Does this video show a foreigner assaulting French hospital employees?

This post was originally based on verification work carried out collaboratively by newsrooms in France and the UK through CrossCheck (French | English), a not-for-profit collaboration to combat disinformation online, and is republished as part of a partnership with Global Voices.

A video shared 113,000 times on the Facebook page “SOS anti-white racism shows a man assaulting two hospital employees. “We treat them, and that is how they thank us,” comments the author of the post, without detailing where or when the incident occurred. However, the language spoken in the video is Russian, and, by conducting a reverse-image search on key frames in the video, CrossCheck was able to establish that the incident happened in the Russian city of Novgorod.

In the comments below the video, many question the authenticity and the origin of the video. According to the website Metronews, the incident occurred in Novgorod in north-west Russia on the 23rd February 2017. The 23rd of February is “Defender of the Fatherland Day” in Russia which can be marked by incidents of violence. The man responsible for the attack appears highly inebriated. He first punches the security guard, as can be witnessed on the video extract put online in Metronews article. He continues and seriously assaults a nurse and a nursing auxiliary who were trying to restrain him. The two women had to be hospitalised and the police arrived to arrest the man at the hospital. He was accused of “assault” and “assault on persons in authority.”

The video was also largely shared on Twitter.

You can read about other fabrications and the French elections here.

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