Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Russian And Ukrainian Armies Fighting -- It's 2004 Iraq War

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Russian And Ukrainian Armies Fighting -- It's 2004 Iraq War Iraq ≠ Ukraine

Does a video posted to Facebook show Russian and Ukrainian forces fighting? No, that's not true: The video is from the Iraq War in 2004 and shows U.S. special operations forces and the 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion during a raid on the Golden Mosque (al-Askari Mosque) in Samarra, Iraq, 18 years before Russia's military invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published to Facebook on February 24, 2022. It opened:

Russian army and ukrine army fighting fresh

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on February 25, 2022:

Iraq video FB.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Feb 25 15:08:23 2022 UTC)

While the heading for the Facebook video claims it shows the Russian and Ukrainian armies fighting, it is instead a shorter version of a video that appears on the YouTube page and website for a veteran community that calls itself Funker530. During the four-minute video, no Russian or Ukrainian can be heard, just English and Arabic.

Funker530 describes itself this way on its Facebook page:

www.FUNKER530.com is a community interested in military videos & news, with over 4,000,000 followers on social media. Run by veterans, for veterans.

And like this on their website:

Funker530 was started as a hobby project on YouTube by Funker, to show his family and friends some videos from his deployment as a light machine gunner to Kandahar, Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces on YouTube in 2008.

The complete Funker530 YouTube video appears below. It includes more than two additional minutes of footage than the one falsely identified as Russian and Ukrainian troops fighting. Trimmed from the shortened video is the title page that says:

Raid to sieze the Golden Mosque

Samarra, Iraq

More text appears at the end of the video. It says:

Task Force Viper & the 36th Commando Bn
Killed 4 enemy
Captured 25 enemy
and secured the Shrine intact.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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