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3D animation misrepresented as footage of Russian invasion

February 26, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A video of aircraft flying at night under heavy fire shows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video is a 3D animation intended to depict World War II, and has been online since last year.

THE FACTS: As Russia invaded Ukraine this week, social media users shared a video featuring warplanes flying overhead amid bursts of anti-aircraft fire and blaring sirens, falsely suggesting it shows the current conflict.

“#worldwar3 Its Happening!! #Ukraine #Russia #WWIII,” read one post on Twitter, where the clip has over 20,000 views.

“Russia world war 3 ?” read a caption on a post sharing the video on Facebook, which had been viewed over 14,000 times as of Friday.

However, the video can be traced back to an animation posted to YouTube, Instagram and TikTok in October 2021 by a 3D animator using the handle Borisao Bloi. The accounts feature numerous other similar computer generated videos.

The YouTube video is titled, “Do you want to know how it felt to be in the Second World War? This is for you…” in Spanish, and the caption describes it as, “a small compilation of my animations from the WW2 or Second World War section.”

Reached via an email address listed on the YouTube account, the creator confirmed to the AP that the video is a 3D animation intended to resemble World War II, and is unrelated to Ukraine. The creator did not immediately respond to a follow-up email requesting their name and location.

The footage is one of many misleading or fake videos that have circulated on social media in recent days after Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Associated Press writer Sophia Tulp in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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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.