Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show ODAB-500P Aerosol Bombs In Ukraine In 2023

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show ODAB-500P Aerosol Bombs In Ukraine In 2023 Old Footage

Does a viral video capture the detonation of an aerosol bomb in Ukraine in 2023? No, that's not true: The footage was uploaded to the internet years before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The claim reappeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on August 17, 2023. It stated:

Now that NATO is sending more 'game changers' to Ukraine, Russia is also bringing new equipment to the front: ODAB-500P aerosol bombs.

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

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 9.52.34 AM.png

Twitter screenshot

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Aug 21 13:52:34 2023 UTC)

ODAB-500P are aerosol bombs, also known as vacuum or thermobaric bombs. As The Guardian pointed out, "the blast wave can last for significantly longer than a conventional explosive and is capable of vaporising human bodies."

The video was actively shared on social media in the first weeks following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On March 1, 2022, Reuters, for example, debunked a similar claim falsely stating that the clip shows Russians using a "vacuum bomb" to attack a Ukrainian military base.

The footage in question predates the full-scale war in Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022.

A longer version of this video was posted on YouTube in December 2019, and the Russian-language caption, as translated by Chrome, described it as a scene recorded in Syria:

Screen Shot 2023-08-21 at 10.05.03 AM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Mon Aug 21 14:05:03 2023 UTC)

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the war in Ukraine can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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