Fact Check-Animation miscaptioned as if to show video of Ukrainian fighter jet shooting down Russian plane

A clip from the videogame Digital Combat Simulator has been miscaptioned online, with social media users claiming it shows a Ukrainian fighter jet shooting down a Russian plane.

Social media users are sharing the story of a Ukrainian jet fighter that purportedly singlehandedly downed six Russian aircrafts, dubbed online as “the Ghost of Kyiv.” Reuters has not independently verified this account (more on this, here).

The Ukrainian military said on Feb. 24 that five Russian planes and a Russian helicopter were shot down in the Luhansk region. It has not been confirmed that a single Ukrainian pilot shot down the aircrafts, however ( here ).

Iterations of the miscaptioned simulator clip that have garnered thousands of views can be seen ( here ), ( here ), ( here ), ( here ). The vertical video appears to show a jet shooting another aircraft in the sky.

The same clip was posted on YouTube on Feb. 24, 2022 ( here ). The description of the video clarifies the footage “is from DCS” and adds it was “made out of respect for ‘The Ghost of Kiev.´”

DCS is short for Digital Combat Simulator World, “free-to-play” digital battlefield game developed by Eagle Dynamics ( here ), ( here ).

Matthias Techmanski, a spokesperson for Eagle Dynamics, confirmed to Reuters via email that the footage circulating on social media is from DCS. “We are not responsible for its distribution, nor do we endorse such content,” he added.

Videos of the DCS game resembling the animation in the clip on social media can be seen ( ), ( ), ( ), and ( here ) for comparison.


Miscaptioned. A vertical video shared online does not show a Ukrainian fighter jet shooting down a Russian plane, but comes from the videogame DCS.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.