This photo shows a plane towed for a 2011 exhibit in Croatia

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A photo of a tractor towing a military aircraft has been shared thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows a Ukrainian farmer capturing a Russian jet. While there have been reports of Ukrainian farmers making off with Russian military hardware, the picture was taken at an exhibit in 2011 to mark the anniversary of the armed forces of Croatia.

"BREAKING: Ukrainian farmer captured a Russian military jet," reads a screenshot shared in a Facebook post from March 10.

A screenshot of the false claim shared on Facebook, taken on March 21, 2022

The photo was shared in similar Facebook posts around the world, including in the Czech Republic and Hong Kong.

It appears to originate from a tweet from March 11 that has been shared more than 9,000 times.

There have been reports of Ukrainian farmers towing away captured Russian military hardware as ordinary people show resistance to the invasion.

However, the photo was taken in Croatia years before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Google reverse searches found the picture in an article from May 26, 2011 by Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list.

It said the photo was taken during preparations for a military weapons display to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Croatian armed forces.

Screenshot comparison of the image in false posts (L) and in Jutarnji list's article (R)

Local newspaper 24sata published the same photo in a report on May 26, 2011, which said the aircraft was towed through the streets of Zagreb at night ahead of the exhibit in the capital's Jarun district.

24sata published various photos of the plane from different angles, one of which can be found on the Croatian defence ministry's website in an article about the exhibit.

An article by the Croatian defence ministry about the military display, which features a similar photo of the plane

The plane features the national emblem of Croatia, a checkerboard of red and white.

A screenshot of the image with the checkerboard circled by AFP.

AFP has debunked a wave of false and misleading claims around the Ukraine conflict.

Ukraine-Russia conflict