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‘BBC News broadcast’ on nuclear attack fake

Claim: According to a purported BBC News report,  a case of nuclear attack has been recorded between Russia and Nato near the coast of Latvia.

This is not a BBC news broadcast. Findings reveal that the video has been in circulation since 2018 and has been repurposed for circulation.

Full Text

A video making the rounds on WhatsApp suggests that the BBC, in a breaking news broadcast, has declared that Russia has launched nuclear attacks from the coast of Latvia. 

The video opens with the voice of a woman alerting viewers of the need to interrupt regular programming to allow for a breaking news story. It then follows with the BBC signature tune for breaking news after which a male newscaster proceeds; 

“Welcome to the BBC news desk. We have breaking news of a serious incident between Russia and NATO forces near the coast of Latvia. Although the details are uncertain, early reports indicate that a Russian surveillance aircraft was fired upon by naval vessels of NATO forces…”

The video goes on further to mention an evacuation of the Queen of England and other important members of the royal family.  It ends with the following words on the screen.

“Emergency broadcast. Nuclear attack warning. Severity: Extreme. Known threat: Nuclear air attack. Certainty: High. Seek shelter immediately.”

The video makes no attempt to provide information regarding specificity to the day or time of the supposed incident but strongly hints at a “state of war.”

Reactions of viewers on the Whatsapp platforms have been varied but a good number of them have been alarmed. 

“This is all too terrifying”, one said while another in a panicky mood stated; “damn. I’m scared now.”

DUBAWA is unable to share a screenshot of the WhatsApp conversations due to respect for the privacy of the members of the platforms. 


Initial search conducted by DUBAWA led to a Reuters Fact-check published in January 2022 following the video’s appearance on social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. The content of the video is the same as the current video being circulated except for little background edits.

The BBC disassociated itself from this video as far back as 2018.

Image: BBC News Press Team response to fake video spread on Twitter

Exact same video, different background/ backdrop

The two videos- the one shared in 2018 and the one currently being shared- share the same content, however, the backdrop used within the video has been modified.

Using the reverse image search, DUBAWA discovered a website with the same video in question being used for purposes, other than education or information.

Image: Screenshot of the website with free downloadable BBC News backdrop

The same video, posted on June 14th, 2018, was also spotted on YouTube with the Caption; 

“Originally posted by Ben Marking, this video is a FICTIONALIZED news broadcast from the BBC.  No actual conflict is going on and certainly no nuclear conflict between NATO and Russian forces.  Again, this is a work of fiction, nothing more.  It is for entertainment purposes only  If the OP should .”

In its circulation however, the clause of “It is for entertainment purposes only…” was not attached.


Despite the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and a possibility of a full blown war which may involve NATO, DUBAWA can say that the content of the viral video is not only old but fake and has nothing to do with the BBC.

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