By: Sam Doak
August 14 2023
Logically Facts geolocated this video, determining that it was filmed in Germany, not Ukraine.
In recent months, pro-Kremlin accounts have repeatedly shared footage purportedly showing Ukrainians engaged in leisure activities. These videos most commonly show people at the beach, in nightclubs and bars, and are often captioned with messages underplaying the severity of the war and questioning the value of aid to the country. While these videos appear to be effective in persuading some, viral posts in this vein have repeatedly been shown to have used old or otherwise misattributed footage.
A particularly viral example that has circulated in the last few days shows a young woman dancing on a busy beach. Frequently, this has been included in compilations seemingly put together to underplay the severity of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
One viral instance of the video was uploaded to X (formerly Twitter) on August 12, 2023 with the caption, “BREAKING: Ukraine's Black Sea city of Odesa has reopened some of its beaches for the first time since Russia's invasion, please keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers.” In the days since this was shared, the post has garnered over 5,400 reposts and 17,500 likes on the platform.
Despite many X users believing this footage was recorded in Ukraine, Logically Facts has determined this is not true.
Through a reverse image search, Logically Facts found the original social media user who uploaded the footage. While we have chosen not to identify this individual for privacy reasons, the footage was shared on July 9, 2023. Contextual information on this page indicated that the user in question was based near Berlin, Germany.
Noting that there are only a handful of beach clubs close to Berlin, Logically Facts reviewed them using Google Maps. From the visible treelines, length of the beach, and other features, it was possible to match the location to Strandbad Plötzensee, a lakeside beach venue in Berlin.
To further verify that the location shown in the video is Strandbad Plötzensee, Logically Facts compared photographs of the venue with the footage in question. Distinctive features, such as a clock on a wooden building and a metal slide, matched exactly.
It should be noted that while Odesa has experienced serious aerial bombardments in recent weeks, the city recently reopened some of its beaches for the first time since the full-scale invasion. This cannot be interpreted as a complete return to normality, however – as Reuters states, “bathing is banned during air raid alerts.”
This footage was not filmed in Ukraine, as claimed. Publicly available information makes it possible to determine with certainty that it was recorded in Strandbad Plötzensee, a venue in Germany. This claim has therefore been marked as false.