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Video shows a burning wheat field in Michigan, not Ukraine

August 5, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows farmers in Ukraine working in a burning field amid the war with Russia.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video of the burning field was filmed in the Crystal Township in Montcalm County, Michigan. The video was uploaded to YouTube on July 18, 2022.

THE FACTS: As Russian forces destroy wheat fields in Ukraine, a global supplier of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, social media users misrepresented an unrelated video from Michigan.

The clip shows an aerial view of multiple combines moving through the burning field ahead of the fire.

“Ukrainian farmers harvest crops under the fire of Russian troops,” a Facebook user, who shared the video earlier this week, falsely claimed.

The false post circulated on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

“Amid the brutal war launched by #RussiaIsATerroristState, #Ukrainian farmers continue to harvest the crops,” states a tweet sharing the video.

Larry Johnston filmed the video with a drone and uploaded the clip to YouTube on July 18, 2022. The video’s caption states: “A fire started while the farmers were harvesting this years wheat crop. There were no injuries or loss of farm equipment.”

The fire occurred between Crystal Road and Spencer Road, in Crystal Township, a geolocation search confirms. Google Earth imagery shows the two white houses in the corner of the property that Johnston also captured on video.

Johnston also wrote about the false posts on Facebook. “Reddit posted a clip from my wheat fire, claiming it to be Ukraine,” he wrote, asking for advice on how to address the posts.

The Associated Press reached out to Johnston for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.


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.