This week, two years passed since the most infamous fake story of the Donbas conflict, known as “the crucified boy”, was broadcast by Kremlin-controlled TV.
On July 12, 2014, state-owned Channel One (Pervy Kanal) showed an interview with a woman calling herself Galina Pyshniak.
Pretending to be an eye-witness, she described a heart-breaking story about a three-year-old child being crucified by Ukrainian nationalists in front of his mother’s eyes in the city of Slovyansk. The unconscious mother was then tied to a tank and driven around the square.
The story was one of the peaks of the Kremlin-orchestred campaign targeted at inciting hatred against Ukrainians. Journalists from Novaya Gazeta debunked the story within 24 hours, and other testimonies disproving the Channel One’s lie appeared, among them one from Ukrainian Stopfake.
Sadly, none of the stories that proved that the story was a fake could have reached such a massive audience as a TV channel with supposedly 250 million viewers worldwide.
“I worked for Soviet newspapers during the terms of four Soviet leaders, from Leonid Brezhnev to Mikhail Gorbachev, and this is the first time the authorities have lied so brazenly and shamelessly. They have truly reached a new low,” journalist Andrey Malgin a few days later wrote in Moscow Times.
Watch the original story from Russian state TV with English subtitles in the video above.