Public Health Fakes: russia is trying to intimidate Ukrainians with a "humanitarian catastrophe". Issue #3

Public Health Fakes: russia is trying to intimidate Ukrainians with a “humanitarian catastrophe”. Issue #3

Photo: / palinchak
22 November 2022

Russian propaganda attacks with panic: russian and pro-russian Telegram channels are massively spreading fake videos to show that there is a “product disaster” in Ukraine.  In some videos, people allegedly fight over products in Ukrainian supermarkets, while others show empty store shelves.  All this is done with one goal: to show that there is a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which is already a threat to the population’s survival.

With the support of the USAID Health Reform Support project, VoxCheck analyzes and refutes public health narratives spread in the information space of Ukraine, Belarus, and russia on a weekly basis.

Fake: In Kyiv supermarkets, people fight for products

A video allegedly from a supermarket in Kyiv showing people fighting for food is shared online.  The publications claim that this is the situation in many grocery stores.

Screenshot from the video

What’s the reality?

In fact, this video was shot in 2017 in Omsk, russia, and there are no reports of a critical situation with products in Kyiv stores. 

A reverse search of screenshots from the video shows that it appeared on the network in 2017.  It was filmed in Omsk, russia when pensioners were fighting for sugar.  A TV channel from Chelyabinsk published a story about this.

Results of search

The video is deliberately distributed in poor quality so that it is more difficult to see the details, particularly the name of the store on the signs under the ceiling.  By the way, low-quality photos and videos are also often distributed, in particular, to mislead the audience: it is almost impossible to see the details of such videos.  However, other videos from the same day show that the store is called “O’key” — it is a russian supermarket chain.  It has not been working in Ukraine since 2009.

Fake: Empty supermarket shelves in Ukraine

Anonymous Telegram channels are mass-spreading video of empty supermarket shelves.  However, the video from the posts is probably out of date.

Stills from the fake video 

What’s the reality?

The video was most likely filmed in the ATB supermarket. The appearance of shelves and price tags evidences this. A similar design of the shelves can be seen here. In addition, on the shelves, you can see TM “Smart Choice (Rozumnyi Vybir)” products, which are sold only in “ATB”.

Attention is drawn to the prices of goods. The video clearly shows price tags of UAH 9.40-9.90 for 1-2 liters of soft drinks and mineral water or about UAH 4 for 0.5 liters of mineral water.

Such and similar prices for soft drinks were in “ATB”, in particular, as of February 26 – this is evidenced by the data of the online store “ATB” from WebArchive. Among the current prices and products in the online store, firstly, there are no products for UAH 4-9, and secondly, there are no items that are shown in the video.

Disclaimer: This information piece was produced with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided on behalf of the people of the United States of America, and with the support of the United Kingdom Government’s Good Governance Fund program on behalf of the people of Great Britain. This article’s content is the sole responsibility of Deloitte Consulting under contract #72012118C00001. It does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, UK aid, or the United Kingdom Government.



The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations