2022 video falsely claimed as footage of Russian troops surrendering during a Ukrainian counter-offensive in 2023

By: Sam Doak
May 18 2023

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2022 video falsely claimed as footage of Russian troops surrendering during a Ukrainian counter-offensive in 2023


The Verdict False

A reverse image search confirms that this footage first surfaced within weeks of Russia's invasion.

Claim ID 80ae902c


On May 13, 2023, President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine would soon carry out “the first important steps” of a long-awaited counter-offensive against Russian forces. While the initiative has been anticipated for some months now, there is growing consensus that Ukrainian troops will be deployed in efforts to recapture occupied territories in the near future. 

A video has circulated online that some have taken as evidence that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has already begun in earnest. The video, which shows a number of men walking past an armored vehicle, has been claimed to show the mass surrender of Russian troops and held as evidence that Ukrainian efforts to push back occupying forces have made significant progress recently.   

One Twitter user that shared this clip using the hashtag “#CounterOffensive” stated that it is “Just one of the many videos of mass surrender of Putins' Neo Stalinist army.” Another post, shared on May 14, was more specific, claiming the video shows “Mass surrender (500+) this morning on Eastern front.”

While this video has been shared widely in recent days, Logically Facts has concluded that it was not recorded this year, as claimed, and has been misrepresented out of context.

In Fact 

A reverse image search reveals that this video was shot sometime in 2022. A reverse image search of select frames reveals that it was first posted on March 1, 2022, by an individual within the Ukrainian armed forces. 

In its coverage concerning this clip, the Ukrainian outlet The Tribune reported “Major Yaroslav Halas, who is responsible for interaction with the media of the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade of the Transcarpathia, published a video of Russian servicemen who surrendered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the social network Facebook.”

The original clip, still visible on Halas’ Facebook profile, reads "Column of Russian army prisoners who surrendered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Soldiers are dressed in different uniforms - some in vests and blue fleece, some in "hills", some in helmets, some in caps. On the right leg of many there is a white fabric bandage for distinguishing "one's own and another's" during the battle. However, there will be no more fighting for them.”

While Logically Facts cannot independently verify the details that are available concerning this video, captions on social media posts at the time and reporting by outlets including Turkey’s Yeni Safak claimed that it was filmed near Kharkiv. In any case, the timing of these posts disproves claims that it shows events in 2023. 

In Fact

This video does not show Russian troops surrendering during a Ukrainian counter-offensive in 2023. A reverse image search reveals that it first surfaced on March 1, 2022. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

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