Disinfo: Combat footage of Russian heroism in Syria


Senior Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko, suddenly surrounded by the enemy,  made a decision that would earn him the rare title of Hero of the Russian Federation. He called his own grid coordinates and ordered friendly jets to bomb his position, in effect calling for his own death to deny the Islamic State the propaganda victory of a captured Russian soldier. The televised tribute spliced with combat footage of airstrikes to emphasize the moment, including roaring Su-25 ground support aircraft and one quick glimpse through a sniper’s scope of military vehicles blowing up.


The scene used to illustrate this event is from the popular combat simulator Arma III, a video game made by Prague-based Bohemia Interactive. It’s not the first time the Russian government has inserted video-game footage to purportedly show combat in Syria. Bohemia Interactive confirmed that the split-second footage was taken from their game, company spokesman Ota Vrtatko told The Washington Post. “We didn’t provide any authorization for using footage from our game in this way,” Vrtatko said. The game is a combat simulator in which opposing teams battle with customized weapons in a giant “sandbox” environment.

The episode comes three months after Russia’s foreign minister said the country had “irrefutable evidence” that U.S. troops were giving Islamic State fighters safe passage after a key Russian operation against the militants. As evidence, Russia provided images of drone footage, lifted from a smartphone game in which players attack nondescript convoys from the controls of a U.S. gunship. www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/02/26/russian-state-media-just-mixed-up-syrian-war-footage-with-a-video-game-clip/?utm_term=.843f08837101,


  • Reported in: Issue 99
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/02/2018
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: Military, Syrian War
  • Outlet: Pervyi Kanal
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