Russia’s propagandist Telegram channel has posted a video of the Slovak special forces dispersing protesters with a water cannon. The protesters allegedly took to the streets in Bratislava to join a rally against the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
The only truth here is that the video was filmed in Bratislava.
The reverse Google image search and Google Streets show that the events are taking place below the governmental office in Freedom Square.
The Google search by key words, such as ‘rally’, ‘Bratislava’, ‘water cannon’ brings up reports on an anti-government protest rally in Bratislava in October 2020, which was related to dissatisfaction with the measures taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Twitter advanced search for the phrase ‘Bratislava protest’, as well as by date from October 16 through October 19, 2020, brings up several rally-related posts.
In a screenshot from the video, posted by the user nicknamed ZNeveri, one can see that very man with a phone in front of a water cannon, who was spotted in the video that was allegedly filmed during the protest rally against Slovakia’s arms supplies to Ukraine in December 2022.
Additionally, the same search on Twitter brings up a YouTube link. The video itself has already been deleted but can be viewed using the Wayback Machine Internet Archive. It depicts that very man with a phone in front of a water cannon and an operator in the background. It seems that the footage spread by Russian propagandists was filmed on his camera.
This video is also dated October 17, 2020, when an anti-government protest rally was taking place in Bratislava instead of a rally against arms supplies to Ukraine in December 2022.
The weather conditions are far from winter as well. One can see trees in the video that are full of green and some purple leaves. In reality, the picture is different: an online camera from Bratislava shows nearly bare trees.