Surrendering Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol. Screenshot from RIA NOVOSTI
An American mainstream “military analyst”, the four-star General Barry McCaffrey on Monday tweeted a sequence from a 2015 video game Arma 3 as the actual footage of Ukrainian forces downing a Russian aircraft.
It is quite surprising that the high-ranking military officer did not verify the content he chose to spread on his social media account since it is not the first time the pro-Ukraine faction has published video game footage of genuine Ukraine victories.
In fact, the Ukrainian government had previously released at least two video game clips for propaganda in recent months. In a short clip of the Arma 3 video gameplay, an imaginary Russian MiG-29 gets shot down by an air defense system.
“Russian aircraft getting nailed by UKR missile defense. Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft. UKR air defense becoming formidable,” McCaffrey announced on Twitter.
Faced with a deluge of mocking and incredulous comments, McCaffrey quickly deleted the embarrassing post. The fake footage did not stop CNN pro-Ukraine pundit Max Boot from retweeting it.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had used Arma 3 video game footage before to claim non-existent victories.
On Monday meanwhile, the surrender of hundreds of Azov Battalion fighters that had been holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel factory was described by the mainstream media as an “evacuation” and an “end” to their “combat mission”.
The New York Times, CNN, AP and other outlets tried to downplay what could be a devastating turn of events for the Ukrainian General Staff. Ukrainian soldiers will no doubt be dismayed by the lack of support they have now witnessed, not only from their superiors but also from their Western sponsors, after they were abandoned by them.
The headquarters of the territorial defense of the DPR said that so far 256 people have surrendered at Azovstal, of which 51 were wounded. The DPR reported that they were preparing reserve capacities to receive 2000 prisoners of war.