A video showing buildings getting razed to the ground following an aerial attack has gone viral with a claim that it shows a Russian attack on the Ministry of Defence building in Ukraine, amid the ongoing war between the two countries.
The claim comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine completes a month with Russian troops continuing their bombardment in Ukraine.
However, we found that the video, which dates back to May 2021, shows the demolition of the Al-Shorouk Tower in Gaza. The building was targeted during Israel's attack on Gaza in 2021.
The caption shared with the viral claim said:
"Three missiles, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense building was instantly razed to the ground. Before the Russian troops launched the missile, they did two strange things:
1. Notify foreign reporters to shoot nearby.
2. Notify all people in the building to evacuate.
The missile accurately blasted the ground floor and caused the building to collapse, and finally shot the middle
*Not an indiscriminate shooting; it is purely to shock Ukraine!"
The claim was shared by other social media users on Facebook and Twitter, archives of which can be found here and here.
The claim was also sent to us as a query on our WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We noticed the watermark of one "@omaralsersawi" on the viral video. We conducted a keyword search with the watermark and found an Instagram profile with the name.
While going through the Instagram profile, we found the viral video posted on 12 May 2021, months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, on 24 February.
A second post from the same day had a caption that said, "#gazaunderattack". Taking a cue from that, we conducted a reverse image search of some of the keyframes of the viral video with the keyword "Gaza".
We found news reports that carried the video. A tweet by ABC News on published on 14 May 2021 had the video and said, "Video shows the moment an Israeli airstrike hit and levelled the 14-story Al-Shorouk Tower in Gaza amid an escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.”
News reports published in other publications like Al Jazeera and CNN showed the collapse of the building from different angles. Reports said that Israeli defence forces had targeted several high rise buildings in Gaza.
We then checked for reports on Russia attacking Ukarine's Ministry of Defence buildings. While there have been reports of Russian attacks on government buildings in some regions of Ukraine, we didn't find any news report on an attack on the Ministry of Defence building.
Evidently, an old video from Gaza was shared to claim Russian attack in Ukraine destroyed a building that housed the Ministry of Defence.
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