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Clip shows video game, not Ukraine attacking Russian navy

May 8, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Footage shows video from a camera mounted on a Ukrainian drone as it fires at and ultimately sinks multiple Russian warships at sea near Odesa during daylight hours.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The footage is computer generated, and shows gameplay from the video game Arma 3, a spokesperson for the company that makes the game confirmed to The Associated Press.

THE FACTS: A video clip falsely claiming to show a Ukrainian drone attacking Russian warships near Odesa circulated widely on social media over the weekend.

The video is seen through white crosshairs as the drone fires at warships from the air; meanwhile, the ships launch missiles. A Facebook user shared the video on Saturday with the caption, “In Odessa (Ukraine) Bayraktar TB2 Drone massacred Russian Cruiser Frigate Warships Admiral Makarov.” The post has been viewed more than 590,000 times.

But the footage is being misrepresented and is actually imagery from Arma 3, a military simulation video game. It is not a video of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The footage indeed comes from a modded Arma 3 game,” Pavel Křižka, PR manager at Bohemia Interactive, the company that created the Arma game series, wrote in an email to the AP.

The clip clearly shows computer-generated imagery, and the gameplay is identical to a YouTube video posted Saturday with the exact same title. The caption of the YouTube clip identifies it as gameplay from the “Arma 3 Simulator.” “THIS IS ONLY SIMULATION, NOT REAL LIFE!” the caption says.

Other videos showing similar Arma 3 gameplay have been shared online in the past with the same sound effects and crosshairs graphics.

Bohemia Interactive has previously confirmed other clips from the series that were being misrepresented online as real footage from military conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine.


This story has been updated to add comment from as spokesperson for Bohemia Interactive.


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.