Fake Ukraine video includes footage from 2015 and a computer game teaser

24 February 2022
What was claimed

Videos show Ukraine being invaded by Russia.

Our verdict

At least some of the videos do not show this.

A post on Facebook claims a video which includes a number of different clips depicts Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was posted on the morning of 24 February 2022 and at the time of writing has over 19,000 views.

The two-minute video contains five different clips. One was definitely not taken in Ukraine, one was not taken during the current invasion, one was taken from a video game, one may have been taken in Ukraine over the last 24 hours and one we were not able to verify at all.

We’re seeing lots of videos and images circulating on social media which claim to show Russia attacking Ukraine, but aren’t genuine. For general help on what to look out for if you see footage shared, see our 2018 guide on how to spot misleading videos online.

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What this video shows—clip by clip

Here’s what we’ve been able to verify about the footage:

  • Clip #1: Probably Ukraine. We were unable to completely verify this clip, but we also don’t have reason to believe it wasn’t taken in Ukraine.

    The caption is a location tag seen on Instagram that names a district in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and Russian airstrikes could be heard from the city on Thursday morning, so the footage is quite possibly genuine.

    The location tag is not proof it was taken there though—you don’t have to be in a place to tag it as your location on an Instagram story. But we were not able to find an older version of this video online that disproves its legitimacy. The oldest version we could find on Twitter was posted in the early hours of Thursday morning.

  • Clip #2: Taken in 2015 and not in Ukraine. The second video was taken in 2015 in the Chinese city of Tianjin during an explosion at a warehouse that handled dangerous substances. A clue that this wasn’t taken in Ukraine today is that the person recording has an American accent and is speaking in English. It was recorded by an American man living in Tianjin.

  • Clip #3: We were unable to verify this footage. We will update this piece if we discover anything further about it.

  • Clip #4: Not taken today. This video, showing a lightning strike and then a burst of light, first appeared on TikTok on 29 January. The caption says (in Russian and translated by Google) “lightning strike at the power plant”. We were not able to verify what exactly the video shows, but it definitely doesn’t show Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

    This video has also appeared on Twitter with incorrect claims it was taken on that day, and was also shared by a former Ukrainian diplomat to the US.

  • Clip #5: From a video game. This is not real footage taken from Ukraine. It is a clip that was released on YouTube on 15 December 2021, as a teaser for the video game War Thunder, and is almost certainly a computer-generated animation.

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