FACT CHECK: Does This Footage Show Destruction In Ukraine?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show destruction in Ukraine.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The video, taken in 2021, shows damage caused by a tornado in Kentucky. The footage has nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Oleg Ustenko, Ukraine’s top economic adviser, estimated the war in Ukraine has caused at least $100 billion in damage so far, according to Reuters. Footage of the destruction across the country can be seen in videos shared by NBC News, The Guardian and Sky News.

One video shared on Facebook shows aerial footage of destroyed homes and debris scattered about, allegedly from Ukraine. “Ukraine now #reel,” reads the post’s caption. The video features Cyrillic text that is partially obscured by a superimposed emoji of the Ukrainian flag. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Ukrainian Giving Instructions On How To Drive Abandoned Russian Tanks?)

The footage is not from Ukraine and predates the Russian invasion of the country. A reverse image search revealed the video actually shows tornado damage in Mayfield, Kentucky. A longer version of the video, without the Cyrillic text and emojis, was shared on YouTube in December 2021 by multimedia journalist Brandon Clement’s company WXChasing. The clip featured in the Facebook post is visible at around the two-minute mark of the YouTube video.

“One of the longest track and duration tornadoes in history started in Arkansas and ran through 4 states on December 10, 2021 producing EF-4 damage in numerous locations along the way,” reads the YouTube video’s description. “Drone shots of Mayfield which sustained heavy loss from the tornado. All shots are in 4k, some are repetitive with different lightning.”

Dozens of tornadoes struck several states including Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee between Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, 2021, according to the National Weather Service. One of these tornadoes struck the town of Mayfield and caused severe damage, The New York Times reported.

Several videos from major disasters have been falsely shared as showing destruction in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show the aftermath of a large explosion in Ukraine but actually showed the aftermath of a large explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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