Does this video really show children on the front lines of the war in Ukraine?

© Observers

Is Ukraine sending children to fight on the front lines of the war? That’s what some people on social media are claiming. As proof, they cite a video showing three very young-looking soldiers, which has been circulating online since November 8. It turns out, however, that we could identify two of the three people pictured in the footage and they are young adults – 23 and 25 years old. Furthermore, our team spoke to the NGO Amnesty International, which said that it had no knowledge of documented cases of child soldiers in the Ukrainian Army.

If you only have a minute:

  • Some say that a video that has been circulating online offers proof that Ukraine is using child soldiers. The video was first posted online in November 2022 and started circulating again on January 7.

  • Russian media outlet Ura.ru used the same footage in a report featuring a Russian soldier who claimed that there were teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16 in the Ukrainian armed forces.

  • We were able to identify two of the three people who appear in the video. One is a 23-year-old ambulance driver. Another is a 25-year-old soldier. Both volunteered for the army. In Ukraine, the minimum age of conscription is 18.

  • Our team spoke to Amnesty International. They weren’t aware of any documented cases of child soldiers in the Ukrainian army.

The fact-check, in detail

The video that has been circulating online shows three people who look extremely young wearing military uniforms, bullet-proof vests and helmets.

To figure out how old these soldiers actually are, we first needed to discover the origin of these videos.


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