While reporting on the war in Syria, Russian state television included footage from a realistic video game, presenting it as the real thing. This was the second time in four months that the Russian government, knowingly or not, tried to pass off video games as footage of real events. Russian TV viewers quickly spotted the bogus footage.Russia’s state-run Channel One network ran a segment on the country’s “Defender of the Fatherland Day.” As the segment covered the work of Su-25 “Frogfoot” ground attack pilots in Syria, including one killed earlier this month in combat, the network briefly cut to footage from the realistic first person shooter Arma 3. The footage can be seen here, at the 4:59 mark.
Back in November 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Defense argued that U.S. forces were providing military escorts to ISIS forces, preventing attacks by Russian and Syrian forces. Some of the footage Moscow presented as proof actually came from the iOS game “AC-130 Gunship Simulator”According to the BBC, Channel One has tried to explain away the goof by saying the Arma footage wormed its way into the network’s video archives after an unrelated segment on video games. Unlike in November 2017, when the Ministry of Defense was selling an unfounded conspiracy theory, this latest gaffe seems to be a simple mistake or bad editing.