A video shows a buildup of NATO forces inside Ukraine.
On May 9, 2023, a pro-Russian TikTok account tweeted a video showing a large buildup of troops at an airport. The video was covered with text claiming it showed NATO soldiers “in Ukraine”, receiving more than 5 million views at the time of this report. A later video on the same account further alleged that there were “over 300,000” troops on the ground.
A repost of this same video on Twitter on May 18 gave it nearly half a million additional views:
These images are not recent, nor are they from Ukraine. It shows the first moments of NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan at Kabul International Airport in August 2021. The same video without Russia’s commentary was uploaded to YouTube on August 18, 2021, with the title “A soldier American Films MRAP Gunner Turret Mayhem in Kabul.”
The original description of the video provides this context:
The footage is filmed by a turret gunner in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) and shows the use of AH-64 Apache gunships to clear the runway of C-17 aircraft. It also gives an idea of the massive crowds of desperate Afghans hoping to hitchhike out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Because the video predates Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and because it was filmed in Afghanistan, we are evaluating the version claiming it shows a buildup of NATO forces in Ukraine “Bad caption”.