FACT CHECK: Do These Pictures Show Aleppo And Kyiv After Russian Bombing Campaigns?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows the Syrian city of Aleppo and the Ukrainian city of Kyiv after Russian bombing campaigns.

Verdict: False

The top image shows Mosul, Iraq, not Aleppo. The second photo shows Kyiv on Feb. 25, the day after the war began.

Fact Check:

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fourth week, the U.N. estimates the country has suffered about $100 billion in infrastructure damage. In addition to this, half of the businesses in Ukraine have shut down due to the crisis and almost a third of Ukrainians could fall into poverty within a year, the UN reports.

One image shared on Facebook claims the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is fairing comparatively well despite the Russian invasion. It shows what it claims to be a picture of Kyiv, seemingly untouched, next to a purported picture of the Syrian city of Aleppo in ruins.

“Top picture is for Aleppo in Syria after Russian airplanes bombed the city,” reads text included in the post. “Bottom picture is for Kyiv after 2 weeks of Russian bombing. Tell me that you don’t see the difference in the destruction and the difference in world&Media response !!!!! Something is not adding up.”

Both photos are inaccurately labeled. A reverse image search revealed the top photo was taken in Mosul, Iraq in 2017, not Aleppo. The picture, taken by photographer Ahmad Al-Rubaye, can be viewed on Getty Images, where the caption states, “A picture taken on July 9, 2017, shows a general view of the destruction in Mosul’s Old City.”

The photo was featured in a 2017 article from The Wall Street Journal titled, “Mosul: From Silk Route to Ruins.” (RELATED: Does This Footage Show Destruction In Ukraine?)

The bottom photo shows Kyiv but it was not taken two weeks into Russia’s invasion. A reverse image search reveals it was shared in a Feb. 26 Reuters article with a caption that reads, “A general view shows Independence Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022.” This was only one day after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, not two weeks.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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