Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show a German Leopard Tank Being Destroyed by Russian Army in Ukraine

Fact Check

  • by: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show a German Leopard Tank Being Destroyed by Russian Army in Ukraine Old Video

Did Russian soldiers recently destroy a German Leopard tank in Ukraine, proving the superiority of the Russian Army? No, that's not true: the video distributed by Romanian TikTok users is over a decade old and shows the test firing of a missile.

The story originated from a video (archived here) published by user @codruta.cerva03 on TikTok, on June 16, 2023. It opened:

Guys, NATO, USA and EU, I've been telling you to stay parked. But the voiceover's comments are delicious. I'm crying laughing.

In the lower half of the video, the caption reads:

Tank Leopard vs Tank t90ms

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-04 at 15.49.55.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jul 4 12:47:01 2023 UTC)

However, reverse image searches have shown that the video is over a decade old (some social media videos and articles were posted 12-14 years ago) presenting the test firing of a Swedish RBS-56 BILL anti-tank missile against an old Centurion tank filled with fuel and ammunition. The original voiceover (which is missing in the TikTok clips) shows this was a staged demonstration.

The clip was posted on various platforms, with some comments claiming it dates back to the '70s or '80s. While the exact production year doesn't appear in the video, it's clear the footage had been uploaded on the internet before the war in Ukraine.

  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

Read more about or contact Ioana Burtea

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