A TikToker told his 400,000 fans he was a Russian special forces warrior fighting US marines in Ukraine, but he turned out to be a Chinese grifter selling vodka online

  • A Chinese TikToker has been duping people into thinking he's a Russian special forces operator.

  • Baoer Kechatie said he was deployed in Ukraine, posting footage of himself with deepfake filters.

  • The TikToker was later accused of being a scammer, and was banned from the platform last week.

A man who claimed on Chinese TikTok that he was a Russian special forces operative was suspended from the platform on Saturday after it was revealed that he was a man in the Henan province trying to sell products online.

The content creator, who called himself Baoer Kechatie, had around 400,000 followers on Douyin, China's version of TikTok, before the social media company cracked down on his grift.

"Some accounts have been posting videos, claiming to be from Russia and soldiers at war. In that time, they spread false information such as 'battlefield videos' and 'battlefield movements' to attract attention and gain traffic," Douyin wrote in a statement on Saturday.

The TikToker would make wild claims in his videos, saying he was a Chechnyan soldier deployed on the front line in Ukraine and that he even defeated US Marines and secured an M1911 pistol from one of them. To be clear — there are no active-duty US Marines fighting in the war.

"I arrived and went 'psh psh psh psh,'" he said in one video describing the imaginary confrontation, making a smacking motion with his hand.

The account's name pays homage to Paul Korchagin, the protagonist of the Soviet novel "How the Steel Was Tempered," who fought in the Russian civil war and lived in Ukraine.

Wearing a jacket designed to look like military fatigues, and sometimes a cap with a Chinese Communist Party red star on it, Baoer Kechatie boasted about helping to seize territory in Ukraine, and made references to taking over a nuclear plant.

In his videos, Baoer Kechatie's face would regularly become distorted, a telltale sign that he was using deepfake AI technology to mask his identity. Some of his clips also featured him speaking at vastly different pitches, another indicator that the man behind the account was also using a voice modifier.

As the account's fame grew, people on Douyin also started noticing that Baoer Kechatie's IP address on the platform was listed in Henan province. Douyin automatically lists where TikTokers are posting a video from in an attempt to combat misinformation.

Still, the ploy appeared to fool some users. Baoer Kechatie managed to sell some products on his online store, such as milk powder and honey imported from Russia, according to Chinese blogger "A Gossiping Crane," who took screenshots of the TikToker's page.

State-owned outlet Sixth Tone also reported that multiple social media users bought vodka from the TikToker's account.

Meanwhile, other people lauded Baoer Kechatie in comments on his videos, writing "Ura," a war cry used by the Russian army.

"Very good. You guys are bringing peace," one person wrote in February, per screenshots included in Douyin's statement.

As of Saturday, Baoer Kechatie's account has been blocked from the platform.

"The mentioned false content and behaviors have severely violated platform regulations, and we have banned these accounts indefinitely," Douyin said in its statement.

Read the original article on Insider