No, a Ukrainian plane didn’t hit a street sign while avoiding Russian radar
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Social media users have been circulating two photos showing a Ukrainian airplane that they say smacked into a street sign because it was flying low to avoid Russian radar. In reality, this incident happened during a training exercise back in August 2020 and has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine.
If you only have a minute
- People have been sharing two photos of a plane, claiming that a Ukrainian pilot, hoping to avoid being picked up by Russian radar, flew so low that he hit a street sign.
- The footage is real, but the incident occurred when a pilot landed on a closed section of the highway during a military exercise in 2020, two years before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The verification in detail
“Ukrainian pilots are flying so low to avoid radar that this one collected a street sign on the way that lodged in one of its intakes,” reads this tweet from March 28, which has since garnered more than 4,700 likes.
The post features two photos. One shows a plane landing on a road, snagging a road sign in its path. The second is a close-up of the street sign crushed against the plane on the ground.
Footage of a 2020 incident, long before the current war in Ukraine
There’s a red banner across the first image of a plane indicating that the image belongs to “TCH”.
Our team did a simple search on Google using the words “Ukrainian”, “street sign” and “TCH” in Ukrainian and pulled up a report from Ukrainian television channel TCH from August 27, 2020.
The caption says that this Ukrainian airplane smacked into a street sign while doing a training exercise on a closed section of the M06 international highway which runs between Kyiv and the Hungarian border near the city of Chop.
It explains that a section of the highway was converted to a landing strip and cars were directed around it.
Other media outlets also covered the incident. Business Insider published an article about it on August 31, 2020.
Other images of the landing were shared by the Ukrainian channel Kanal 5.
Our team ran the photos that have been circulating along with this story through the InVidVerify tool (check out how here). From there, we were able to see even more articles covering the 2020 incident, including this one on a blog about issues relating to defence.