BERLIN (Reuters) – A woman who made a video in which she described a fatal attack by two Ukrainians on a Russian boy in Germany later admitted that the story was incorrect, police said on Monday.
Police believe the video, which is circulating on social media, was designed deliberately to stoke hate and are investigating the matter.
The selfie-style video in Russian, in which an unidentified woman breaks down as she relays a story she says was told her by a friend, comes as politicians warn against allowing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to stoke anti-Russian sentiment in Western Europe.
It was unclear if the woman, who in the video says she had the story from a friend, believed the story when she made the video, and nor was it clear why she had made it.
Police in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia said they had no information about any attack on a Russian-speaker by Ukrainians in the town of Euskirchen, where the incident was alleged to have taken place, and that they were unaware of any death that matched the circumstances described.
“Experts believe this was a deliberate ‘fake video’ designed to stoke hate,” police wrote on Twitter.
They said state security was investigating the matter and asked the public not to spread the video any further.
Germany is home to about 3 million ethnic Russians and experts say they are an important element in the information war between Moscow and the West as many maintain contacts with family and friends back home while being exposed to a far more diverse media environment than in Russia.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Angus MacSwan)