A video of user-generated gameplay from ARMA 3, an open military sandbox game, is falsely being shared on social media as conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The video is a little more than eight minutes long, and shows various scenarios of fixed anti-aircraft guns shooting at planes flying overhead.
ARMA 3 lets users generate customised content based on futuristic military activities. It was released by Bohemia Interactive for Microsoft Windows in 2013.
The video can be seen below. It carries the caption:
"#Russia Vs Ukraine Fighting Mig29 vs C-Ram"
The title of the video or the caption carries no indication that it is from a video game, since several gamers make such make-believe conflicts between countries to set their game in, but make it explicit that the footage they share is ultimately from a video game.
The premise of this video is the ongoing conflict on the eastern border of Ukraine with Russia. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order recognising two breakaway and self-proclaimed republics - Luhansk and Donetsk - that have broken away from Ukraine and make up the Donbass region.
BOOM started by breaking the video into keyframes, running reverse image searches using Google on these keyframes.
This video is an identical copy of another video which is 8 minutes and 19 seconds long.
It is titled, 'ArmA 3 - MiG-29 in Action vs C-RAM - Phalanx CIWS - C RAM - Tracer Firing - Simulation' and has more than 14.5 million views.
Further, BOOM found several videos showing ARMA 3 playthroughs. All of these playthroughs show different kinds of guns firing at aircraft, but similar visuals and sound effects.
Another example of an ARMA 3 video can be seen below.
This is not the first time that footage from ARMA 3 has been used when conflict between countries have taken centre-stage.
Footage also went viral when the United States killed Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani in 2020.