Fact Check

Does This Video Show the Nova Kakhovka Dam Explosion in Ukraine?

As the Russian and Ukrainian governments blamed each other for the incident, this footage swept social media under misleading pretenses.

Published June 6, 2023

 (Twitter user @EuromaidanPR)
Image courtesy of Twitter user @EuromaidanPR
A video that went viral the morning of June 6, 2023, showed the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine being blown up hours earlier.

Although the footage was authentic and depicted the in-question dam, it wasn't captured in June 2023. The video was first shared online in November 2022.

On the morning of June 6, 2023, video footage surfaced supposedly showing a real event that occurred hours earlier: The Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine was blown up and largely destroyed. The southern military command of the Ukrainian army blamed Russian forces for the explosion. On the other hand, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied any Russian involvement in the incident.

Many social media users shared the video that allegedly showed the moment the dam was blown up. Although the video was authentic and indeed depicted the in-question dam, it didn't actually show the June 2023 incident. In reality, the surveillance footage was months old; it was first shared online in early November 2022, when other explosions at the Kakhovka dam occurred. At that time, the video was shared on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube

The video was also debunked by Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist at BBC Verify, and David Puente, who does work for the Open.online fact-checking project.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, many pictures and videos circulated spreading false information and disinformation.

For example, in early April 2023, we debunked a sign supposedly trying to recruit American welfare recipients into joining the International Legion of Ukraine. We also covered instances in which Pro-Kremlin social media accounts falsely accused Ukrainians of calling for attacks on Russian-speaking churches. Moreover, in May 2023, we investigated a viral TikTok video that allegedly showed a buildup of NATO forces in Ukraine — when, in reality, the footage showed NATO troops at Afghanistan's Kabul International Airport in August 2021.


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Reuters. "New Damage to Major Dam near Kherson after Russian Retreat -Maxar Satellite." Reuters, 11 Nov. 2022. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/new-damage-major-dam-near-kherson-after-russian-retreat-maxar-satellite-2022-11-11/.

"What We Know about Nova Kakhovka Dam Incident." BBC News, 6 June 2023. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65818705.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.