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Ukraine War 2-Year Anniversary: Looking Back on Viral Misinformation

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2021, the Snopes newsroom has debunked countless false rumors about the violence.

Published Feb. 24, 2024

 (Compilation by Snopes using Getty Images)
Image Via Compilation by Snopes using Getty Images

From deepfake videos to video game clips being miscaptioned as war footage to purported quotes by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, countless misleading rumors about the countries' war have gone viral since the conflict's start two years ago.

Why? Creators of online disinformation thrive in times of crisis. Whether they are political agents or agenda-focused journalists, these so-called "bad actors" pollute our media ecosystem with misleading or false social media posts during high-stake news events. And, because onlookers are emotional (scared, confused, angry, excited, etc.), they are eager to spread links that justify their feelings or existing beliefs — oftentimes without pausing to make sure what the posts say, or show, is true.

Snopes does not want that to be you. Below is a list of rumors or falsehoods Snopes has fact-checked since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with varying degrees of factualness and believability. (They are listed in no particular order.)

Person, Human, Tie
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US President Joe Biden was speaking to US troops in Poland about Russia's invasion of Ukraine and said the words And you're gonna see when you're there.
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Volodymyr Zelenskyy
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A headline about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy read Ukraine Rejects Dee Snider's Offer To Use We're Not Gonna Take It As BattleCry.
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Person, Human, Astronaut
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Weapon, Weaponry, Wheel
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Person, Human, Military
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tank ukraine
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ukraine refugees
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Clothing, Apparel, Person
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Person, Human, Pedestrian
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Azov Battalion Ukraine
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Person, Human, Military Uniform
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Face, Person, Human
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Symbol, Road Sign, Sign
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Audience, Crowd, Person
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did pornhub block russian users
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Airplane, Aircraft, Vehicle
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Clothing, Apparel, Person
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girl confronts soldier
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Person, Human, People
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snipers
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Clothing, Apparel, Shirt
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Airplane, Vehicle, Transportation
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Person, Human, Crowd
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Flag, Symbol, Person
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Military, Person, Human
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Sitting, Person, Human
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Person, Human, Face
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Face, Person, Human
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Tie, Accessories, Accessory
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Person, Human, Machine
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disney plus removing anastasia
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Tie, Accessories, Accessory
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According to a false and misleading Telegram video CNN and Don Lemon broadcast a crude oil tank farm explosion fire in Edmonton Canada from 2021 to represent Lviv Ukraine in 2022.
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Tie, Accessories, Accessory
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Military, Military Uniform, Person
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According to social media posts a Fox News guest named Monica Crowley told Jesse Watters that Russia is now being canceled.
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Clothing, Apparel, Person
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Tie, Accessories, Accessory
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Person, Human, Building
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Truck, Vehicle, Transportation
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According to viral videos US President Joe Biden said how do we get to the place where you know Putin decides he's gonna just invade Russia.
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A video said to have been shot at night in Ukraine purportedly showed a Russian missile following a boomerang pattern due to a malfunction, ending with an explosion in the same location where it was launched.
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Person, Human, Text
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Person, Human, Flag
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Face, Person, Human
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Arma 3 clip miscaptioned as Russian attack on Ukraine
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Person, Human, Crowd
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Outdoors, Animal, Nature
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Person, Human, Clothing
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is finland moving tanks to russian border?
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ladimir elensky fake time magazine cover
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ukrainian mothers are writing their family contacts on the bodies of their children
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tulips in colors of ukraine flag
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tucker carlson
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Users on X claimed that a video showed a Glory to Urine billboard in New York City.
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A video clip from Ukraine did not show women carrying heavy concrete stones, as some tweets claimed.
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ukrainian bollywood parody video
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An edited video showed US Senator Lindsey Graham saying that Russians dying was the best money we've ever spent.
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do photos of putin's chin prove he has a body double?
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A Tweet said, ""Look at what Putin is doing to Ukraine! Barbaric!" The word "Miscaptioned" is over the image.
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NATO sent their jet fighters & Helicopters to help Ukraine, they were attacked by Russian missile and not a single one  escaped.
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Person, Human, Furniture
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Jessica Lee is Snopes' Senior Assignments Editor with expertise in investigative storytelling, media literacy advocacy and digital audience engagement.