This video was fabricated, and the information about the “BBC investigation” was fictitious. The attackers deliberately used the BBC logo and its design for propaganda purposes.
Netizens shared a video with the BBC logo and symbolics, which states that in 2023 Ukraine allegedly spent $1.2 billion “to create fakes about the victories of the Ukrainian army at the front.” The order was allegedly fulfilled by “one of the largest PR companies in Britain.” The video says that this information was allegedly released by an independent international research team called Bellingcat.
“As a result, Yermak refused to extend the contract for 2024 with the British because their activities “did not help to increase the popularity of mobilization in Ukraine.” In other words, the money went down the drain (or was stolen according to the old Ukrainian tradition),” these media say.
In fact, this information is not true. To begin with, the BBC has never posted this video on its social media channels. Moreover, no credible Western media outlets have reported on this investigation either.
This video was most likely fabricated. The attackers deliberately used the British TV company’s logo and design for propaganda purposes. The video used video from open sources (images of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andriy Yermak) and video stocks (people in suits shaking hands, counting money). To create the video, the attackers also used archival photos of the Ukrainian military taken before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For example, the process of creating fakes in the video is illustrated by a 2018 photo of the Ukrainian military participating in the annual multinational exercise of NATO and partner countries, Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise.
The video fragment in which Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, allegedly talks about his “investigation” was taken from his interview for DW #ConflictZone (December 2022). In fact, in this interview, Higgins talks about Russian disinformation against Ukraine and the activities of Russian spies in the West.
The official Bellingcat resources also do not contain any information about such an investigation. Earlier, Elliot Higgins wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) page that propagandists have repeatedly attributed false statements to Bellingcat. For example, a fake video was actively circulated online claiming that Hunter Biden was allegedly a monopolist in the production of church attributes in Ukraine. This fake was created in the same way, and moreover, it was spread on the same propaganda channels as the previous one.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, in order to conceal the war crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine, as well as to mislead the world community about the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield, the Kremlin agitprop has been actively spreading the narrative that Ukraine is allegedly creating fake content about the war in Ukraine. Earlier, StopFake journalists analyzed a similar narrative in the pieces: Fake: Ukraine Shoots Staged Videos About Victories at Front, Fake: Ukraine Stages Aspirational Videos to Raise Morale Among the Military and Fake: Ukrainian Special Services Stage a Scene With Kherson Residents Killed by Russians – Photos.