Video doesn’t show American B-2 stealth bomber deployed to Poland

19 October 2022
What was claimed

The US airforce has deployed B-2 Spirit nuclear bombers to Poland for the first time.

Our verdict

B-2 bombers have not been deployed to Poland. Footage supposedly showing a bomber landing there was actually filmed in England.

A viral video posted on Twitter and shared on Facebook claiming to show an American B-2 stealth bomber landing in Poland for the first time is not what it seems.

In the footage, a B-2 stealth bomber is seen approaching an airfield and passing over a road before making a landing on a runway. At the time of writing it has been viewed more than 54,000 times on Twitter. 

Some Twitter users claimed the aircraft was carrying 16 nuclear missiles and that its deployment was a response to growing concern about Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine. 

The footage was also shared by an account belonging to Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden, who said it was “intended as a signal…A strong one”.

Mr Bildt’s message to his 780,000 followers was retweeted more than 200 times and liked more than 1,000 times before being deleted. A spokesperson for Mr Bildt confirmed that he had deleted the tweet after he learned that it was false. 

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Not filmed in Poland

Using reverse image searches, Full Fact has found that the video was not filmed in Poland but rather in England in March 2020. The original video first appeared on YouTube in April that year and shows a B-2 landing at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

In it, a vehicle with a British number plate can clearly be seen passing through the frame after seven seconds and the last few seconds show a “Ministry of Defence” sign on fencing in front of the runway. 

Neither detail is clear in the clip uploaded to Twitter. 

As reported at the time, the aircraft travelled to the UK following a training exercise in Portugal. 

A spokesperson from the United States Air Force European command told Full Fact that B-2 bombers had not been deployed to Poland and confirmed that any claims to the contrary were false. 

Previous deployments of US aircraft to Poland have been widely publicised. When a B-52 bomber, which is also capable of carrying nuclear weapons, landed in Poland in early September, the country’s defence minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak shared the news on social media. 

We have written before about videos being misattributed to events linked to the war in Ukraine. 

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