By: Rajini KG
June 12 2023
The image has been on the internet for at least nine years. It seems to have been captured during the 2014 floods in Southeast Europe.
The Kakhovka dam in Russia-controlled southern Ukraine collapsed after an apparent explosion on June 6, 2023, forcing both sides to evacuate citizens and troops. While Ukraine has accused Russia of bombing the dam, Kremlin blamed Ukrainian shelling for destroying the dam. The collapse of the dam caused flooding in nearby villages, endangering crops and threatening the supply of drinking water.
As both sides struggle to minimize the damage caused by the dam’s collapse, many misleading and false claims regarding the incident are circulating online. Several Facebook users shared a screenshot of a Twitter post that shows an image of a boy caught in a flood struggling to hold a puppy with his arms over his head as he remains submerged in water til his shoulders. The accompanying Twitter caption read: "Young Ukrainian boy rescuing his dog from drowning after Russia destroyed the Kakhovka dam today." The original tweet was shared by Visegrád 24, “a platform that aggregates and curates news,” but was later deleted. However, many social media users are still circulating the screengrab of the post and image.
Through a reverse image search, we found that the image dates back to at least 2014. The image was shared by a website run by a company called QPR Canada. The post was titled “QPR supports response in Serbia and Bosnia during catastrophic floods”. QPR (Quality Pavement Repair) is a company that supplies cold mix, which is used in the repair of roads and pavements. The post stated that QPR extended help and aid to those affected by floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The post also mentioned ‘Balkan floods 2014’ asking those willing to contribute to make donations to the rescue and rehabilitation fund. The post refers to the 2014 floods in Southeast Europe which forced numerous towns and states in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina to declare a state of emergency.
We also found the same image on a Croatian blog called 'VIJESTI S JEZERA MODRAC' (News from Lake Morac), posted on May 17, 2014. The title reads "A LITTLE SAVIOR WITH A BIG HEART - DAL IS A BOSNIAN, CROAT OR SERBIAN A LITTLE SAVIOR WITH A BIG HEART."
The same image was also available on Pinterest, an image-sharing service website. The image was captioned "Heroic Bosnians Brave Dangerous Floodwaters to Save Dogs" and was shared on May 21, 2014.
Some Pets,' a blog about pets, had also posted the viral image in May 2014 in a post titled "COURAGEOUS BOSNIANS RESCUE ANIMALS FROM THE FLOOD WATERS". Another blog ‘‘Life with Dogs’ had also shared the viral image in a post about the 2014 floods. Both blogs posted several images from the floods and the subsequent rescue efforts. All this clearly establishes that the viral picture is not from the recent flooding in southern Ukraine and has been online for at least the past nine years.
Though Logically Facts couldn’t independently verify precisely when and where the image was taken, it is evident that it is not a recent image from the Kakhovka dam collapse.
A nine-year-old image seemingly taken during the flood in Serbia and Bosnia has been misrepresented to be from southern Ukraine. The viral image is not related to the recent Kakhovka dam collapse.