FACT CHECK: No, This Image Does Not Show A Russian Fighter Jet That Was Shot Down In Ukraine

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a Russian fighter jet that was shot down over Ukraine.

Verdict: False

The picture does not show a jet that was shot down by Ukrainian troops. It shows a Russian jet that was struck by another aircraft during a 1993 airshow in England.

Fact Check:

Russia attacked Ukraine from various directions with airstrikes, ground troops and tanks Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The invasion began shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Axios reported.

An image shared on Facebook shows what appears to be a pilot ejecting from a fighter jet that is exploding into a ball of fire. “This is a Russian 6th Air Force’s twin engine fighter (looks like Sukkhoi Su-27) jet from shot down over Ukraine today,” reads the Feb. 24 post’s caption. “Curiously, it has caught fire from above and the pilot appears to have ejected.”

Ukrainian armed forces have claimed to shoot down at least six Russian planes, according to CNN. Russian officials have denied the claim, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Russian Paratroopers Landing In Ukraine?) 

The photo included in the post does not show a Russian jet shot down in Ukraine and predates the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. A reverse image search revealed the image was originally taken in 1993 in England during an airshow.

The picture can be found on the Air Team Images‘ Aviation Image Library, where the caption explains it was taken after a mid-air collision between two MiG-29 Russian jets that year. “No one was killed or seriously injured in the incident. The pilot can be seen ejecting,” the caption reads.

A video of the collision can be seen in an article published by U.K.-based news outlet Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. The two jets collided while performing loops in the air above the Royal Air Force (RAF) base in Fairford, England at the 1993 Royal International Air Tattoo, according to the article. Both pilots ejected and landed safely, while the plane landed in a forest away from a group of spectators, the outlet reported.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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