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Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles March 17, 2022

News video of shot up car was filmed in Ukraine, not West Virginia

If Your Time is short

  • A West Virginia State Police captain confirmed that the Uber’s window decal was an expired inspection sticker from the state. But that doesn’t mean that the car itself wasn’t in Ukraine.

  • The video showing the car was recorded in Irpin, Ukraine, according to Reuters, which owns the video.

  • It's not uncommon for cars to be exported from the U.S. to other countries, including Ukraine.

As news networks report on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one particular video clip prompted conspiracy claims about the authenticity of the reports.

Social media users on Facebook questioned if a shot up car was really in Ukraine, pointing to video that showed it had a window decal that looked like a West Virginia inspection sticker.

"I don't care what side you are on, because it is happening on both sides. This is why America has no trust in the media. A West Virginia inspection sticker on an Uber in ‘Ukraine’", said a March 13 Facebook post.

"How did a car from WV end up in Ukraine on NBC News," another post said.

The posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Captain R.A. Maddy of the West Virginia State Police confirmed that the sticker was an inspection decal that expired in September 2021. But that doesn’t mean that the car itself wasn’t in Ukraine. Here’s the evidence.

The origins of the video

The video of the car can be traced back to a March 13 NBC Nightly News report about the shooting of journalist and documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud, who was in Ukraine with colleague Juan Arrendondo to cover the war. As the report described the danger in Ukraine, it showed several vehicles that had been burned or shot up, including the car in question. The report gave a larger picture of the vehicle, showing that it was an Uber vehicle with what appeared to be Ukrainian text along the side. 

Top: Screenshot of vehicle from a March 14, 2022 Fox News report. Bottom: A screenshot of a Facebook user’s claim. While news reports showed the full side of the car, which had an Uber logo and what appears to be Ukrainian print, the Facebook posts only provided a view of the car’s decal sticker.


It’s not clear if the car in the Facebook posts was the one that Renaud and Arrendondo were attacked in. We reached out to Uber, but did not receive a response.


An NBC spokesperson verified that the video was indeed real, and that it was licensed from Reuters. A spokesperson at Reuters confirmed that the video was taken in Irpin, Ukraine, which is right next to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

NBC has since taken down their report, due to fair usage rights. "We shared the video during the allotted time period that is customary for some fair usage videos," the NBC spokesperson said. 

Other news sites, including Fox News, have also aired the clip with the Uber car.

It’s feasible for the car to have been moved from the U.S. to Ukraine, said Robin Grove, CEO of Classic Automotive Relocation Services (CARS) USA, a company that ships classic and high-end vehicles across the globe. 

"U.S. rules and laws are that U.S. cars with titles may be exported as long as they are not stolen," Grove said, pointing to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s rules on exporting a motor vehicle. "They are allowed to ship to any country that is not on the sanction list as long as governmental protocols are adhered to."

Ukraine doesn’t fall on that list of sanctions, so it’s possible for a vehicle to have been shipped there. 

The United Nations reported in an October 2020 study that between 2015-2018, the U.S. "exported a significant number of used vehicles to Europe, specifically Eastern Europe." In 2018, the U.S. shipped 34,871 cars to Ukraine. 

Our ruling

A Facebook post claimed that "a West Virginia inspection sticker on an Uber" proves the car was not in Ukraine.

A West Virginia State Police Captain confirmed that the decal on the car was an expired sticker from the state. However, this doesn’t mean that the car wasn’t in Ukraine — a spokesperson for Reuters, which owns the video, confirmed that the video was filmed there. 

It's not uncommon for cars to be exported from the U.S. to other countries, including Ukraine. 

We rate this claim False.  

Our Sources

Facebook post, March 14, 2022 

Facebook post, March 13, 2022

NBC Nightly News, Award-winning American journalist killed in Ukraine, March 13, 2022

Fox News, Biden allowing Putin to impose his will on US, says military expert, March 14, 2022

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Exporting a Motor Vehicle, Interpretation and Application of 19 CFR Part 192, accessed March 16, 2022

World Population Review, OFAC Countries 2022, accessed March 16, 2022

United Nations, Global Trade in Used Vehicles Report, Oct. 26, 2020

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News video of shot up car was filmed in Ukraine, not West Virginia

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