FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A 14/88 Painted On The Side Of A Tank?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show the number “14/88” painted on the side of a Leopard tank.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally altered. The original video shows a tank without the marking.

Fact Check:

Germany and other European countries have pledged Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to The New York Times. These countries are struggling to send Leopards to Ukraine due to aged armory and lack of spare parts to repair the equipment, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image claims to show a Leopard tank with the words numbers 14/88 sprayed on the side of it. It also shows a screenshot from the Anti-Defamation League’s website, which states that “1488 is a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols.” The claim was also spread on Twitter.

However, this image has been digitally altered. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image was taken from a March 2022 video. The video was shared on multiple platforms, including YouTube, a website and Reddit.

In the video, the numbers do not appear on the side of the tank. The original image claims it shows Abrams tanks in Mannheim, Germany. The red rail car visible in the video is visibly similar to an image published by the U.S. Army in August 2021. The tanks match the Abrams design, not the Leopard 2. (RELATED: Did A Patriot Battery Shoot Down A Russian Fighter In Ukraine?)

Check Your Fact also geolocated the video to Mannheim, Germany. The video clearly shows a yellow sign that has Mannheim written on it (20 seconds), and the path of the driver appears to match this location.

The claim was also debunked by Oryx, a military analysis website that tracks vehicle losses in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, on Twitter.

Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video claiming to show a Ukrainian drone strike on Russian troops.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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