Fact Check: Russian Missile Strikes On Ukraine In March 2023 NOT A Hoax

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Russian Missile Strikes On Ukraine In March 2023 NOT A Hoax Wide Coverage

Does a social media video prove that reported Russian missile strikes on Ukraine didn't take place or were staged? No, that's not true: The video, which alternates between images of Independence Square in the capital Kyiv and BBC television coverage showing damage across the war-ravaged nation, only confirms that missile strikes didn't take place in that particular part of the city at the time the Instagram video was being filmed. Nothing in the video of Independence Square proves when it was filmed.

The claim appeared in a post and video on Instagram on March 25, 2023. The post's description says:

We Are Being Lied To #Ukraine #Russia #truth #zelensky #putin #biden #burisma #fakenews #cnn #msnbc #cnbc #cbs #nbc #abc #news #media #tyrant

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Kyiv at night.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Mar 29 18:27:38 2023 UTC)

The 10-second video provides no evidence to back its claim that "We Are Being Lied To."

The clip begins with a night scene above Kyiv's Independence Square with air raid sirens blaring before quickly cutting to a TV screen with a BBC World News banner that reads "Russian missile strikes in Ukraine," as it shows scenes of damaged vehicles and smoke drifting across a city skyline. The reporter can be heard talking about "81 missiles" as the video pans from the TV to a shot of the undamaged square in broad daylight. The short video is posted below:

The implied claim is that because no damage can be seen in or from the square, then the missile strikes didn't take place.

While the post itself says nothing about when the attack took place, Lead Stories was able to pin down the date of the missile strikes to March 9, 2023, when multiple news organizations reported that Russia fired 81 missiles on Ukraine, matching the BBC story on the TV.

A Reuters report details missile-strike damage to mainly the country's energy infrastructure and "more than half a dozen regions" of Ukraine. Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe and is slightly smaller than the state of Texas, according to Nations Encyclopedia. The attacks Reuters reported on did damage sections of Kyiv, a 300-square-mile city of about 3 million people , but no missile strikes were reported at the square, which is the size of about seven football fields, and so comprises only a small part of Kyiv.

More Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war can be found here.

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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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