The Russian Ministry of Defense has released a propagandist video that was allegedly made during a battle in Ukraine. In fact, the footage was made at a recruit training facility in the Russian city of Belgorod, which Nastoyashchee Vremya journalists learned from the video file's metadata.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the reel demonstrates “the work of maintenance units in the course of the special military operation”. The protagonist, a Russian soldier wearing a helmet and a balaclava, explains that his unit is entering the battlefield to recover damaged and broken-down vehicles. However, the “battlefield” is in fact Training Facility No. 357 of the Aerospace Forces of Russia, situated to the west of Belgorod. Its precise GPS coordinates (50°39'14»N 36°31'17.4»W) are recorded in the video file properties, along with the author's pseudonym, dimk-6.
The journalists’ analysis of the footage itself further confirms the location. The allegedly damaged tank is being towed in the vicinity of the training facility and a gardening community called Fazenda. Its cottages are discernible in the footage.
Similarly, metadata analysis revealed that the addresses released by head of the so-called DPR Denis Pushilin and head of the so-called LPR Leonid Pasechnik on February 18, announcing the need for evacuating the population due to the threat of aggression from Kyiv, had actually been recorded on February 16. Meanwhile, Pushilin emphasized in his address that the video was being made “today, on February 18”.