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In late June, Sievierodonetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine, fell to Russia after weeks of intense battle. Some of the last Ukrainians to defend the city told Reuters that they left the city by boat at night for safety, and The New York Times reported that the exiled mayor of Sievierodonetsk "painted a bleak picture of life for those who remain." Government officials estimate 90% of buildings there have been destroyed.
But a video being shared on social media a few weeks later perhaps buoyed Ukraine’s supporters. The description in the July 17 post said "Sievierodonetsk's air defenses shot down 55 Ka 52 helicopters."
Dozens of comments cheered on Ukraine, with Ukrainian flags and GIFs congratulating the country.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
That’s because anyone who watches the video can clearly see that the footage isn’t authentic. It’s a video game.
We rate claims of this footage’s veracity False.
Facebook post, July 17, 2022
The New York Times, Civilians should immediately evacuate a Ukrainian city that is under fire, a regional official warned, June 27, 2022
CNBC, Ukraine’s Sievierodonetsk falls to Russia after one of war’s bloodiest fights, June 25, 2022
Reuters, How Ukrainian defenders left Sievierodonetsk in boats under cover of night, June 27, 2022
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