FACT CHECK: No, This Footage Does Not Show Combat Between Russian And Ukrainian Forces
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows combat between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
The footage depicts French Foreign Legion members fighting in Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with the current conflict in Ukraine.
The Facebook video, first uploaded March 8, features numerous clips of soldiers engaging in combat around a mountainous area. “Ukraine vs Russia fight scene,” reads the post’s caption, suggesting the footage stems from the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The footage is unrelated to the war in Ukraine. An internet search reveals all the footage can be found in an August 2021 YouTube video shared by the verified channel WarLeaks – Military Blog titled, “French Foreign Legion In Heavy Combat With Taliban In Afghanistan.” The French Foreign Legion is an elite French military force made up of volunteers, from France and abroad, according to Britannica.
“The scenes show the elite units of the French Foreign Legion in several intense firefights and engagements with Taliban fighters,” part of the video description reads. French flag patches are visible on some of the soldiers’ uniforms, and voices can be heard speaking French above the gunfire.
There are no news reports suggesting the French government has deployed any troops or the legion to Ukraine. (RELATED: Does This Picture Show An Elderly Man Evacuating Ukraine With His Cat In March 2022?)
France has advised citizens not to become part of the armed Ukrainian resistance, despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy’s call for foreigners to join an “International Legion” to help Ukraine fight the Russians, according to state-owned media outlet Radio France International.
This is not the first time combat footage has been misattributed to the conflict in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show fighting in Ukraine but actually showed a U.S.-led combat mission in Iraq in 2004.