Video game visuals shared as Russian air force attacking Ukrainian air defense systems

By: Rajini KG
May 25 2023

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Video game visuals shared as Russian air force attacking Ukrainian air defense systems


The Verdict False

Footage from the virtual game Arma 3 was misrepresented as a real incident. It is unrelated to the ongoing Russian invasion.

Claim ID 6f4fe29e


Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, various videos have circulated on social media claiming to reflect events from the ongoing conflict. 

A Twitter account, "Ukraine Front Lines," posted a video on May 23, 2023, with the caption: "The battle of the elite russian air force against the Ukrainian air defense systems (sic)." The video shows a fighter jet ejecting missiles, and a counter-attack can be seen from the ground. The post has earned 209,600 views and more than 900 likes. 

In Fact

The video is not related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is footage from the video game Arma 3. Applying a reverse image search on one of the video keyframes, we found that the video is available on YouTube on many channels. BattlePOPs, a channel that shows virtual game simulation, posted the same video on March 21, 2023. The visuals match the viral video. The video was captioned, "Russia's Elite Air Force vs Ukrainian SAM Missiles Combat | MilSim Arma 3." The description reads that the video is a virtual game simulation. On April 28, 2023, a YouTube channel shared a similar video of the game with the caption "Russian Elite Air Force Vs Ukrainian Sam Missiles Combat | MilSim Arma 3." Arma 3 is a military tactical shooting video game developed by Bohemia Interactive.

On November 28, 2022, Bohemia Interactive, a Czech video game developer, released a report on identifying video game visuals used as fake news. Pavel Křižka, PR Manager of Bohemia Interactive, was quoted as saying in the report that "Arma 3 videos allegedly depicted conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and even between India and Pakistan, but nowadays this content has gained traction in regard to the current conflict in Ukraine." Bohemia has listed tips on distinguishing between actual footage and video game footage in the report.

Logically Facts has debunked many claims related to Arma 3, including a video that claimed to show a helicopter provided by NATO being shot down in Ukraine.

The Verdict

Virtual game footage has been misrepresented as a real-world event. It is unrelated to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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