Video claiming to show NATO troops in Ukraine predates the Russian invasion | Fact check

The claim: Video shows NATO troops 'now in Ukraine'

A TikTok video shared on Twitter shows footage of large crowds near military planes and helicopters on a runway.

"In case you missed it, NATO soldiers now in Ukraine," reads the video's caption in the May 18 tweet (direct link, archive link).

Text superimposed over the video says: "Is World war 3 already starting (sic) it like a dream. Nato soldiers now in Ukraine."

The tweet was shared on Facebook more than 80 times in a week, according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool. It was retweeted more than 2,000 times.

Versions of the video were also posted on Instagram and TikTok.

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Our rating: False

The video has been circulating online since before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The footage has been online since August 2021 and matches footage taken at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan during the U.S. withdrawal from the country that month.

Video from 2021, shows US withdrawal from Afghanistan

In mid-August 2021, the same footage featured in the recent tweet was posted on both YouTube and Facebook. The captions said the footage was captured at the Kabul Airport.

The videos were posted shortly after crowds of people had gathered on the runway at the airport, some clinging to planes in an attempt to leave the country with American troops. The New York Times' reporting on the incident includes a video that appears to show the scene in the Twitter video shot from the other side of the runway.

The war in Ukraine began in February 2022 when Russia invaded the country.

A spokesperson for NATO − the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which the U.S. is a member − previously told USA TODAY that NATO is not commanding any troops in Ukraine. NATO's website also says the organization isn't sending troops to Ukraine.

However, recently leaked U.S. documents appear to show that certain NATO member nations − the U.S., the U.K., Latvia, France and the Netherlands, have collectively sent around 100 members from their respective special forces to Ukraine, according to BBC News and The Guardian. The U.S. deployed 14 troops, according to the leak.

In early March 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials were weighing sending special forces to Ukraine to guard the U.S. embassy.

NATO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fact check: Video shows Ukrainian actor, not soldier, performing for a camera

The Twitter user who shared the post could not be reached.

The video was also debunked by Check Your Fact and Full Fact.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: No, video doesn't show NATO troops 'now in Ukraine' | Fact check