Russian propaganda has been producing a lot of fake videos masqueraded as real news reporting by major media companies of the world lately. We’ve already debunked their forge-reporting from Reuters, USA Today, and The Times of Israel (eng). 

This time, the video from a British media company, The Telegraph, began circulating online: it was the “report” that spoke about Body World: Kyiv exposition suddenly being canceled. Our fact-checkers thoroughly analyzed this one.

What happened? 

On November 10, pro-Russian Telegram channels such as Otriad Kovpaka (archive) and Natalia Him — Maximus. <…> (archive) and others spread the news with video from, as it seems, the British media, The Telegraph

“30 Ukrainian soldiers were transported [from the frontline —ed.] to receive treatment but got disassembled, it happens. Anatomical exposition Body Worlds: Kyiv was canceled in London… It was planned to show 30 exhibits, created from [bodies of — ed.] the AFU soldiers,” authors of the channel post almost identical commentary under these videos. 

Pro-Russian channels note that the Body Worlds: Kyiv exhibition was canceled because of “forged documents.” They say that 30 “exhibits” have been “detained” at the British customs. They say Ukrainians have gotten the bodies of the AFU soldiers out of the country and then sold them to the exhibition creators under the forged documents without relatives’ permission. 

Satirical Telegram channel Imperia ochen zla also shared the video with a comment, “A Kryvyi Rih resident recognized her husband’s hand with a swastika on the forearm at the exhibition Body Worlds: Kyiv.” 

Other Telegram channels such as Myslivets Yehor (archive) and people in social media Vkontakte (archive), Facebook (archive), and X (archive) have also spread the video. 


The Telegraph

A media company, The Telegraph, has an official website and profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, X (Twitter), and Instagram. All video reporting The Telegraph does is released to their YouTube channel. The media company posts small videos on X, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ve noticed that they post 1080×1080 videos exclusively to X and Facebook

The Telegraph also doesn’t have an official channel in Telegram. 

We have checked all of The Telegraph’s official resources and haven’t found the video. Apart from that, there is no news about the cancellation of Body Worlds: Kyiv exhibition or information that informs about forged documents for Body Worlds exhibits on official resources of the company. 

Body Worlds

Gunther von Hagens is a German anatomist. He developed plastination, a technique for preserving biological tissue and “unites it with polymer chemistry” in 1977 when he worked as an anatomist at the University of Heidelberg. 

He’s also the founder of Body Worlds, a traveling public exposition with exhibits that display dissected human and animal bodies preserved via plastination. The first Body Worlds exhibition was organized in 1995 in Japan. As of now, the exposition has traveled through 150 cities of the world. 

There’s also no event Body Work: Kyiv in the planned Body Work expositions list. There are no Ukrainian cities in the plan at all. 

In Kyiv, the Body Worlds exhibition called “Vsesvit Tila” [“the universe of a body” in translation from Ukrainian — ed.] was organized in 2018/2019 in the Expocenter of Ukraine. 

So, the exhibition Body Worlds happened in Kyiv before the Russian full-scale invasion. Note that currently, there is no exhibition with the name Body Worlds: Kyiv among the artists’ planned events. 

Video analysis 

Video shared in propagandist channels contain elements that belong to The Telegraph’s videos from their official social: 

  • rectangular logo of the British media company The Telegraph in the upper right corner; 
  • identical font for subtitles;

The last shots of the video contain the name of a media company and the website address on a light gray background. 

The video itself contains fragments of various photos and videos. Animated English titles and background music are layered above these fragments. We have analyzed the video and identified its components: 

  • Photo of London Heathrow Airport;
  • Photo of a founder of the Body Worlds exhibition; 
  • Photo of exposition’s exhibits;  
  • Clips of the plastination process from the video BODY WORLDS & The Art of Plastination published on the official Body Worlds YouTube channel on November 15, 2017. 
  • Clips from BODY WORLDS & The Art of Plastination YouTube video published on August 27, 2013;
  • Clips from BODY WORLDS & The Art of Plastination YouTube video published on May 30, 2018;
  • Clips from BODY WORLDS & The Art of Plastination YouTube video published on May 19, 2022;
  • An illustrative image that has been used online for posts and publications about customs operations since 2015. 
  • Clips from different videos that depict luggage going through customs. Screencaps correspond with the video published by @snl.dunham on TikTok on October 15, 2023. The video is about a customs employee’s work at Gatwick Airport and the uncovering of illegal cigarette transportation. There is no information about Body Works exhibits in the original video of @snl.dunham. 

So, none of the frames directly connect to the mythical Kyiv exhibition the “news” talks about. 

We also checked the official resources of Heathrow Airport, the Body Worlds exhibition, the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police, and the UK government — and found no information about the forged documents of Body Worlds exhibits. 

So, the video that was shared via propagandists’ channels was not created by The Telegraph. The video contains a mix of exhibition photos and video clips about plastination from official Body Worlds resources published since 2013. It also has illustrations and video clips with customs operations from different London airports. They don’t have any connection to the Body Worlds exhibition or exhibits. 

Conclusion: Fake

Author: Anna Ormanzhy

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