Austrian TV used two video fakes in its report about mobilization of Ukrainians

Austrian TV used two video fakes in its report about mobilization of Ukrainians

ORF TV channel’s correspondent in Ukraine released a footage showing SBU severely detaining a Russian agent for serving a draft notice

One of the leading Austrian TV channels - ORF 2 (owned by the national public broadcaster ORF) - released a report that included a footage showing the SBU detaining a Russian agent in Odesa for serving a draft notice, with the use of force.

During ORF news programme ZIB 1 on August 15, a separate news segment was devoted to corruption in Ukraine. It began with information that regional military recruitment office commanders were dismissed by the Ukrainian President following relevant inspection. It included a report by ORF correspondent in Ukraine Christian Wehrschütz about problems with mobilization in the country.

"These videos by Ukrainian users are just some examples that not all men are ready to fight for their country. Avoiding mobilization is a source of corruption," says this long-time correspondent in Ukraine, who had previously been banned from entering Ukraine, but this ban was later lifted.

As proof of his words that "not all men are ready to fight for their country," the report shows two short videos with what appear to be forced detention of person subject to conscription by military personnel.

In the first video, men in uniform brutally detain a man in civilian clothes in a park.

In the second video, shared on TikTok with the caption "Ukraine Mobilization in University," men in uniform and armed try to forcibly get a young man out of a building.

However, both videos have nothing to do with mobilization in Ukraine.

Thus, the video "Ukraine Mobilization in University" is a well-known and long-debunked fake. In particular, on May 2, 2023, the Center for Countering Disinformation at the NSDC spoke about it.

As reported by the center, enemy Telegram channels began to spread a video from the TikTok of a Polish user with the caption "Ukraine Mobilization in University," in which military recruitment office employees allegedly detain a student during lectures. It was noted that the video was actually shot more than seven months ago at the Shehyni checkpoint on the border with Poland. This is evidenced, in particular, by a report released by BBC News Ukraine about the departure of students abroad. The student did not want to leave the checkpoint, so the border guards had to take him out by force.

The VoxCheck fact-checking team also wrote about this case in more detail on May 15. It was noted that the incident took place on September 28, 2022, when a student was indignant at being banned from crossing the Ukrainian border and refused to leave the border guards’ office and the checkpoint.

On September 29, 2022, the State Border Guard Service itself reported on this conflict situation at the checkpoint in Lviv region. They pointed out that the 21-year-old citizen of Ukraine tried to leave the country for the ninth time, and after receiving another refusal, he became indignant and refused to leave the territory of the State Border Guard Service’s office and the checkpoint in general.

As for the footage about the alleged detention of a conscript in the park by military recruitment office employees, it actually refers to the detention of a Russian agent in Odesa by employees of the Security Service of Ukraine. The relevant video was distributed by the Ukrainian special services on its YouTube channel on March 20, 2023.

In the news story about the detention, the SBU reported that during a special operation in Odesa, another Russian agent was exposed, who turned out to be a former law enforcement officer recruited by a staff member of the FSB after the full-scale invasion began.

As reported by Ukrinform, in September 2022, Ambassador of Ukraine to Austria Vasyl Khymynets expressed his indignation at the report about Izium by Austrian ORF broadcast correspondent in Ukraine, Christian Wehrschütz, who attempted to downplay the war crimes of the Russian Federation.

Vasyl Korotky, Vienna

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