Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began approximately three weeks ago, the internet has seen a flood of videos claiming to show advancing Russian troops or visuals of combat between the two forces. Most videos are either gaming footage or visuals of military combat from other parts of the world, passed off as authentic. Newschecker has been at the forefront of the war against misinformation, debunking fake news surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One such video that has come to the fore is a video shared on the Facebook page of JK Awaz News, which claims to show ‘Russia Fighter Jets on Ukraine F22 Raptor Vs Anti Aircraft Missiles’. Newschecker has found that the aircraft are not Russian F22s and that the claim is misleading.
The video has 247 shares and over 7.3k likes on Facebook.
The situation in Ukraine is worsening by the day, triggering a large-scale humanitarian crisis. According to reports, the United Nations has estimated around 2.8 million people have fled Ukraine and 636 civilians have died in the war so far. Russian forces have bombarded and besieged several Ukrainian cities including Kyiv, which has been surrounded in the north and east by Russian troops.
To verify whether the videos indeed show the Russian F22s being targeted by anti-aircraft missiles, Newschecker decided to conduct a reverse image search of the video. We found a tweet by a handle @ToxicPatat on February 25, which tweeted a better quality version of the same video, and identified it as the SU-25 flying over Kherson.
On using this as a clue and probing further, we came across several posts by social media users around the same date, sharing the same video and identifying it as a ‘SU-25 aircraft popping flares and flying over Kherson’. Kherson is a port city along the black sea in the south of Ukraine and is the capital of the administrative region of Kherson Oblast.
Flares and chaff are countermeasures used by military planes and helicopters to help evade missile attacks by enemy aircrafts.
We also found another YouTube video showing what appears to be the same incident, from a wider angle.
The video carries the description that it shows a ‘Russian SU-25 Frogfoot Hit by Anti-Air Missile’. The Su-25 single-seat, close-support aircraft, known by the NATO reporting name Frogfoot, is manufactured by the Sukhoi Design Bureau Joint Stock Company, based in Moscow, and the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association of Novosibirsk, Russia. It is designed to defeat small mobile and stationary ground targets and to engage low-speed air targets at the forward edge and in the nearest tactical and operational depth.
Many people on the comment section of the viral post also pointed out that only the US owned and operated F22s countering the claim of Russian F22s.
Speaking to Lead Stories, Rose M. Riley, deputy chief of media operations with the U.S. Air Force said, “While there is no current ban on the export of F-22s, only the U.S. owns and operates the aircraft.”
Furthermore Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, in a press statement issued after Poland’s suggestions of sending American aircrafts into the Ukrainian airspace, said “The prospect of fighter jets “at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America” departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance. It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it.” This proves that the aircrafts could not have been American F22s.
You can read our other Ukraine related fact checks here.
Video allegedly showing Russian F22s being shot down by Ukrainian forces is not true, as only the US owns and operates F22s.
Result: Misleading/Partly False
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