FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Plane Carrying Afghan Evacuees Crashing?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a plane transporting evacuees from Afghanistan crashing and exploding.
The video actually shows a military prototype aircraft crashing in Russia.
The video of the plane crash circulated amid the U.S. and other countries attempting to rapidly airlift as many of their citizens, Afghan allies and others from Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s takeover of the country last month. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the U.S. and its allies had evacuated over 123,000 people, including about 6,000 Americans, from Afghanistan by Aug. 30, the date the final U.S. military plane left Kabul’s airport, according to a transcript of his remarks.
In the footage shared Aug. 18, an aircraft can be seen catching fire and descending out of sight into a wooded area. A large cloud of smoke then billows from the tree line. But, contrary to the Facebook post’s claim, the plane crash depicted in the video is not related to evacuation efforts in Afghanistan. (RELATED: Here’s What We Know About The Working Dogs Allegedly Left Behind By The US In Afghanistan)
Media outlets such as Business Insider, Newsweek and Express included the footage in Aug. 17 articles reporting that it actually showed the crash of a Russian prototype plane that occurred that day near Moscow. The Russian state-owned news organization RT also tweeted part of the video and linked it to the same incident.
The Russian United Aircraft Corporation said the aircraft that crashed was a prototype Il-112V military transport plane staffed by two pilots and an engineer, none of whom survived, the Associated Press reported. The plane was supposed to be exhibited at the Russian military’s International Military-Technical Forum, according to the outlet.
An Afghan military plane did crash in Uzbekistan Aug. 15, though there have been conflicting reports about the cause of the crash, according to Reuters. Uzbekistan stated that a group of Afghan pilots and their families who had escaped from Afghanistan into the nearby country on Afghan Air Force aircraft would not be able to remain there and asked that the U.S. move the group to a different country, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 30.