Video showing ‘NATO soldiers now in Ukraine’ was filmed in Afghanistan in 2021

23 May 2023
What was claimed

A video shows NATO soldiers in Ukraine.

Our verdict

The video in question was filmed in Kabul, Afghanistan in August 2021.

A number of social media posts have inaccurately claimed a video shows “NATO soldiers now in Ukraine”.

The video was actually filmed in Afghanistan in August 2021, and shows military personnel involved in evacuations taking place at an airport in Kabul following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

Posts being shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feature clips or screenshots of a TikTok video showing military personnel, vehicles and aircraft, as well as large crowds of people.

The video, which has been viewed more than 5.8 million times on TikTok, features text which reads: “NATO soldiers now in Ukraine.”

Full Fact has found a longer version of the video posted on Facebook on 18 August 2021, captioned: “More scenes #Kabul Airport in #Afghanistan. Reportedly, the #US Military #Apache Helicopters were used to chase people and clear the runway to allow the C17 aircraft to takeoff.”

The same video was also shared on YouTube on 21 August 2021, titled “Apache helicopter clearing the runway at Kabul Airport for the C-17 take off”.

Several other videos posted during the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan in August 2021 show similar footage of low-flying helicopters, apparently being used to clear a runway at Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul for aircraft being used in the evacuation of foreign citizens and vulnerable Afghan nationals.

We frequently see videos and images taken out of context used to make misleading claims online, especially about the war in Ukraine. We’ve written a guide on how to verify viral images before you share them.

Image courtesy of Ministry of Defence

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