FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Russian Helicopters Being Struck By Anti-Air Missiles?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show Russian helicopters being shot down by man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs).

Verdict: False

The footage is from a military-style video game. It does not show real footage from the war in Ukraine.

Fact Check: 

Ukraine claims its military has killed nearly 30,000 Russian troops and destroyed over 370 Russian helicopters and aircraft, according to Ukrinform. The success of the Ukrainian resistance is in part due to the weapons the U.S. and its allies have provided the country, which include thousands of anti-aircraft missiles, according to Reuters.

A video shared on Facebook appears to show some of these weapons in action. The five-minute Facebook video, viewed more than 3.2 million times, shows what appears to be Ukrainian soldiers firing rockets at Russian helicopters. “Direct hit from MANPADS destroyed Russian helicopters,” reads the video’s title.

A reverse image search revealed the footage is from ARMA 3, a military-style video game simulator created by Bohemia Interactive. The video first appeared on YouTube May 15 where it was shared by user ARMA Zone with the same title. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Ukrainian Forces Destroying Eight Russian Tanks?)

Both the YouTube video’s description and title include a disclaimer about its origins. “ARMA 3: AC-130 Gunship in Action | Military Simulator,” reads part of the video’s description. The ARMA Zone YouTube channel has posted multiple videos simulating combat in Ukraine, all of which include a disclaimer that identifies the footage as being from ARMA 3.

Clips from the video game have been misidentified as real war footage throughout the war in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked such a video claiming to show a drone strike on a Russian airfield.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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