Russian air show, not the invasion of Ukraine, shown in the photo


The claim: Image shows Russian plane shot down by Ukraine

An old photo of a plane seemingly falling from the sky has resurfaced on social media amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“BREAKING!! Ukrainian military allegedly shot down Russian fighter jets,” read the caption of a Feb. 24 Facebook photo, which shows a plane leaving a trail of smoke and flames.

Since Russia’s announcement early February 24 of a military operation in Ukraine, similar versions of the claim have racked up hundreds of interactions on Facebook and Instagram, according to CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool. .

“Ukrainian army says it shot down six fighter jets and a helicopter belonging to Russia,” it read. a tweet from February 24 with the picture.

Many blogs and websites recently posted the same image and description.

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But the photo was taken years ago, as reported by independent fact-checking organisations. It has nothing to do with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

USA TODAY has reached out to social media users who shared the photo for comment.

The picture is from 2015

The image in the post was taken on August 22, 2015, during an air show celebrating Russian National Flag Day, according to the photo’s caption on Shutterstock.

The description says the photo shows a flight group called “Falcons of Russia” demonstrating a Sukhoi Su-27, a Russian fighter jet that was first introduced in 1985.

Other photos of air shows held around this time at Zhukovsky International Airport near Moscow are featured on Getty Images, Aviation International News and Shutterstock.

The International Aviation and Space Salon, Russia’s largest air show held every two years, took place in late August 2015, according to the Moscow Times. Footage from the event shows aircraft maneuvers similar to the one depicted in the image.

USA TODAY and other fact-checking organizations have debunked footage purporting to show the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some social media users have falsely claimed that a May 2020 video of a Moscow flyover showed Russian planes flying over Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

Fact check: The photo shows an airstrike in the Gaza Strip, not a Russian invasion of Ukraine

Our opinion: False

Based on our research, we rate the claim that an image shows a Russian plane shot down by Ukraine as FALSE. The photo was taken in August 2015 during an air show in Russia.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • Reuters, Feb 24, Fact Check – Photo of plane falling from sky is from 2015 air show
  • Shutterstock, August 22, 2015, Photo
  • Britannica, November 28, 2017, Sukhoi Su-27
  • Getty Images, August 21, 2015 The Russian Navy’s Sukhoi Su-30SM jet fighter performs its demonstration flight at the MAKS-2015 airshow near Zhukovsky
  • Aviation International News, August 25, 2015, MAKS Moscow Airshow opens in Zhukovsky
  • Shutterstock, August 22, 2015, Photos
  • The Moscow Times, August 27, 2015, MAKS 2015 Airshow Best Deals and Announcements
  • The Moscow Times YouTube, August 26, 2015 Russian Air Force struts at MAKS 2015 Airshow
  • USA TODAY, February 24, fact check: Viral video shows January post on TikTok, not Russian invasion of Ukraine
  • USA TODAY, February 24, Fact Check: Video Shows Russian Military Flying Over Moscow in 2020, Not Ukraine in 2022

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Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

Russian air show, not the invasion of Ukraine, shown in the photo




USA Today

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