The claim: Video showing people dancing at a bar in Kyiv proves the war in Ukraine is fake
On Sept. 8, hours before Ukraine's military mounted a surprise counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region that forced Russian soldiers to hastily retreat, the Pentagon announced the Biden administration would be sending an additional $675 million in weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Ukraine. The administration has given Ukraine $15.2 billion in total aid since President Joe Biden took office.
But false claims that the war is fake continue to circulate on social media, and a recent Instagram post peddled that notion with a video showing crowds of people dancing to music outside at a bar.
"So far the US has given $40B to the fake war," the Sept. 5 post's caption reads. "This is Kyiv, Ukraine yesterday. They’re now asking for another $13B."
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The claim is false. Extensive footage and photographs captured by international outlets demonstrate the war is real. Numerous international organizations have fundraised and placed sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the claim for comment.
Russia-Ukraine war is real
It has been extensively reported on and photographed by numerous news outlets, including the Associated Press, Reuters and BBC News, as well as international news correspondents on the front lines. Combat and wreckage has been filmed by outlets such as The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
In response to the invasion, many countries have placed sanctions against Russia.
Video was filmed at bar in unoccupied area of Kyiv
The video in question was filmed at the Hangover bar in Kyiv, which is now relatively distant from ongoing combat operations. The outdoor setup is the same as the one shown in a video on the bar's Facebook page.
Victor Arnautovic, a spokesperson for the bar, told USA TODAY that there is nothing about the current status of the war that prevents people from "dancing in the non-occupied areas of the country."
Even so, Hangover did respond to criticism directed at the bar for allowing dancing while the country suffered losses from the invasion in a Sept. 1 statement on Instagram.
"We all live in this unjust war and its realities," the post's caption reads. "Hangover opened its doors in June with a restaurant concept only, where we didn’t play loud music to respect the people that fight for the values and freedom we all believe in."
According to the post, the bar's management consulted with staff and members of the military before recently reopening as a bar with dancing and music in compliance with the law.
The bar held a charity concert on Aug. 28 to raise funds for the military.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a video showing people dancing at a bar in Kyiv proves the war in Ukraine is fake. Extensive footage and photographs captured by international outlets demonstrate the war is real. Numerous countries and international organizations have fundraised and placed sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, March 28, Fact check: False claim that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is 'scripted and staged'
USA TODAY, March 10, Fact check: Video shows Austrian climate protest, not 'crisis actors' in Ukraine
The Kremlin, Feb. 24, Address by the President of the Russian Federation
The president of Ukraine, Feb. 24, President held an urgent meeting due to Russia's launch of a military operation against Ukraine
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, accessed Sept. 15, Ukraine Situation
The International Rescue Committee, accessed Sept. 15, Ukraine Crisis
The International Organization for Migration, accessed Sept. 15, UKRAINE: IOM RESPONSE 2022
Associated Press, Feb. 24, AP PHOTOS: Russia's attack shatters normality in Ukraine
Reuters, Feb. 24, In pictures: Russia invades Ukraine
BBC News, Feb. 24, Ukraine conflict: What we know about the invasion
Simon Ostrovsky, July 26, Tweet
Olga Rudenko, Feb. 24, Tweet
Dan Rivers, March 11, Tweet
The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 19, Why Crimea Is a Focal Point in the Ukraine War
The Washington Post, Sept. 10, ‘Ammo! Ammo!’ Video shows close combat in Ukraine offensive
USA TODAY, March 1, What sanctions does Russia face? Here's a list by country
UNICEF, accessed Sept. 15, War in Ukraine: Support for children and families
The American Red Cross, accessed Sept. 15, Ukraine Crisis
Doctors Without Borders, accessed Sept. 15, Ukraine
Victor Arnautovic, Sept. 7, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Hangover, July 28, Facebook post
Hangover, Sept. 1, Instagram post
The Washington Post, April 19, Why Russia gave up on urban war in Kyiv and turned to big battles in the east
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Ukraine war is real despite video of dancing at Kyiv bar