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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 28, 2022

No, this Edmonton jacket isn’t proof CNN staged a fire as part of its Ukraine coverage

If Your Time is short

  • A Canadian charity has for years donated firefighter gear to Ukrainians. A jacket bearing the name of the city Edmonton that appeared in live CNN coverage in Ukraine came from the group, the charity said. 

CNN anchor Don Lemon has been reporting from Ukraine. In a clip that shows him wearing a helmet and standing in front of a fire following an air strike near Lviv, he talks about a fuel depot burning after what Ukrainian officials called a Russian attack. 

But some people watching the broadcast noticed the appearance of someone in the background wearing a jacket bearing the word "Edmonton," and pointed to that moment as evidence that what they were seeing was a hoax. 

"CNN=Fake News," one March 28 tweet said. "CNN makes a fire in Edmonton, Canada, resemble attacks in Lviv, Ukraine. However, the images clearly show firefighters' uniforms with ‘Edmonton’ written on their back. This is another example of why you shouldn’t trust the MSM."

"Idk but this seem very odd. #donlemon in #ukraine ? What do you think?," a March 27 Facebook post said. "#cnnisfakenews."

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.)

Featured Fact-check

If you search for terms like "Edmonton" and "firefighter" and "Ukraine," you’ll find not evidence of a staged disaster, but news stories about how a Canadian charity donated firefighting gear to Ukrainians. 

"Firefighter Aid Ukraine, an Edmonton organization providing critical firefighter gear to Ukraine for nearly a decade, believes the jacket is likely one of many donated to first responders," reported CTV News. 

In fact, Firefighter Aid Ukraine posted a screenshot of CNN’s coverage on Facebook on March 26 because it showed Ukrainian firefighters "near Lviv wearing gear donated by Edmonton firefighters." 


An April 2019 Instagram post from the group shows piles of jackets bound for Ukraine. A 2018 post says: "Sharing more gear outside Lviv." The second photo in this post shows someone holding up a jacket that says "Edmonton" that resembles the one that appears in the CNN broadcast. 

We rate claims that this jacket is evidence that CNN staged the scene, or that Lemon isn’t in Ukraine, False.


Our Sources

Tweet, March 28, 2022

Facebook post, March 27, 2022

CNN, Lemon reports from airstrike aftermath near Lviv, March 26, 2022

CTV News, Edmonton firefighting gear featured in Ukrainian conflict coverage, March 27, 2022

Firefighter Aid Ukraine post, March 26, 2022

Firefighter Aid Ukraine website, visited March 28, 2022

Firefighter Aid Ukraine Instagram post, April 6, 2019

Firefighter Aid Ukraine Instagram post, May 15, 2018

CBC, Under-equipped Ukrainian firefighters 'blown away' by donated Alberta gear, Oct. 9, 2017


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No, this Edmonton jacket isn’t proof CNN staged a fire as part of its Ukraine coverage

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