widely.


As a reminder.. this is what the Ukrainian army did when they entered the land of Chechnya and executed an old man who was reading Surat Al-Fatihah with his wife without mercy and today the verse is reversed and Chechnya enters with the Russian army.. to take revenge on what the Ukrainians did to them …forward so people can see the real truth about Ukrainians

Posted by Muhammad Salman Malik on Tuesday, March 8, 2022


Alt News performed a reverse image search using stills from the video and discovered that it is dramatised. A website called ‘zen.yandex.by‘ published an article on the video on October 14, 2019. It says that this footage is actually a scene from a film on the Chechen War. The man in the video has been identified as a Ukrainian actor named Maxim Zapkosni, playing the role of a Russian soldier. It also states the same video was shared as ‘real’ back when the film was first released.

Upon further research, we came across an article by the Turkish fact-checking website Teyit. The article reports that the scene is from the movie ‘The Search’ and it was uploaded to YouTube on March 29, 2021. The viral portion appears at the 3:40 mark in the film. The director of ‘The Search’ is Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius.

According to reports, while Chechen fighters have arrived in Ukraine, Russian propaganda has overestimated their numbers.

To sum it up, a scene from a film on the Chechen War was falsely shared in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It was circulated with a misleading claim about Russian and Ukrainian soldiers mercilessly beating an elderly man to death in Chechnya.

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