Fictional video depicting an aerial attack on Paris shared as real

By: Umme Kulsum
July 4 2023

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Fictional video depicting an aerial attack on Paris shared as real


The Verdict False

The viral clip is part of an old fictional video aimed at getting the European authorities to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Claim ID 361697a8


A video purporting to show explosions in Paris has been widely shared on social media with the claim that the French capital is "dying" and the iconic Eiffel Tower was attacked amid the recent unrest in France. While the protests — that erupted following the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Nehal Merzouk by a police officer on June 27 — have now started to subside, over 200 cities were impacted by the violent demonstrations. The Archive version of the post can be accessed here.

The 29-second-long viral clip begins with a woman posing with the landmark. Suddenly, a huge explosion targets the Eiffel Tower forcing the woman to flee the scene. Subsequent visuals show more bombardments, jets flying around while air-raid sirens can be heard in the background. The video also shows visuals of the destroyed Eiffel Tower and other buildings in Paris. One user shared the video on Twitter with the caption, "Can you believe it? #Paris is dying." The post alone had been viewed more than 669,000 times and had garnered over 1,400 likes at the time of publishing. Another Twitter post carried the same video with a caption," #Paris has fallen down !!." This video also had more than 600,000 views. 

However, the attacks and explosions seen in the viral video are not real. No one bombed the Eiffel Tower, and Paris is not under siege. 

In Fact

Logically Facts conducted a reserve image search and found a French daily Le Monde report published on March 14, 2022. The report carried a tweet sharing an extended version of the now-viral video. According to the report, this video was created by a director and film producer from Kyiv. The report said that director Olias Barco had created the video to spread awareness following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The longer video included text like, "Just think if this were to happen in another European capital," and "Close the sky over Ukraine" towards its end, indicating that it's a digital creation, not actual footage. 

Barco had posted the video on his official Instagram account on March 12, 2022. Logically Facts was independently able to locate the video on Barco's account, which is now private. We also reached out to Barco for confirmation. He said, "Yes, it is my version from March 2022."

We also came across a Forbes report from March 2022 that included a screenshot from the video in question and tweets sharing it. The report stated that the video was digitally created. The report also carried a Ukraine's Defence Ministry tweet with the viral video. Posted on March 12, 2022, the tweet urged NATO to close the former's airspace to prevent aerial attacks by Russia. Al Jazeera had also shared the same clip on its YouTube channel on March 14, 2022, as part of a video report. The report was titled, "Ukraine steps up its no-fly zone calls with 'Paris attack' video," and called the clip showing Paris under attack in a simulated video. 

Several social media accounts linked to Ukrainian authorities had also shared the video in 2022. Back then, several users had shared the video to falsely claim that the Ukrainian government had created it to spread anti-Russia propaganda. While speaking to Le Monde, Barco had specified that although Ukrainian authorities shared the video, the government neither commissioned the video nor did it create it. 

The Verdict

The video showing the Eiffel Tower and parts of Paris being blown up in aerial attacks is fictional and was digitally created. It has nothing to do with the recent protests in France. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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