The Claim and Our Verdict
The claim: A video circulating on Facebook claims to show British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flying a jet to visit Ukraine.
Fact-checking: The video actually shows Johnson flying in the Typhoon fighter jet at Royal Air Force Coningsby in Lincolnshire, England, on July 14, 2022. Johnson’s latest visit to Ukraine took place June 17, 2022. No evidence can be found from the official U.K. government website that Johnson has visited Ukraine around July 14, 2022.
Our verdict: This video does not show British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flying a jet to Ukraine. Instead, it shows him flying in a fighter jet at a Royal Air Force Station.
A video shared July 19, 2022, on Facebook, appears to show British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flying in a fighter jet. The caption, written in traditional Chinese, translates as, “Guess what? It’s the British version of Maverick flying to Ukraine with a full tank of fuel.” Maverick refers to Peter Mitchell, the pilot played by Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun, with “Maverick” as his nickname. The post refers to Johnson’s role as a “pilot,” flying a jet to Ukraine and making a visit.
As of the publication of this report, the Facebook post had been shared 15 times, and it had received 12 comments as well as 23 likes or reactions.
After searching with keywords, a YouTube video released July 18, 2022 by the Prime Minister’s office has been found. It is titled “Boris Johnson’s POV as he flies in a Typhoon fighter jet.” The Facebook video has been captured from the first 22 seconds of this YouTube video.
According to the description of the YouTube video, it shows Johnson flying in a Typhoon fighter jet taking off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Johnson mentioned the flight in his July 18 speech. The transcript of the July 18 speech delivered at the Farnborough Air Show can be found on the U.K. government website. In his remarks, he said that he had taken a ride in the Typhoon fighter jet taking off from Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby on July 14, accompanied by RAF wing commander Paul Hanson. The Guardian and Daily Mail have reported Johnson’s flight at Coningsby. Neither Johnson’s speech nor the media reports have mentioned that he flied in the jet to Ukraine.
According to the media reports and the tweet published by Johnson, the Prime Minister’s most recent visit to Ukraine was on June 17, 2022. After searching the latest updates from the Prime Minister’s office, Johnson has not visited Ukraine around July 14, 2022.
This video does not show British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flying a jet to Ukraine. Instead, it shows him flying in a fighter jet at a Royal Air Force Station.
- IMDb, Top Gun (1986).
- YouTube, “Boris Johnson’s POV as he flies in a Typhoon fighter jet,” July 18, 2022.
- The U.K. government website, “PM’s remarks at Farnborough Air Show: 18 July 2022,” July 18, 2022.
- The Guardian, “Boris Johnson visited RAF Coningsby as Tories vote on his replacement,” July 17, 2022.
- Daily Mail, “Boris Johnson jokes about sending his Tory enemies ‘into orbit’ as outgoing PM shares video from flight in a £75million RAF Typhoon jet while channelling Tom Cruise and comparing his spell in Number 10 to being a fighter ace,” July 19, 2022.
- Daily Mirror, “Chillaxing Boris Johnson takes selfie video in a Typhoon jet in jolly last days as PM,” July 18, 2022.
- BBC, “Ukraine war: Boris Johnson travels to Kyiv to meet Volodymyr Zelensky,” June 17, 2022.
- Twitter, tweet, June 17, 2022
- The U.K. government website, Latest from the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street.