Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which started on February 24, has been dominating the news in recent weeks, with reports on military operations, the refugee crisis, sanctions on Russian companies and politicians, and the diplomatic negotiations for a ceasefire or the long-awaited end to the conflict. This torrent of information has been amplified by social media, which, as expected, have also been used for sharing lots of false claims about the conflict. The Blasting News editorial team now identifies the most shared Fake News on social media around the world to help you understand what is true and what is not about the War in Ukraine.


It is false that the U.S. has biological weapons labs in Ukraine

False claim: Social media users around the world have shared claims that U.S.-funded labs in Ukraine are developing biological weapons.

The posts echo a discourse promoted by Russian officials in recent years and now used to justify the country's decision to invade Ukraine.


  • Since 2005, as part of the Biological Threat Reduction Program, the United States has partnered with Ukraine to modernize the biological research laboratories that the European country inherited from the period when it was part of the Soviet Union.
  • Under the agreement, the U.S. Department of Defense is committed to helping the Ukrainian Ministry of Health ensure that the country's laboratories that study diseases cannot be used to develop biological weapons and to better detect, diagnose, and monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases.
  • According to the Defense Department, the United States has invested approximately $200 million in Ukraine since 2005, supporting 46 Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities, and diagnostic sites.
  • Both the U.S. and Ukraine are signatories to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibits the development, production, and possession of biological weapons.


No evidence Putin threatened FIFA over its decision to ban Russia from the World Cup

False claim: After FIFA and UEFA announced the indefinite suspension of Russia's national teams and clubs from participating in any international competition due to the invasion of Ukraine, social media users claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly made the following threat: “Russia will play at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup or there will be no World Cup to talk about.”


  • On the Kremlin website, where all Putin’s public speeches are transcribed, there is no reference to the statement shared on social media.
  • The alleged statement was also not reported by any major media outlet, either in Russia or in any Western countries.
  • On March 8, the Russian Football Federation has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) against the exclusion of all its national teams and clubs from international competitions.


Ukrainians did not put Russian tank for sale on eBay

False claim: Social media users in Europe have shared the claim that Ukrainians allegedly put a Russian tank up for sale on eBay for $400,000.

The posts are followed by a screenshot of the alleged ad, in which it is claimed that the vehicle is “fully functional.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the photo used in the ad was published in 2010 on the U.S.-based military news website DefenceTalk.
  • In a statement to Reuters, eBay said it is impossible to place such an ad on the platform, as the company's policy prohibits the sale of military equipment, including decommissioned vehicles and weapons.

Latin America

Images of “Ghost of Kiev” are just video game simulations

False claim: Social media users in Latin America have shared a video allegedly showing a Ukrainian Air Force pilot in action during the current war with Russia.

According to the posts, the pilot nicknamed the "Ghost of Kiev" shot down at least 6 Russian fighter jets in a 30-hour period.


  • A reverse image search shows that the video was originally posted on YouTube on February 24, 2021 by user Comrade_Corb, who specified in the description of the post that the clip was created in the video game “Digital Combat Simulator.”
  • In a statement to Reuters, Eagle Dynamics, the game's developer, confirmed that the images circulating on social media are from “Digital Combat Simulator World,” but criticized the use of the images to spread fake news.
  • There is no official information that a Ukrainian Air Force pilot was responsible for shooting down at least 6 Russian fighter jets during the current conflict.


Image of Ukrainian President holding a swastika jersey is doctored

False claim: Social media users in Brazil have shared a supposed image of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holding a jersey of the country's national soccer team printed with a Nazi swastika.


  • A reverse image search shows that the image was originally posted on June 8, 2021 on Zelensky's official Instagram profile.
  • In the photo it is possible to see the Ukrainian president holding the jersey with the number 95 printed on it, a reference to the TV production company Kvartal 95, where Zelensky worked.
  • The original image was therefore digitally manipulated to make it appear that Zelensky was holding the shirt with a Nazi symbol on it.


Russia did not send two nuclear bombers to Venezuela

False claim: Social media users in Nigeria have shared the claim that Russia allegedly sent two nuclear bombers to Venezuela. The posts are followed by a CNN report that informs that the aircraft landed in what it describes as “America’s backyard.”


  • A reverse image search shows that the CNN report shared in the posts is legit, however, it was broadcasted on December 12, 2018.
  • At the time, the Russian government sent two supersonic Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela, capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles with a range of over 3,400 miles (5,472 kilometers).
  • According to official reports from Moscow and Caracas, the aircraft flew to Venezuela in 2018 for a joint training exercise. Experts, however, claimed that the move was focused on showcasing Russian military power and demonstrating Moscow's support for President Nicolás Maduro.