The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the United Kingdom demanded on Wednesday that YouTube delete videos of a hoax video call to defence minister Ben Wallace from its internet platform, which they said had been doctored by the Russian government.
Wallace ordered an investigation last week after an impostor posing as Ukraine’s prime minister was able to reach him. Wallace said he halted the 10-minute chat because the “misleading” questions he was asked made him suspicious.
Wallace is seen speaking from the rear of a moving vehicle while being questioned about a variety of topics, including nuclear weapons and NATO, in several clips from the film that have since surfaced online.
“We are requesting that YouTube assist us in supporting Ukraine by removing films doctored by the Russian state and disseminated to sap the morale of a people fighting for their freedom,” the Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter.
The government issued a longer letter on March 11 urging YouTube, the world’s most popular streaming video provider, to remove or at the very least ban access to the videos, in line with Google’s (GOOGL.O) decision to block access to channels affiliated with Russian state-funded media.
It listed two issues with the film, both of which were related to NLAW anti-tank missiles provided from the United Kingdom to Ukraine.
“According to the doctored video, the UK’s supply of NLAWS to Ukraine has “frequently failed.” Our NLAWS have not failed; in fact, the opposite is true “According to the Ministry of Defense.
Second, when asked about the guns’ supply, Wallace responds, “We’ve got more coming, we’re running out of our own.” The Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, stated that this was false: “We have no supply difficulties.”
The Ministry of Defense did not say how the recordings were distorted, but it did say that in their “modified and edited” status, they may be used by Russia to justify its operations in Ukraine.
“I am convinced you would not want to be a conduit for Russian propaganda or be involved in any way with the potential implications of this form of media manipulation,” the letter stated.