This animation video circulated online months before Russia's attack on Ukraine

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A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook alongside a claim it shows Russia bombing Ukraine. The video was shared shortly after Russian forces invaded the neighbouring country. But the video has been shared in a false context: it is actually an animation clip that has circulated online since at least October 2021.

The 16-second video was published here on Facebook on February 24, 2022.

The clip, which appears to show continuous flashes and explosions at night in a residential area, has been viewed more than 74,000 times.

The post's Burmese-language caption translates to English as: "Russia VS Ukraine".

A screenshot of the misleading post, taken on February 28, 2022

The video began circulating online alongside a similar claim within hours of Russian troops invading Ukraine.

Explosions were soon reported in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and in several other cities, AFP reported here and here.

One of the Burmese-language comments translates as: "I'm very sorry to see this. Why are they so greedy? May the people of Ukraine overcome this."

Another comment reads: "Let both presidents fight! Why are they making trouble for innocent people?!"

The video has been viewed more than 16,000 times after being shared with alongside a similar claim here, here and here.

But the claim is false.

Keyword searches found this video, which was published on YouTube on October 23, 2021, with a caption that explains it is a computer-generated imagery (CGI).

It also includes hashtags #ww2 — for World War II — and #the1940s.

The Instagram user borisao_blois describes himself as a 3D animator.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Boris J.A (@borisao_blois)

The video was also posted here on his TikTok account on October 2, 2021, and appeared in this video compilation, published on his YouTube channel October 22, 2021.

Captions in both posts describe the footage as a CGI or animation.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted a spike in misleading claims online. AFP has debunked multiple other claims here.

Ukraine-Russia conflict