The Claim and Our Verdict
The claim: A video circulating online claims to show the recent Crimean Bridge blast.
- The video has been circulating online since at least May 2022, so it is impossible to show the Crimean Bridge explosion on Oct. 8, 2022.
- According to the videos released by the Guardian and CNN, when the explosion occurred, the sky was not clear, and the surrounding area was still dark. Apparently, it was not daytime as shown in the viral video. Moreover, some digital forensics experts have told the Associated Press Fact Check that the video shows signs of alteration.
Our verdict: The viral video has been circulating online since at least May 2022. It does not show the recent Crimean Bridge explosion.
A video shared Oct. 8, 2022, on Facebook, claims to show the Crimean Bridge blast during the recent Russia-Ukraine war. The traditional Chinese-language caption translates as, “the moment when the Crimean Bridge was attacked.”
According to Reuters and the Russian news agency Sputnik, at 6:07 a.m. Oct. 8, 2022, part of the road deck of the Crimean Bridge collapsed in a huge explosion. The Crimean Bridge, also known as Kerch Strait Bridge, is the only bridge linking Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula. It is the key supply route for Russia during the Russia-Ukraine War.
As of the publication of this report, the Facebook post had been shared 28 times, and had received 31 comments as well as 513 likes and reactions. Similar claims have been circulating on Twitter.
Through reverse image searches, a YouTube video, titled “The Crimean Bridge Was Blown Up! Someone Made a Fake Video!” (Крымский мост взорвали! Кто-то сделал видео фейк!), published May 9, 2022 has been found. The YouTube video corresponds to the viral video in many details. Therefore, both videos show the same scene.
The same footage has been circulating online since at least May 9, 2022, so it does not show the Crimean Bridge explosion on Oct. 8, 2022.
A keyword search of the news content released by major international news agencies produced no results related to an explosion of the Crimean Bridge in May 2022. On May 9, 2022, RIA Novosti reported that Crimean officials denied the rumors about the bridge explosion.
With further searches on the data of the time zone website Time and Date, it has been found that the sunrise time of Kerch, where the Crimean Bridge is located, was 6:40 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2022. The time when the Crimean Bridge exploded was 6:07 a.m. Therefore, it was impossible to be daytime at the time of the explosion as shown in the viral video.
Furthermore, video reports from The Guardian and CNN also show that when the Crimean Bridge exploded on Oct. 8, the sky was not clear, and the surrounding area was still dark. Apparently, it was not daytime as shown in the viral video.
Some digital forensic experts think that the authenticity of the video is questionable. The Associated Press Fact Check sent an inquiry to Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, whose work focuses on digital forensics and disinformation. In his email reply to the AP, Farid said he had found two nearly identical individual frames. He saw this as a sign that the video had been edited, and this would be “highly unlikely given the motion in the scene and car.” Therefore, he said that it was not an authentic video. Catalin Grigoras, director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado Denver, also responded to the AP’s inquiry and said that the video contained traces of both audio and video effects.
The viral video has been circulating online since at least May 2022. It does not show the recent Crimean Bridge explosion.
- Facebook, post, Oct. 8, 2022.
- Reuters, “Blast hits Crimea bridge central to Russia war effort,” Oct. 8, 2022.
- Sputnik, “Truck explodes on Crimea Bridge,” Oct. 8, 2022.
- BBC News, “Crimea Bridge Partially Reopened After Huge Explosion: Why It Matters,” Oct. 9, 2022.
- Twitter, tweet, Oct. 8, 2022.
- YouTube, “Крымский мост взорвали! Кто-то сделал видео фейк!,” May 9, 2022.
- RIA Novosti, “В Крыму опровергли информацию о взрыве на Крымском мосту,” May 9, 2022.
- AP News, “Old video doesn’t show Kerch Bridge explosion,” Oct. 11, 2022.
- Time and Date, Kerch, Ukraine—Sunrise, Sunset, and Daylength.
- The Guardian, “Kerch bridge explosion: CCTV appears to show Crimea bridge blast,” Oct. 8, 2022.
- CNN, “Massive blast cripples parts of Crimea-Russia bridge, in blow to Putin’s war effort,” Oct. 8, 2022.