Fact check: Images show Mosul in 2017, Kyiv one day after Russian invasion began

The claim: Images show Russian-bombed Aleppo, Syria, and Kyiv, Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, some are comparing the conflict to Russia's involvement in the Syrian civil war.

A March 13 Facebook post features images that purportedly show Aleppo, Syria, and Kyiv, Ukraine, after taking Russian fire. The purported image of Aleppo shows far more damage than the one of Kyiv.

"Top picture is for Aleppo in Syria after Russian airplanes bombed the city. Bottom picture is for Kyiv after 2 weeks of Russian bombing," reads the post's caption. "Tell me that you don’t see the difference in the destruction and the difference in world&Media response !!!!! Something is not adding up."

The post garnered hundreds of likes and shares within two days. But the images don't show what the post claims.

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The purported photo of Aleppo is actually a picture of Mosul, Iraq, dating back to 2017. And while the second photo does show Kyiv, the image was taken in the early days of the invasion, not after two weeks of Russian bombing.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.

Photos taken out of context

The photo the post claims shows Aleppo was taken in July 2017 in Mosul, Iraq.

"A picture taken on July 9, 2017, shows a general view of the destruction in Mosul's Old City," reads the caption on the photo, taken by Agence France-Presse photographer Ahmad al-Rubaye and published by Getty Images.

Embed from Getty Images

Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, fell to the Islamic State in 2014, according to the BBC. Iraqi forces, aided by U.S. and coalition troops, launched an effort in October 2016 to retake the city.

They succeeded in 2017. Still, Mosul did not escape unscathed; much of the city was left in ruins.

The other image in the post does show Kyiv. But it was taken Feb. 25 – one day after Russia invaded Ukraine, not two weeks into the attack.

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"A general view shows Independence Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022," reads the caption of the photo, taken by Reuters photographer Valentyn Ogirenko.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Feb. 24 a military operation in Ukraine. News outlets first reported explosions near and in Kyiv the same day.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that images show Russian-bombed Aleppo and Kyiv. The first photo in the post shows Mosul, not Aleppo, in July 2017. While the second photo shows Kyiv, it was taken one day after the Russian invasion began, not after two weeks of bombing.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Kyiv, Mosul photos taken out of context amid Ukraine war