FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The ‘Ukrainian Headquarters’ Exploding?

Kenia Mazariegos | Contributor

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows the “Ukrainian headquarters” exploding after being bombed by the Russians.

Verdict: False

The video shows a massive blast in Beirut, Lebanon, in August 2020.

Fact Check:

Russian bombs and missiles continue to hit parts of Ukraine as fighting rages across the country, The New York Times reported. A video shared on Facebook claims to show the “Ukrainian headquarters” after it was bombed by the Russians.

The video shows a huge cloud of black smoke emanating from a city building that moments later erupts into a massive fireball. “Russia bombed the Ukrainian headquarters,” reads the post’s caption.

While media outlets have documented several explosions across Ukraine, the Facebook video does not show the aftermath of a Russian bombing. A reverse image search reveals it actually shows a massive explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon in August 2020. The same video was uploaded to YouTube in August 2021 by the Los Angeles Times in a post titled “The Beirut Explosion: One Year Later.”

“The blast — the third-largest non-nuclear explosion in history — pushed out a fireball miles into the air, followed by a hemispherical shock wave that raced inland for six miles at supersonic speed,” reads the YouTube video’s description. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Cruise Missile Striking Kyiv, Ukraine?)

Check Your Fact traced the video to a Twitter user who initially posted it on Aug. 4, 2020, garnering over 10,000 likes and over 8,700 reshares. “Another video of the explosion at Beirut Port,” reads the tweet.

The blast emanated from a port warehouse where 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were improperly stored, according to The New York Times. The highly-explosive chemicals erupted after a fire broke out at the warehouse, the outlet reported. The explosion killed over 200 people, injured at least 6,500 others and destroyed several neighborhoods, according to Al-Jazeera.

This is not the first time a video of an explosion has been falsely linked to the current situation in Ukraine. Check Your Fact previously debunked a video claiming to show a Russian cruise missile hitting Kyiv, Ukraine.

Kenia Mazariegos