Fact Check

Video of missile raids in Ukraine not recent

Claim: A viral video on WhatsApp showcases shells of missiles alleged to have been released by Russia into Ukraine.

The viral video on WhatsApp showing shells of missiles alleged to have been released by Russia on Ukraine is false. The footage was that of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of 2021, the two sides were reported to have exchanged missile fires. 

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The Russia-Ukraine tension has arguably been on top of the news chat lately. Yesterday, several news reports  said Russia had invaded Ukraine. While the news was still fresh,  several narratives with different versions made the rounds. 

One claim making the rounds on WhatsApp  showcased an alleged shelling of Russian missiles into Ukraine. 

The footage, which is apparently taken at night, depicts several missile shelling at night time like the splash of fireworks on a new year’s day. 

Although there is  no obvious statement attached to the video, multiple users who came across it seem to acknowledge the  footage as that of the Russian missiles released on Ukraine over the night. 

On a certain WhatsApp group where the video was shared, most members who commented on it panicked, while others called on the Nigerian Government to extract its citizens from Ukraine. 

“Jesus, I can’t believe my eyes. God, please have mercy on us.” One user expressed. 

“Buhari should please return our brothers and sisters over there. Russia is ready to destroy Ukraine,” one user added. 

In the past, DUBAWA has debunked several claims around conflicts that  use  multimedia content to paint a usually misleading narrative. 


When DUBAWA subjected the video to a frame by frame analysis  of the InVid verification tool, the results show that the frames of the video have been used several times in different reports about the Israeli-Palestinian crises that took place in May 2021.  

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict commenced on 10 May 2021, and continued until 21 May 2021. The conflict reported rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas, and Israeli airstrikes targeting the Gaza Strip.

It is clips from these crises that are now used to depict the Ukrainian/Russian conflict. In a report by Portal Islam in May 2021, a frame from the alleged video was used to account for Hamas’ attack on Israel. “Hamas rockets hit Tel Aviv’s heart,  flying far from Haifa to Nazareth,” the headline stated. 

screenshot of the 2021 report by Portal Islam
similar frame taken from the alleged video

Further details of the video show it was a combination of five different clips taken from the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts of May 2021. 

In fact, parts of the acclaimed video have also appeared on a Twitter post that was shared by Fahmidah Yousfi (@fahmidahyousfi) back in May 2021. The user posted the video  with the statement: 

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine just issued a new warning to Israel: “Destroy any more residential towers in Gaza and we will destroy TelAviv. And Hamas fired 130 rockets at Tel Aviv🔥🔥🔥.”

A screenshot of the video clip shared by a Twitter user in 2021

While tensions have continued to escalate between Russia and Ukraine, no credible news media has shared this footage or something similar to depict the Russian attacks on Ukraine. 


Though reports show Russia has made attempts to attack Ukraine, the alleged video dates back to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict of May, 2021. This claim is false. 

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