On Feb. 24, 2022 (local time in Ukraine), Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As the tumultuous events unfolded on the news, social media quickly filled up with doctored, misleading, and miscaptioned images. One such video supposedly showed Russian paratroopers landing in Ukraine like in the movie “Red Dawn”:
Paratroopers in Ukraine.. just like in Red Dawn.?! WOW.pic.twitter.com/sHKWCObNeU
— ???? ?????????? (@INFJLOVE) February 24, 2022
This video, which has racked up nearly 400,000 videos, is several years old. It does not show Russian paratroopers landing in Ukraine during the February 2022 invasion.
The video can be traced back to at least 2016 when it was shared on Twitter with the caption “запомните, именно так выглядят Российские десантники” or “remember, this is what Russian paratroopers look like.”
Хахлы, запомните, именно так выглядят Российские десантники. pic.twitter.com/rDWOXGGcT5
— Свингер & Партнёры (@bigbestpens) September 4, 2016
A March 2014 post on Military.com appears to contain a longer version of this clip. Military.com reported at the time that the footage showed “15,000 Russian airborne troops being dropped in the Rostov Obslat region of Russia with their equipment.”
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“15,000 Russian Paratroopers Jump.” Military.Com, 21 Mar. 2014, https://www.military.com/video/specialties-and-personnel/paratroopers/15000-russian-paratroopers-jump/3372545292001.
“Indian News Channels Air Old Video as Russian Paratroopers Landing in Kharkiv, Ukraine.” Alt News, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.altnews.in/zee-news-news24-air-old-video-as-russian-paratroopers-landing-in-kharkov-ukraine/.