Russia-Ukraine TikTok Is A Minefield Of Fake Videos & The 'Ghost Of Kyiv' Is One Of Them
They're good stories but they don't hold up 👀
Have you heard about the "Ghost of Kyiv" fighter pilot, or seen video of a "Ukrainian" girl yelling at a "Russian" soldier?
Well, there's a common thread between them: they're just a few of the many false or misleading videos circulating during the Russia-Ukraine war, as social media companies struggle to keep up with a flood of footage online.
So why are there so many fake stories coming out right now?
According to the Associated Press, Russia is using TikTok as a tool to spread war propaganda.
However, many people have also pounced on feel-good stories involving the Ukrainian side of the fight, and the Ukrainian government has been eager to promote them.
Here are a few of the most popular Russia-Ukraine stories you might have seen on TikTok — and the real stories behind them.
The Ghost of Kyiv
This is likely the most notorious video that has been floating around the internet since the first day of the invasion. The "Ghost of Kyiv" video shows a fighter pilot flying around the skies, shooting down several alleged Russian jets at a time.
In other words, it's not real life.
Twitter has flagged the clip as "out of context," but misleading videos about it are still racking up tens of millions of views on TikTok.
Ukrainian pilot who is 6-0 shoots down a Russian Su-35 with his Mig-29. He\u2019s been nicknamed the ghost of Kyiv, and is the first pilot since WW2 to achieve ace status!pic.twitter.com/WsoadzLrdQ— Olegi21 \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b (@Olegi21 \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9b) 1645786874
Even the official Ukrainian Twitter accounted tweeted about the mysterious "Ghost of Kyiv," amplifying the misinformation.
People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so \u2014 this UAF ace dominates the skies over our capital and country, and has already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircrafts.pic.twitter.com/lngfaMN01I— Ukraine / \u0423\u043a\u0440\u0430\u0457\u043d\u0430 (@Ukraine / \u0423\u043a\u0440\u0430\u0457\u043d\u0430) 1645946557
The fighter jet that you see flying around is from a 2008 PC game called Digital Combat Simulator, according to reports.
A girl yells at a Russian soldier
This video went viral super quick, with 14 million views to date. It shows what people assume is a Ukrainian girl punching at a Russian soldier.
What people didn't realize is that the video is actually from 2012, and it's from a confrontation between Israeli troops and a Palestinian girl.
Here's a longer version of the video that went up 10 years ago. It's been watched more than 51 million times because it's just that powerful.
While these two stories are the most viral, other videos are constantly being posted that are reusing previous videos or sounds, according to Vox.
That's what happened with the Ghost of Kyiv, and it's not the only case.
Ukraine's deadly 'F--- you' from Snake Island
Another widely-shared story describes how 13 Ukrainian soldiers refused to surrender to a Russian warship on Ukraine's Snake Island.
"Go f--k yourself," they can be heard saying in an audio clip.
Early reports said they were killed shortly afterward, and many news outlets shared that version of the story.
Ukrainian troops were defending a tiny island in the Black Sea before they were killed #ukraine #russia #army #invasion #warship
But they didn't get killed.
The Ukrainian Navy later posted that the soldiers are "alive and well," although they did end up getting captured by Russia.
So what's the lesson?
Don't believe everything you see on TikTok, because there's a PR war going on at the same time as the military one.
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