Truth about viral manspreading video
LAST month, shocking footage of a woman allegedly dumping water mixed with bleach into men's laps on public transport went viral.
Russian activist Anna Dovgalyuk, 20, said she was waging a war on men guilty of "manspreading" - aka spreading their legs and taking up too much space on buses and trains.
The story was posted far and wide, with outlets around the world covering the bizarre story.
The only trouble? It was totally fake.
According to EU vs Disinfo, an organisation set up to expose Kremlin propaganda, Stanislav Kudrin, one of the men in the recording, was actually paid to act as a victim.
In a post on his Facebook page, Kurdni said it was "naturally staged", adding: "That feeling when you come to the shoot with two spare pants and leave with a salary."
The group's website claimed the video was designed to provoke a backlash against feminism and further social division in Western countries.
It claims: "The video stages extreme feminist activism and manages to provoke extreme anti-feminist reactions.
"The video and its reactions also echo negative messages about feminism, the #MeToo movement and 'political correctness' in the West, which Russian state television has repeatedly delivered."
In the videos initially posted, Dovgalyuk approached the men on the Russian subway in St Petersburg, dumped a water bottle full of liquid on them, then did a runner.
"Men demonstrating their alpha-manhood in the subway with women and children around deserve contempt," she said in a subsequent video.
"This solution is 30 times more concentrated than the mixture used by housewives when doing the laundry," she warned in the initial video. "It eats colours in the fabric in a matter of minutes - leaving indelible stains."
She said the bleach spots were "identification spots" to "immediately understand which body part controls the behaviour of these men", adding: "I don't think people are going to go to the police to file a report about jeans."
The purported feminist activist said she was acting "on behalf of everyone who has to endure the manifestations of you declaring your macho qualities on public transportation".
The story first ran on In The Now, a Russian English-language social media channel, where it racked up over 6.4 million views on In The Now.
In The Now is a media brand affiliated with Russia Today, which is owned by the Kremlin. It specialises in creating viral videos that are distributed globally, but the connection to the Russian Government isn't often acknowledged.