A fake story based on a Russian propaganda narrative about the Black Sea from  nearly ten years ago is once again making the rounds on social media.

Russian media, Telegram channels and social networks are busy disseminating stories claiming that Ukraine is shooting a film about the Black Sea. The publications are accompanied by a poster of the alleged film showing a shovel in sea waves. Russian propagandists claim the new historical film will be an adaptation of a Ukrainian myth that the Black Sea was dug by the ancient Ukry, a tribe that allegedly inhabited the territory of Ukraine. (Ukry is a derogatory term that Russians use for Ukrainians since Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014.) 

In fact, such a theory about the creation of the Black Sea has never been put forward by anyone in Ukraine, and a film allegedly called History of the Black Sea simply does not exist.

Nine years ago the StopFake team first debunked the original Russian fake claiming that Ukrainian historians believe in the artificial creation of the Black Sea. Then Russian propagandists disseminated a fake paragraph allegedly from a Ukrainian textbook about how Ukrainians’ ancient ancestors dug the Black Sea. StopFake fact checkers discovered that neither the book nor the author cited by the propagandists actually existed.

This fact, however, does not prevent Russian propaganda from recycling old fakes as new narratives nearly a decade later. The alleged History of the Black Sea film is not mentioned in any Ukrainian publication or web site, there is no reference to it anywhere. This is of course quite suspicious, because according to the Russian fake, the film’s budget is 80 million Ukrainian hryvnia (approximately $2,212,800) making it one of the most expensive Ukrainian films made, something that most certainly would be a topic of interest for the Ukrainian media.

The images accompanying the fake Russian publications also don’t look credible. The supposed movie poster shows the film’s rating as “+18” instead of the standard “18+” that is used in Ukraine. Furthermore, the photo from the History of the Black Sea alleged premiere is not an original photograph. The original image is from 2021 and it is the cover of the broadcast of the Ukrainian state funding film project selection process.