FACT CHECK: No, This Video Does Not Show Fighting Between Russian And Ukrainian Forces

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a battle between Ukrainian and Russian troops.

Verdict: False

The footage was taken in 2004 and shows a U.S.-led combat mission in Iraq. The video has nothing to do with the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Russian forces inside Ukraine have met stiff resistance around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, stifling the advances of Russian troops, according to CNBC. Military assaults in Ukraine have intensified in the country as Russian and Ukrainian officials met Monday near the border of Belarus to discuss a potential ceasefire agreement, according to CNN.

In the Facebook video, which has been viewed over 3 million times, troops can be seen swiftly moving through a complex featuring a golden-colored dome as intense fighting occurs. According to the Facebook post’s caption, this was an instance of “Russian army and ukrine(sic) army fighting…”

The video is not from Ukraine and predates the Russian-Ukraine war by several years. A reverse image search found an extended version of the video that was posted on YouTube in April 2020 by user Funker530, a verified channel that describes itself as a “veteran community.” The description explained that the footage showed the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion conducting a U.S. special forces-led raid on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq, in October 2004.

Iraqi and U.S. forces invaded the city of Samarra Oct. 1, 2004, in an operation to seize the city from guerilla and foreign fighters, according to The Washington Post. The U.S. declared the operation successful Oct. 3, claiming over 130 insurgents were killed and the city had been placed back in Iraqi control, according to CNN.

The golden-domed building in the video, which is called the Askari Mosque and is located in Samarra, has appeared in pictures published by the Associated Press, which noted that the site houses the 10th and 11th Shiite Muslim imams’ tombs. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Fighter Jet Being Shot Down In Ukraine?)

Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim from May 2021 that had used the same footage, purporting to show a battle during the 2021 conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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