Central China Television (CCTV) did not show a map setting out how Russia will be divided “after its collapse” following the war in Ukraine, but that claim is circulating widely alongside a miscaptioned composite fabricated from two images unrelated to the war.
The map image, which dates to at least 2020, actually shows which countries are geographically closest to Russian regions, and it was digitally added as background into a still taken from a Chinese YouTube video about finance that dates to June 2021.
The false assertion that Chinese state-owned TV broadcast the map was recently posted on Twitter (here) and Facebook (bit.ly/3mI7sUs) with captions such as: “Chinese state TV channel CCTV showed a map illustrating which countries will receive the territories of the russian Federation after its collapse.”
Reuters found similar examples (bit.ly/3YSYctX), (bit.ly/429KhCS) dating back to March and April 2022.
The image shared on social media does not include the CCTV logo, which can be seen (bit.ly/3YRqGV0). There is no such story on the channel’s website (bit.ly/3yFXy8O) and a keyword search provided no evidence that it was ever aired (bit.ly/3FLlJGT).
The map itself was first shared on Reddit in 2020 (bit.ly/3Jis7Gl), crediting another post (bit.ly/3Te2MSC) and captioned as showing “the nearest country to you, when in Russia.” The image is not related to CCTV or to the current conflict in Ukraine, which began with Russia’s invasion in February 2022 (here).
The still image of a presenter at a desk that is part of the circulating composite is taken from a video posted by a YouTube channel named "Happy Share Classroom" in June 2021, according to Turkish fact-checking website Dogruluk Payi (bit.ly/3mOjnjI).
An archived version of the video (bit.ly/427jhnD) published by Dogruluk Payi shows the map of Russia was not part of the original broadcast.
A Google translation of the text at the bottom of the image indicates the broadcast was actually about finance and identifies the presenter as investment consultant Tao Ye. A search for the text code next to his name leads to the website of Beijing Zhongfang Xinfu Investment Management Consulting, where he is listed as a consultant (bit.ly/3LrHWgz).
False. Central China Television did not air a map showing how Russia will be divided “after its collapse” and a composite image purporting to show such a broadcast is fabricated.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work (here) .
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