The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A video was shared March 2, 2022, on Facebook, along with a claim that it shows a “dead body” killed in the Russia-Ukraine war uncovering the black body bag without help.
- The video clip comes from a news report broadcast Feb. 4, 2022, by an Austrian news TV channel OE24TV on. It is about a climate policy protest in Vienna, the capital of Austria.
- The journalist who appears in the news report is Marvin Bergauer. He clarified in a Facebook post published March 1, 2022, emphasizing that the TV news coverage was miscaptioned, and it had no connection to the Russia-Ukraine war or the coronavirus pandemic.
- According to the information provided by the organizer of the climate policy protest, as well as the comparison between relevant images captured from the video and the street view on maps, it is confirmed that the location where the video has been shot is Ballhausplatz, a square located in Vienna, not in Ukraine. The protest had no connection to the Russia-Ukraine war which broke out on Feb. 24, 2022.
- Our ruling: We rate the claim as FALSE.
The Russia-Ukraine war broke out on Feb. 24, 2022. A video was shared March 2, 2022, on Facebook. The video shows a reporter standing in front of many black “body bags”. The traditional Chinese-language caption translates as, “A Ukrainian TV channel reported the death toll in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In the live footage, a black cloth-wrapped ‘dead body’ lying on the ground stretched out arms suddenly and uncovered the black cloth covering the face. A staff nearby saw this and quickly moved forward to cover the black cloth again.”
As of the issuance of this report, the video had been viewed over 2,400 times, while the Facebook post had been shared 136 times and had received 51 comments and 160 likes or reactions.
Keyword searches have been conducted using those words shown in the video, such as “OE24.tv”, “WIEN”, “DEMO”, “GEGEN” and “KLIMAPOLITIK”. It is found that the video clip comes from a news report broadcast Feb. 4, 2022 by an Austrian news media outlet OE24TV. The news coverage is about a climate policy protest in Vienna, the capital of Austria.
According to the subtitles superimposed in the OE24TV video, the reporter is Marvin Bergauer. According to the reporter’s Facebook page, he made a response to the misinformation circulating online. He pointed out that the video was miscaptioned, and it had no connection to the coronavirus or the Russia-Ukraine war. The post published by Bergauer reads,“I have been approached by people from all over the world who think that my reporting is about patients who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic. They believe that my reporting has proved that COVID-19 is a myth as well as a product of political propaganda…Now, new rumours begin to circulate online, claiming that I was reporting on the death toll of the Russian-Ukrainian war in Ukraine…I don’t understand why so many people would easily believe such groundless rumours on social media.”
It is found that the slogans appearing in the video are in German, which mean “Climate protection laws can save lives—but the current climate policies cannot!” (Klimaschutzgesetz rettet Leben – Aktuelle Klimapolitik nicht!). Meanwhile, it is mentioned in Bergauer’s Facebook post that the organizer of the event is called “Friday for Future Vienna.”
Keyword searches on the above slogans and organization name found the official website of the environmental protection organization and the page of the protest. According to the official information, the protest was held Feb. 4, 2022, at Ballhausplatz in central Vienna. Comparing the buildings in the OE24TV video and the street view of Google Maps, it is confirmed that the video was shot in Vienna’s Ballhausplatz.
To sum up, the incident in the video clip is a climate policy protest in Vienna and has no connection to the Russia-Ukraine war that broke out Feb. 24, 2022.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Facebook, post (1), March 2, 2022.
- The official website of OE24TV.
- OE24TV, “Wien: Demo gegen Klimapolitik,” Feb. 4, 2022.
- Facebook, post (2), March 1, 2022.
- Weltweiter Klimastreik am 25. März, Official Website
- Weltweiter Klimastreik am 25. März, Information Page of “Klimaschutzgesetz rettet Leben – Aktuelle Klimapolitik nicht!”
- Google Maps, Street View of Ballhausplatz.