A video showing an emotional moment of a man bidding farewell to a young girl with tears in his eyes is circulating on social media with the claim that the man is a Ukrainian who is wishing his daughter goodbye before going off to fight for his country against the Russian invasion. The video was later picked up by multiple mainstream Indian news outlets on their social media channels with the exact same claim.
BOOM found this claim to be misleading; our investigation revealed that the video was shot in Gorlovka, which is in the pro-Russian separatist region of People's Republic of Donetsk. The man in the video is actually seen evacuating his family to Russia.
The video is being shared in the backdrop of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, following a 'special military operation' by Russia in Ukrainian territory. The conflict has led to a sudden surge in false and misleading information on the situation.
On February 24, soon after Russia started its 'special military operation' in Ukraine, the video started circulating on Facebook and Twitter. It showed the man break down in tears several times as he said goodbye to a little girl, while a woman came and joined them in an emotional embrace with the man and the girl.
One such video was shared on Twitter with a Turkish caption, which when translated to English read, "This is how a father in Ukraine said goodbye to the camera while sending his family to the safe zone."
The video had over 20 million views at the time of writing this article. Click here to view an archive of the tweet.
We looked on Facebook to see if similar claims were being made with the video, by searching with the keywords "father goodbye daughter", and found the exact same being made by multiple users.
BOOM did a few reverse image search with keyframes from the video, and found a large number of online posts with the viral claim of the man in the video going off to fight for Ukraine.
Using the search tools, we started looking for possible posts carrying this video that were made before February 24.
This led us to the same video on Twitter, that was posted on February 21, three days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The Russian caption shared along with the video read, "Evacuation from Gorlovka. Heartbreaking footage..."
Gorlovka, or Horlivka, is a city in the Donetsk Oblast region of Ukraine, which has been under pro-Russian separatists since the Euromaidan protests of 2014. Furthermore, on February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognised Donetsk and Luhansk as independent territories.
Taking a cue from the tweet, we took the Russian keywords (using Google Translate) saying "father goodbye Gorlovko", and searched on Russian social media website VK.
We found the same video posted on VK on February 21, by Ivan Prikhodko, who is the mayor of Gorlovka. Prikhodko shared the video with the following Russian caption, translated into English:
"A touching moment with tears in his eyes: the head of the family escorts his wife and daughter from Gorlovka to Russia.
War again came to the long-suffering land of Donbass, a war declared by the Ukrainian government to civilians of the independent Republics of Donbass. Residents of Gorlovka are evacuated daily to Russia, fleeing Ukrainian aggression. Today we have witnessed the touching farewell of the head of the family to his wife and daughter, whom he saw off to Russia. The man who remained in the city to defend the Republic from the AFU with weapons in his hands, with tears in his eyes, accompanied his family to Russia in the hope of a quick meeting and that a lasting and eternal peace would be established on the land of Donbass! "
Few days before Prikhodko shared this video, pro-Russian separatists started evacuating people from Donetsk and Luhansk to Russia, as the latter started preparing for the eventual invasion.
This was previously fact-checked by Maldita.
Updated On: 2022-04-01T11:19:11+05:30