Fact Check

Does This Video Show NATO Troops in Ukraine?

Kabul is not in Ukraine.

Published May 22, 2023

 (Tiktok)
Image Via Tiktok
Claim:
A video shows a buildup of NATO forces inside Ukraine.

On May 9, 2023, a pro-Russia TikTok account tweeted a video showing a large buildup of troops at an airport. The video was overlaid with text claiming that it showed NATO soldiers "in Ukraine," receiving over 5 million views at the time of this reporting. A subsequent video on the same account further alleged that there were "over 300k" troops on the ground. 

A repost of that same video to Twitter on May 18 gave it nearly half-a-million more views:

This footage is not recent, nor is it from Ukraine. It shows the early moments of the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan at Kabul International Airport in August 2021. The same video without the Russia commentary was uploaded to YouTube on Aug. 18, 2021, with the title "US Soldier Films Chaos From MRAP Gunner Turret In Kabul." 

The video's original description provides this context:

The footage is filmed by a turret gunner in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, and it shows the use of AH-64 Apache gunships to clear the runway for C-17 aircraft. It also gives scope of the massive crowd of desperate Afghans that are hoping to hitch a ride out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Because the video predates Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and because it was filmed in Afghanistan, we rate the version claiming that it shows a build-up of NATO forces in Ukraine "Miscaptioned."

Sources

@UltraDane. "In Case You Missed It, NATO Soldiers Now in Ukraine." Twitter, https://twitter.com/UltraDane/status/1659312711338176513. Accessed 22 May 2023.

US Soldier Films Chaos From MRAP Gunner Turret In Kabul. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJkNTLncmWI. Accessed 22 May 2023.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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