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Fact-checking videos claiming to show Russia’s aerial attacks on Ukraine

Videos falsely attributed to Russia’s air attacks on Ukraine surfaced soon after Russia announced its invasion of the country.

Just before dawn on Feb. 24, local time, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would begin its attack on Ukraine.

Within minutes, Russian troops launched a broad, three-pronged assault on Ukraine that opened with air and missile strikes on Ukrainian military facilities and included ground troops invading from Crimea. Ukraine’s leadership said later at least 40 people had been killed so far in what it called a “full-scale war” targeting the country from the east, north and south.

News crews reporting live from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, after the attack began could hear bombs dropping near the city — sound that was picked up on their broadcasts

Since then, social media users from within Ukraine and around the world have posted videos they claim come from the ongoing invasion. Many of those videos purportedly show aerial battles, bombings and air strikes occurring within Ukraine’s borders. The VERIFY team is identifying fake and misleading imagery from the conflict.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a developing story. VERIFY will continue to monitor claims around Russia's invasion of Ukraine. You can read more of our coverage here.  Want something verified? Email your questions about the invasion to questions@verifythis.com

THE QUESTION

Does this video show an aerial attack in Ukraine?

It's happening. #Russia #Ukraine #WorldWar3

Posted by The Ting Goes on Thursday, February 24, 2022

THE SOURCES

  • October 2021 video posted to TikTok

  • Video posted to Instagram in October 2021

THE ANSWER

   

This is false.

No, this is not a real video of an aerial attack in Ukraine. This is a computer-generated video that was posted to TikTok in October 2021. The original poster also uploaded the video to Instagram the same month.

The person who originally posted the video tagged it with “cgi” and “ww2,” suggesting the video was both computer-generated and meant to depict an air raid from World War II. The hashtags are also a nod to the 1940s era propeller planes in the video. Flight Global does not list the Russian military as having any propeller combat aircraft similar to those shown in the video.

RELATED: No, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but the country has applied to join

THE QUESTION

Does this video show Russian fighter jets flying over Ukraine during Russia’s invasion this week?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, this video does not show Russian fighter jets flying over Ukraine. The footage is from the 1:14 mark of a video of a Moscow flyby from May 4, 2020. The version posted to Twitter also shows other segments from the original video.

Russian media at the time wrote that the flyover was a rehearsal for a WWII Victory Day celebration in Moscow on May 9, 2020.

The version posted to Twitter has audio dubbed over the original video to make it sound like air raid sirens are active during the flyover. In the original version, no air raid sirens can be heard. 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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