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Russia uses video game footage as ‘real’ war footage from Syria

Russian state media uses computer game footage to replace war footage (YouTube)
February 28, 2018

In a tribute to Russia’s armed forces marking the Defender of the Fatherland Day, Russia’s state-run Channel One TV used computer game footage and tried to pass it off as war footage from Syria, the Washington Post reported.

The footage was a part of a segment dedicated to Senior Lt. Alexander Prokhorenko, a Russian pilot who ordered friendly jets to bomb his position in March 2016 to prevent ISIS from capturing him during the freeing of the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria. He was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.

During the segment, Channel 1 showed combat footage of airstrikes and Su-25s operating in Syria. However, during the tribute, footage from a video game is edited in. The footage comes from combat simulator Arma III, made by Bohemia Interactive.

The computer game was identified on the Reddit-like website Pikabu, making people wonder if the spliced footage was a mistake or if it was intentional.

Company spokesman Ota Vrtatko told the Washington Post that the footage did, in fact, come from their game.

“We didn’t provide any authorization for using footage from our game in this way,” Vrtatko said.

In a statement to radio station Govorit Moskva, Channel One said that an editor made a mistake using the clip from a previous story on computer games.

“The use of this shot was a mistake made by the editor who took it from the archive. Earlier this frame was used in a package about computer games,” the statement read.

In November, Russia’s foreign minister claimed that the U.S. was providing support to ISIS. The images provided as evidence were from the iOS game “AC-130 Gunship Simulator.”