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With the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to disseminate the fact from the fiction in the quagmire of online social media. A lot of information is coming out that hasn’t been correctly fact checked and as such can leak its way into the mainstream before anybody has the chance to make sure it’s legit.
This appears to be the case with a piece of viral footage that’s been doing the rounds reportedly of the now infamous ‘Ghost of Kyiv’, but it turns out that after some thorough analysis, it is actually from a video game.
A quick bit of background if you’re unfamiliar with who the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ is supposed to be. On the second day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it was reported that a mysterious MiG-29 pilot had downed six Russian aircraft. This story was seemingly corroborated by CNN who said that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army noted five fighter jets and one helicopter had been shot down. Two and two started to be put together and suddenly we have this story. People went searching for footage of the pilot in action, and the below clip started to pick up steam.
#BREAKING— Ukrainelive (@Ukrainelive5) February 25, 2022
Crazy footage of a MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force shooting down a Su-35 fighter jet of #Russia’s Air Force over Ukraine’s capital #Kyiv today. Likely using the R-73 infrared homing missile. #Ukraine #RussiaInvadesUkraine #worldwar3 #WorldWarIII #WWIII pic.twitter.com/MWGRfhnexB
So then, as reported by Kotaku, the footage of this mythical ace pilot is actually from a 2013 game called Digital Combat Simulator: World. Originally uploaded to YouTube by Comrade_Corb as an homage to the rumours of the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’, the description reads “This footage is from DCS, but is nevertheless made out of respect for “The Ghost of Kiev.” If he is real, may God be with him; if he is fake, I pray for more like “him.”
You can very easily see how this footage could have been mistaken as real. The game was specifically designed to look realistic, and is set in the Caucasus region near Russia, Georgia and Crimea, so everything fits. This isn’t the first time this has happened during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, either. Just a few days ago footage from the military strategy game Arma III began to circulate with less than reputable sources claiming it to be footage from inside the country. As always, it’s important to assess all information you read online with a critical eye.
Featured Image Credit: Eagle Dynamics / Comrade_Corb via YouTube
Topics: Real Life
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