FACT CHECK: Image Of American Flags Draped Over Caskets Predates Russian-Ukrainian War

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook allegedly shows caskets draped in American flags of weapon operators killed in Kiev, Ukraine. 

Verdict: False

The photo is miscaptioned. The image was released in 2005 by the Pentagon, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check: 

Russian President Vladimir Putin referenced a 400-year-old map to support his claim that Ukraine isn’t a real country, according to Business Insider. Putin claimed the artifact proves Ukraine did not exist as a state before the Soviet period, Moscow Times reported.

The Facebook post purports four American Patriot Missile operators were killed in Kiev, Ukraine. The photo appears to show a row of four caskets on a plane draped in American flags.

“Patriot missile battery operators being sent home from Kiev,” the post’s caption reads.

The photo is miscaptioned, however. A reverse image search reveals that the image was used in a 2005 article from CBS News. The Pentagon made over 700 images public in 2005 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the outlet reported.

The photographs, taken between 2001 and 2004, depict rows of coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to The Age. (RELATED: No, Video Does Not Show Aftermath Of Russian Strike On Ukraine)

The image was also posted to Getty Images. Its caption reads, “Caskets bearing the remains of crew members whose Black Hawk helicopter crashed on a night training mission in Kuwait are shown onboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Ramstein Air Force Base in this photo released April 28, 2005 by the Pentagon.”

“This imagine (sic) is not recent and was released by the Pentagon in 2005,” a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter