FACT CHECK: Does This Footage Show American Soldiers Parachuting Into Ukraine?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows U.S. military personnel parachuting into Ukrainian territory.

Verdict: False

The footage was actually filmed in the U.S. in 2016 during an exercise. It has nothing to do with the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the U.S. Congress during a March 16 remote speech for further assistance in defending his country from invading Russian forces, NPR reported. The same day, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would be sending an additional $800 million in military equipment to the Ukrainians, according to a White House press release. Biden previously stated he would not send American troops to Ukraine, BBC News reported.

A video shared on Facebook claims to show American soldiers parachuting into Ukraine. It shows dozens of soldiers boarding a military plane, preparing to jump and then parachuting to Earth. “American soldiers in Ukraine,” reads the video’s caption. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy And His Wife Singing ‘Endless Love’ By Lionel Richie?)

The video predates the conflict in Ukraine and was not filmed in the country. The verified YouTube channel AiirSource Military posted a video in May 2016 that included all of the footage featured in the Facebook video. “Paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division perform static line jumps from C-17 Globemaster III aircraft over Sicily Drop Zone at Fort Bragg, North Carolina,” the video description reads.

Check Your Fact found more than half of the Facebook post’s footage on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service‘s (DVIDS) website. The description of the videos on the DVIDS website explains the footage was shot in May 2016 while American soldiers were participating in the “Crescent Reach 16” military exercise.

This is not the first time a video of paratroopers has been falsely linked to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked videos claiming to show Russian paratroopers landing in Ukrainian territory during the first days of the conflict.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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