German hard rockers Rammstein played a sold out concert in Estonia at Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds last week. The band made clear their support for Ukraine amidst Russia’s brutal war of aggression by waving Ukrainian flags to the crowd during the show.
Yet a very different perception of the concert was promoted on social media and in some Russian media outlets.
A fake video, first uploaded to TikTok then YouTube, used phone recorded footage of the concert in Tallinn but with the audio replaced to make it appear as if Rammstein were singing “Vperjod, Rossija”, a Russian nationalist song that translates as “Go, Russia” and includes lyrics about confronting enemies.
Rammstein is popular in Russia so the video would have helped give the false impression that both they and thousands of their fans in Tallinn were supporting Russia’s war.
After it first appeared on TikTok, an account named Andra Puls uploaded it to YouTube two days after the concert, although he has since deleted it.
The video is unconvincing. It’s out of character and poorly edited with the replaced audio, and could have been verified by either watching the full concert online here or by speaking to any of the many thousands of attendees – as Propastop did.
The fake video appears to have been recorded at around 1 hour 10 minutes into the real concert video when the band were actually singing “Sonne”, which ironically was originally written as entrance music for the Ukrainian boxing champion and now mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.
Despite all this, the fake video was reported as fact by several Russian language online news sites including Vetšernaja Moskva, Actiualnews, and Dni24. After the reports were disputed by fans, the portal CTNews later deleted their story while others such as Informing.ru added a line to say it was disputed but left the headline and also the false narrative that the band support Russia unchanged.
Credit goes to Estonia’s Russian language news portal Limon for first fact checking the fake video.
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It’s not clear whether the fake video was the work of one mischievous individual or part of a wider misinformation campaign, but this case nevertheless highlights the importance of quality Russian language media outlets available in Estonia like Limon. The video failed to gain greater prominence online or in larger Russian media outlets, possibly due to early fact checking.
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Cover photo by Kreepin Deth used under Creative Commons licence.