Ukraine says viral video alleging refugees were shot at is fake
A viral video claiming to show armed Ukrainian personnel shooting a group of migrants along the frontier with Belarus is fake, Ukraine’s Border Guard said in a statement on Wednesday, denying such an incident ever happened.
“This information is untrue,” officials claimed, denouncing a video that recently surfaced on social media as “a fake.” No groups of illegal migrants were discovered on Ukraine’s border with Belarus, they added, calling on Ukrainians not to disseminate “false information” and trust “only verified and official sources.”
The video in question, taken on an infrared camera, was allegedly recorded on November 29. The footage shows a group of people moving in two columns in complete darkness. It is unclear through which territory they are moving but some sources then promptly claimed that it was the exclusion zone surrounding Ukraine’s infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near the northern frontier with Belarus.
At some point, the people are seen rushing back while some of them fall to the ground. Later, the footage shows another group of people closing in on those lying on the ground, with at least one of them shooting what appears to be an assault rifle.
The Ukrainian side did not comment on the contents of the video but said that it is not the first time such “fake messages” are disseminated. Previous fake reports supposedly suggested that a group of refugees were detained in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Kiev refuted these allegations as well.
The statement comes amid an ongoing migrant crisis on the Belarusian border with Poland that saw weeks of attempts by thousands of migrants from troubled countries like Iraq and Syria to get into the EU. Brussels blamed Belarus for putting on flights from these states as part of a “hybrid war” against the bloc – something that Minsk repeatedly denied, claiming it now simply can't afford better policing due to heavy sanctions imposed by the West.