FACT CHECK: Image Falsely Claims To Show Aftermath Of Russian Strike On NATO Command Center

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Twitter claims to show the aftermath of a Russian strike on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command center in Ukraine.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence of a Russian strike on a NATO command center. The image is from 2021 and was taken in Syria.

Fact Check:

Russia launched a large barrage of missiles Mar. 9 that struck multiple power grid targets, including grids connected to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, according to Politico. Finland is expected to be a NATO member Apr. 4, CNN reported.

The Twitter post claims that a group of NATO officers “housed in a secret underground bunker” were targeted by a Russian strike. The tweet is accompanied by an image showing burning vehicles.

The image, though, is old. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image is a screengrab from a July 2021 video. The video, posted by the Syria Civil Defense, claims to show a fuel market on fire in a village near Aleppo, Syria.

“This is is not a battlefield … but the fuel market in the village of Al-Hamran in the eastern countryside of #Aleppo turned by the regime forces and Russia into a piece of hell for civilians whose only sin is seeking to earn a living for their families,” the Facebook video’s caption reads.

Check Your Fact could not find any evidence that a NATO headquarters was hit by a Russian missile strike. Newsweek’s Misinformation Watch traced the claim to pro-Russian Telegram channels and outlets. Russia targeted Ukrainian facilities in a mass missile strike Mar. 9, but the Russian Defense Ministry did not claim to strike a NATO headquarters, according to Newsweek.

The claim was first debunked by BBC News reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh on Twitter. (RELATED: Did Estonia Donate Strelas To Ukraine And Purchase Stingers?)

“Pro-Kremlin accounts are spreading a bizarre claim that Russia has launched a strike on a “secret Nato command centre”, killing 40. There’s been no such strike, and the image is from a missile strike on a petrol market in Syria in 2021,” Sardarizadeh tweeted.

Check Your Fact reached out to NATO for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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