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HomeFact CheckNo, This Video Doesn’t Show Tug Of War Between A Russian And...

No, This Video Doesn’t Show Tug Of War Between A Russian And Ukrainian Soldier

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, dubbed ‘special military operation’ entered its sixteenth day on Friday. While deliberations between the Russian and Ukrainian diplomats on Thursday failed to reach a cease-fire agreement, a video claiming to show a ‘tug of war between a Russian and Ukrainian soldier’  garnered huge traction and raised the hopes of several social media users wishing for peace in Ukraine. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.

In the video, two men dressed in military uniforms can be seen engaging in a tug of war competition using a harness while onlookers, who are in military uniforms too, are seen cheering them. After the game is over, the men can be seen sharing a laugh and spending some friendly time with each other.

Several Facebook users shared the video claiming to show “One on One soldier Tug of War, Ukraine vs Russian.”

The video also found its way to YouTube. 

On March 10, the foreign minister and other top diplomats of Russia and Ukraine met in Turkey’s Antalya for ‘high-level’ deliberations. The representative of both countries failed to reach any cease-fire agreement and Russia continued to bomb Ukrainian cities. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said there had been no progress to achieving a ceasefire in talks in Turkey.

The talks came a day after a Russian attack on a children’s hospital in Mariupol that killed at least three people, including a child, attracted international outrage. The White House called the attack barbaric, while the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was convinced the “inhuman, cruel and tragic” act could be a war crime.


Also Read: Video From 2004 Passed Off As ‘Fresh’ Fight Between Russian And Ukrainian Armies

Fact Check/Verification

On carefully analysing the video, we found that the men can be heard speaking in English and badges of the US and Canadian armies can be seen on their uniforms in some frames of the video. 

Taking a clue, we conducted Google reverse image search by using the keyframes of the video along with the keyword ‘USA and Canada forces’ and found a report by Military.com published on November 26, 2014, with the title ‘Epic ‘Tug of War’ – the USA vs. Canada.’

Tug of war between US and Canadian soldiers.

The report carried the same video going viral with the claim to show a tug of war between the Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.  According to the report, “Prior to the departure of 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG) personnel from Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Canadian soldiers observed US National Guard soldiers playing an interesting version of the game Tug of War. 31 CBG soldiers were fascinated by the spectacle and cheered on the competitors.”

Further, we looked up the keywords ‘USA Vs Canada Soldiers Tug Of War’ on YouTube and found a video uploaded on a channel called 31CanadianBrigade on March 22, 2012, with the title ‘One on one soldier Tug of War, Canada vs USA.’

According to the description of the video, “Prior to the departure of 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG) personnel from Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Canadian soldiers observed US National Guard soldiers playing an interesting version of the game Tug of War.” It added, “In this video, Master Corporal John Celestino of the Windsor Regiment (left), participates in a game of Tug of War with a US National Guard soldier (right). This version of the game builds esprit de corps and really works the leg muscles…just ask Master Corporal Celestino!”

The video is credited to Captain Tristan Hatfield, 31 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs.

The link to this YouTube video was also shared on the Facebook page of 31 Canadian Brigade Group – 31e Groupe-Brigade Du Canada on March 22, 2012.

On setting the time frame of keyword search on Google from January 1, 2012, to December 1, 2012, we came across a report by Windsor Star, first published on March 28, 2012, with the title ‘Online tug-of-war video turns Windsor reservist into national hero.’

The report carried a still from the viral clip with the caption, “Windsor reservist John Celestino  struggles to win a tug of war with a U.S. National Guard member in this screengrab from a viral video.”  The report also carried the video posted by 31CanadianBrigade  on YouTube.

We also came across an article published on the official website of the ‘National Guard’, dated March 22, 2012, with the title ‘Indiana Guard hosts Canadian forces at state military training facilities.’

According to the article, “From March 8-25, over 250 Canadian soldiers from 31st Canadian Brigade Group, Land Forces Central Area in Ontario came by bus, helicopter and train to try their hand in urban warfare training at Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex for Exercise Arrowhead Lightning 2012.”

Conclusion

The video doesn’t show a tug of war between a Russian and Ukrainian soldier but between the US and Canadian soldier. The video dates back to 2012 and is unrelated to the current Russian military operations in Ukraine.

Result: False Context/False

Our Sources

A Report Published By military.com On 26.11.2014
A Video Uploaded By YouTube Channel 31 Canadian Brigade On 22.03.12
A Report Published By Windsor Star On 28.03.12
Newschecker’s Comparative Analysis


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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