FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Ukrainian Civilian Trying To Shoot Down A Russian Drone In Kyiv?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Ukrainian civilian trying to shoot down a Russian drone with a rifle in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Verdict: False

The image predates the ongoing Russian invasion. It does not show a Ukrainian civilian attempting to shoot down a drone.

Fact Check:

Russia has hit Kyiv and other cities with a combination of kamikaze drones and cruise missiles, striking civilian infrastructure and killing at least 8 civilians, according to BBC News. The Ukrainian Air Force claimed that its air defenses have shot down the vast majority of drones, Reuters reported.

Since the drone attacks started, social media users have shared an image of a man with a rifle aiming upwards, claiming it shows a Ukrainian civilian attempting to shoot down drones. The image went viral on Twitter, with one iteration receiving over 1,000 likes. (RELATED: Did Ukraine Destroy 450 Russian ‘Armored’ Ships?)

The photo predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A reverse image search found that the image is from a 2021 Facebook video from the Kyiv patrol police. The footage shows a man aiming a rifle upward toward another part of the building. He was later arrested by police, according to the Facebook video’s description.

The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security –an institution under the Ukrainian government– also debunked the claim on Twitter.

“No, this is not a photo of Kyiv. No, residents of the capital did not shoot down drones with rifles from their balconies. Shahed-136 was taken down by air defence forces. This photo was taken in June 2021 and probably uploaded to Ukrainian social networks by RU propagandists,” the institution tweeted.

Misinformation about the Russian-Ukrainian war is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that the German military was going to launch an offensive against Russia.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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