Live video of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is actually from a video game

The video shows realism-based military simulation video game ARMA 3

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Claim: Several “live” videos of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been shared by Facebook pages from around the world. The videos show fighter planes shooting at Ukrainian buildings at night and Ukrainian machines on the ground hitting back with their own firepower.

Fact: The video clips are in fact snippets of gameplay from the open-world, realism-based, military tactical shooter video game ARMA 3.

Fact or Fiction

On 1 March 2022, different Facebook pages shared supposedly “live” videos of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The hour-long videos apparently feature fighter planes shooting at buildings in Ukraine in the middle of the night, as Ukrainian machines on the ground hit back with their own firepower.

To investigate the claim, Soch Fact Check took snapshots of the keyframe from the video and conducted a reverse image search on Yandex. The images turned out to be from different YouTube channels and Instagram accounts that post gameplay from the video game mostly ARMA 3.

Soch Fact Check also noticed that different aspects of the video in question reveal the clips are not of any live-action, with the trees, grass and lightning appearing artificially generated. The official ARMA 3 Twitter account confirmed that the videos circulating are from “heavily modded Arma games”.

Facebook live videos typically depict live events as they are occurring.  It is interesting to note that pre-recorded footage can also be shared as a live video on Facebook, sometimes giving viewers the false notion that they are seeing “live” action.

Virality

Multiple videos allegedly depicting the “live” shooting in Ukraine were shared on Facebook by pages based in various different countries. The video was shared here, here, here and here as a live video between 25 February and 4 March 2022. The video shared by the “Russia vs Ukraine war” Facebook page received the highest number of interactions, with 450 likes and 23,000 views over a 7 day period.

The video was also shared on a page which appears to regularly share Arabic content, garnering 1000 likes and 3000 views.

Conclusion:  Videos being circulated allegedly depicting “live” videos of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are in fact of gameplay from realism-based, military tactical shooter video game ARMA 3.

 

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