On its ninth day, the Russian army is now seen establishing its control over the capital Kyiv. The Russian Defense Ministry has released a video of a convoy of Russian military and military vehicles on the Twitter handle of Russia's state-run media organization RT. Long convoys of Russian military vehicles, tankers, helicopters and armoured vehicles are seen in Kyiv.
Meanwhile, a collage of Maidan Square, Kyiv is viral from the last few days on social media, claiming that it compares a before and after image of it after Russia attacked Ukraine. In the first picture, Maidan Square can be seen safe and in good condition, while in the second picture, it seems to be from the aftermath of the catastrophe.
A Twitter user, while sharing this image, wrote a caption that reads, ".Ukraine 20.02.2022 and Ukraine 25.02.2022 #StopWarInUkraine."
A verified Facebook page also shared this collage along with some other pictures.
The viral collage shows before and after images of Independence Square, Kyiv, after Russia attacked Ukraine.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The second image is from 2014.
During the initial investigation, we did a google reverse image search of the second image and found a similar picture in a report of BBC dated February 20 2014. According to the report, in late November 2013, mass protests erupted in Kyiv when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a European trade and political deal and instead sealed a $15 billion bailout from Russia.
During the three-month-long protests, up to 5,00,000 demonstrators camped out in Kyiv's Independence Square. On February 18, 2014, 20,000 protesters marched to parliament demanding that Yanukovych resign, escalating into violence.
According to the report of ABC.net dated February 20 2014, at least 26 people were killed during the riot, including ten police officers. Later, protestors reoccupied Kyiv's city hall. After that, Yanukovych replaced the head of the armed forces and announced an "anti-terrorist" operation. Western powers also condemned the former president's violent action at that time.
We also tried to search for the current images of Independence Square. We did an open keyword search and found the latest footage in a video report of AFP dated March 02 2022. The video title reads, "Air raid sirens ring out on Kyiv's Maidan Square amid ongoing Russian invasion | AFP." No devastation can be seen, as the viral post suggests.
Though Russia is continuously attacking the Ukraine capital Kyiv, it is evident from our investigation that the viral picture that shows the destruction of Independence square was actually taken in 2014 during the anti-government protest against then-President Viktor Yanukovych. Several media reports carried the same image back then, and it has nothing to do with the ongoing war; hence the viral claim is false.
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