Video game footage misrepresented as missile attack in Ukraine
CLAIM: A video shows Ukrainians attacking Russian tanks with American FGM-148 Javelin missiles.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The footage is computer generated and shows a video game called Arma 3. The same clip was posted to a YouTube channel featuring Arma 3 gameplay on July 20, 2022.
THE FACTS: Social media users are once again sharing footage from a military simulation video game, falsely claiming it shows real combat from the war in Ukraine.
The latest iteration is a video showing missiles attacking tanks as they drive along a road. The video is just over two minutes and has over 60,000 views on Twitter. “Ukraine is playing havoc with the Russian armour with state of the art anti armour missiles.1 such example,” reads one post pointing to the video on Twitter. The post continues: “where Ukrainian forces r hunting Russian tanks with American FGM- 148 Javelin missiles.”
However, this video is from Arma 3. The exact same footage from the game can be seen in a video posted to YouTube on July 20, titled, “Ukraine NLAW Anti-Tank Missile Destroyed 2 Russian Tanks - Arma 3 Game (Military Simulation).”
The YouTube channel’s description reads: “All Military Simulations are created in video game ARMA 3. All events in my videos are fictitious! All videos are recorded and edited by me personally.”
The YouTube video shows five tanks driving up a road before it zooms in on a missile shooting the front tank at the 2:20 mark, matching the first scene in the Twitter version.
The YouTube version is longer and higher resolution than the clip on Twitter, and it is clearer that the footage is computer generated. The explosions from the missile do not look real, and the terrain visible in other parts of the YouTube version are also clearly CGI.
The YouTube creator did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ request for comment.
A spokesperson for Bohemia Interactive, the company that created Arma 3, also did not immediately respond to the AP’s request for comment about this specific clip. But the company has confirmed several other clips of Arma 3 gameplay that have been falsely characterized as real military footage in the past.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.