Amid the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, several Indian media outlets broadcas a video clip of fighter planes flying at a low altitude over a city. Times Now tweeted the clip along with the text, “#RussiaUkraineCrisis: Ukraine says 5 Russian planes, 1 helicopter shot down in Luhansk #PutinOnTheMarch #Russia #Ukraine. [sic]”

Jan Ki Baat tweeted the same video along with the text, “BREAKING : Russia Launches Air strike on Khariv, Ukraine [sic]”. This video gained over 2,000 retweets.

News24, Republic World, Zee News and NewsX also aired the video as footage of the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

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Old, unrelated video

Using the video verification tool InVID, we performed a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes and found that the video was uploaded by a YouTube channel on May 4, 2020. As per the YouTube video’s title, it is from Moscow.

Russia celebrates Victory Day, a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, on May 9 each year. There are several such media reports and clips on YouTube. The Moscow Times reported that V-Day rehearsals in 2020 took place on May 4. In this video, we spotted the identical formation of jets as seen in the viral video.

To sum it up, several Indian media outlets shared a two-year-old video of aircraft flying in Russia with the false claim that it shows the country’s recent military operations in Ukraine.

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About the Author

He joined as an intern in 2019. Until June 2022, his work primarily focused on fact-checking. Now his primary responsibilities include catalysing all aspects of organisational growth — from fundraising to development of new projects at Alt News. He attended the Asian College of Journalism (2015-16) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2012-2015). In past, he worked at The Hindu and Zee Media's WION.
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