Ahead of India’s 71st Republic Day celebrations, several social media users posted a video of a failed missile launch claiming it is from Pakistan. On January 25, Twitter-user @arpispeaks posted the viral video with Hindi text that said, “Pakistan’s Ghaznavi missile test failed for the 13th time. A missile which is supposed to travel 300 km, crashed after 36 km, burning like a paper.[Translated from पाकिस्तान की गजनवी मिसाइल का 13वां टेस्ट जो फेल हो गया। 300Km तक जानेवाली मिसाइल 36Km पर गिरी कागज की तरह जल कर खत्म हुई।]”

Similarly, several people on Twitter and Facebook have shared the viral video with the claim that this missile launch is from Pakistan.

Video is from Russia

Alt News did a keyword search on YouTube and found that the viral video was uploaded by Martin Vit in 2014. According to the title of the video, a ‘Proton M’ rocket exploded on July 2, 2013.

Alt News performed another keyword search on Google and found that the rocket was launched by Proton M, an expendable Russian heavy-lift launch vehicle. Several media outlets reported about the crash including Euro News and Space.com. According to Space.com, the rocket crashed 17-seconds into the flight on July 1, 2013, due to emergency shutdown of the booster’s engines. A YouTube video uploaded by Euro News on July 2, 2013 reported that the rocket was unmanned.

The video therefore shows a Russian rocket and not a failed launch of Pakistani missile Ghaznavi. In fact, on January 23, The Economics Times reported that Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi which can strike targets up to 290 kilometres. On the same day, Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces uploaded the launch of Ghaznavi on YouTube.

Incidentally, YouTube account Pak Viral uploaded the viral video last year with the claim that the failed missile launch is from India.

A video from 2013 of Russian’s Proton M rocket is being circulated by Indian social media users with the false claim that the viral video shows a failed launch test of Pakistan’s ballistic missile Ghaznavi.

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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.
Tipline Bling: archit@altnews.in