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Fact Check-Clip of fire at depot was not filmed this month in Belgorod, Russia

A clip circulating online purporting to show a fire at an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod this month is not recent, but rather dates from at least April 1.

Some users shared the clip of the blaze after Ukrainian forces moved further across territory seized from fleeing Russian troops on Sept. 12. Per Ukraine’s chief commander, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the country’s forces had advanced north from Kharkiv to within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the border with Russia, while also pressing to the south and east in the same region (here).

One user, who shared the video on Facebook on Sept. 12, said: “Oil depot reported to be on fire at night in Belgorod, Russia” (here).

Another user said on Twitter: “It is reported that an oil depot was on fire in the Russian Belgorod at night” (here).

Other examples of the clip shared online can be found (here), (here), (here) and (here).

A reverse image search reveals the clip is not recent, however, and dates from at least April 1.

The clip was published by various news outlets at the time, including The Guardian, The Sun, The Express and Sky News (bit.ly/3RSH6tl), (bit.ly/3B69tgR), (here), (here).

On April 1, Reuters reported that Moscow had accused Kyiv of attacking a depot in Belgorod, while a top Kyiv security official denied responsibility (here), (here), (here).

Reuters has previously addressed miscaptioned clips that have circulated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February (here), (here), (here).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. This clip was published as early as April 1 by news outlets.

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

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