FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Ukraine On February 25, 2022?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims to show the destruction caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Verdict: Misleading

The second image featured in the post shows Kyiv’s Independence Square in ruins after anti-government protests in 2014. It has nothing to do with the Russian invasion.

Fact Check:

Russian missiles launched at Ukraine hit several targets in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv March 1, the sixth day of the invasion, according to BBC News. Ukraine’s emergency services claimed approximately 2,000 citizens have been killed in the invasion, CNN reported.

A post shared on Facebook attempts to highlight the destruction caused by the war. It features two images, one that allegedly shows a Ukrainian city plaza Feb. 20 and another that purportedly shows the same plaza destroyed and partially burning Feb 25. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Fighter Jet Being Shot Down In Ukraine?)

A reverse image search reveals both photos show Kyiv’s Independence Square. However, the second image, showing the alleged destruction from the Russian invasion, predates the war by several years. It was published by Reuters in February 2014 with a caption that reads, “An aerial view shows Independence Square during clashes between anti-government protesters and Interior Ministry members and riot police in central Kiev February 19, 2014.”

At the time the photo was taken, Ukraine was in the midst of the Maidan revolution which culminated in then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych being ousted from power, CBS News reported. The revolution began in November 2013 when the government announced it would be suspending its plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union, which in turn sparked massive anti-government protests, according to the Brookings Institute.

Dozens of images and videos shared on social media have been falsely linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show military airplanes flying in formation over Kyiv.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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