A helicopter flying in foggy conditions crashed on Wednesday, Jan. 18, into a kindergarten in a residential suburb of Kyiv, killing Ukraine’s interior minister and about a dozen other people, including a child on the ground, authorities said.
There was no immediate word on whether the helicopter crash, which occurred in the capital's eastern suburb of Brovary, was an accident or related to the war, but Ukrainian authorities immediately opened an investigation. No fighting has been reported recently in the capital region.
After news of the crash broke, two videos were posted online claiming to show the helicopter making impact. VERIFY fact-checked whether these videos show the scene from Kyiv.
This video with thousands of views shows a white helicopter falling to the ground with a bright blue sky in the background.
Does this video show the Jan. 18 helicopter crash in Kyiv, Ukraine?
This video isn’t from the Jan. 18 crash in Ukraine. It’s actually from a 2022 crash in Rowlett, Texas.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using InVid, a video forensics tool, VERIFY analyzed the keyframes of the viral video and conducted a reverse image search of the frames.
VERIFY was able to trace the video to March 25, 2022, when a bystander recorded a helicopter crashing to the ground in a Rowlett, Texas, neighborhood.
VERIFY partner station WFAA posted the original video to YouTube. Two people died in the crash, WFAA reported.
The video posted to Twitter on Jan. 18, 2023, with claims it was filmed in Ukraine, matches frame-by-frame a video WFAA posted in March 2022.
Further, the weather conditions seen in the video don’t tally with the weather seen in verified footage of the actual helicopter crash in Kyiv on Jan. 18. The neighborhood also doesn’t match. Photos from The Associated Press show overcast skies and a suburban neighborhood with tall buildings where the helicopter crashed into a kindergarten.
This video, which has been viewed thousands of times on Twitter, shows a helicopter bouncing off the tarmac before it spins uncontrollably and explodes.
Does this video show the January 2023 crash in Kyiv, Ukraine?
No, the video does not show the crash in Ukraine. It actually shows a helicopter crash that happened at a Russian air show in 2014.
WHAT WE FOUND
This video was taken in September 2014 at Gelendzhik Airport in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, not in Kyiv, Ukraine, as the viral tweet suggested.
VERIFY was able to trace the footage using video forensic tools InVid and RevEye.
A video of the 2014 crash was posted to YouTube and shows the same helicopter, background and fiery landing, beginning at around 1 minute, 15 seconds into the 2014 clip.
According to an incident report from the crash, the helicopter that crashed in 2014 was a Mi-8 that bounced after a hard landing during an air show. The tail boom broke off the helicopter, causing the pilot to lose control, the report said. A fuel leak caused it to burst into flames.
Google Maps imagery also confirms the helicopter crash was taken at the Gelendzhik Airport, not in the suburban area of Kyiv where the Jan. 18 crash happened.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.