Forked Up - Drone Attack Claimed by Both Sides

Mundane footage, which depicts a drone armed with plastic cutlery ramming into an equipment tower on the contested Pervomaisky Island, is strangely being claimed by both Russian and Ukrainian sources on Telegram. Neither of them provides any actual context regarding what the video shows or offers evidence of their ownership.


If you're ever curious about why we consistently label things as "alleged" rather than presenting them as facts, this video is perhaps one of the best recent examples that can help explain our approach. The footage, which is remarkably unremarkable and provides little of significant value to either side, is being claimed by both pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources on Telegram as evidence of their respective victories in the contested battlespace located on Pervomaisky Island.


if you look closely at the center of this video, you'll see a light blurring that is removing an initial watermark from the Russian Voron_Zov Telegram channel. You'll also notice that the scrolling Supernova watermark doesn't exist in the original which was published by the Russians.


The interesting aspect here is that in the Russian video, there appears to be an additional crop from the sides, which likely aims to eliminate another watermark, possibly of Ukrainian origin. Alternatively, it could be an attempt by the Russian operator of the Voron Zov channel to assert influence over the propaganda narrative, competing with other Russian channels. In any case, the original format and resolution of the video do not align with what is typically released by the FPV drones heavily employed by both sides.


In the end, videos like this are exceedingly challenging to verify independently unless there is a firsthand account from the source that recorded the footage. This is precisely why you frequently find us stating that we cannot confirm something as a fact. It is crucial that you approach everything emerging from this conflict with a critical perspective.


Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have a strong motivation to portray their side as having the upper hand on the battlefield. For Ukraine, presenting a positive image can attract more support from Western nations. Meanwhile, Russia seeks to garner more domestic support for a deeply unpopular conflict that has significantly impacted the average Russian citizen.


For a concise summary of this video, it's simply impossible to determine its authenticity. Even this seemingly inconsequential piece of combat footage has been manipulated to align with the narratives of both sides. To ascertain the true owner of the footage would require extensive research, potentially spanning dozens to hundreds of hours, to trace it back to its original source—most likely a Telegram channel with fewer than ten followers. We share such footage because, over time, it may disappear from third-party tech platforms that are beholden to the preferences of advertisers. This pattern has recurred frequently, with the most recent instance being the removal of almost all kinetic combat footage from the Syrian Civil War on YouTube.


Have a nice day, and thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Josh Brooks

Josh is an American writer and former USMC machine gunner with eight years of experience in ground combat arms throughout the GWOT. He is currently based in Texas and specializes in combat footage analysis and digital marketing.Follow Josh at OfficialJoshBrooks.com

Published 5 months ago

Mundane footage, which depicts a drone armed with plastic cutlery ramming into an equipment tower on the contested Pervomaisky Island, is strangely being claimed by both Russian and Ukrainian sources on Telegram. Neither of them provides any actual context regarding what the video shows or offers evidence of their ownership.


If you're ever curious about why we consistently label things as "alleged" rather than presenting them as facts, this video is perhaps one of the best recent examples that can help explain our approach. The footage, which is remarkably unremarkable and provides little of significant value to either side, is being claimed by both pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources on Telegram as evidence of their respective victories in the contested battlespace located on Pervomaisky Island.


if you look closely at the center of this video, you'll see a light blurring that is removing an initial watermark from the Russian Voron_Zov Telegram channel. You'll also notice that the scrolling Supernova watermark doesn't exist in the original which was published by the Russians.


The interesting aspect here is that in the Russian video, there appears to be an additional crop from the sides, which likely aims to eliminate another watermark, possibly of Ukrainian origin. Alternatively, it could be an attempt by the Russian operator of the Voron Zov channel to assert influence over the propaganda narrative, competing with other Russian channels. In any case, the original format and resolution of the video do not align with what is typically released by the FPV drones heavily employed by both sides.


In the end, videos like this are exceedingly challenging to verify independently unless there is a firsthand account from the source that recorded the footage. This is precisely why you frequently find us stating that we cannot confirm something as a fact. It is crucial that you approach everything emerging from this conflict with a critical perspective.


Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have a strong motivation to portray their side as having the upper hand on the battlefield. For Ukraine, presenting a positive image can attract more support from Western nations. Meanwhile, Russia seeks to garner more domestic support for a deeply unpopular conflict that has significantly impacted the average Russian citizen.


For a concise summary of this video, it's simply impossible to determine its authenticity. Even this seemingly inconsequential piece of combat footage has been manipulated to align with the narratives of both sides. To ascertain the true owner of the footage would require extensive research, potentially spanning dozens to hundreds of hours, to trace it back to its original source—most likely a Telegram channel with fewer than ten followers. We share such footage because, over time, it may disappear from third-party tech platforms that are beholden to the preferences of advertisers. This pattern has recurred frequently, with the most recent instance being the removal of almost all kinetic combat footage from the Syrian Civil War on YouTube.


Have a nice day, and thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Josh Brooks

Josh is an American writer and former USMC machine gunner with eight years of experience in ground combat arms throughout the GWOT. He is currently based in Texas and specializes in combat footage analysis and digital marketing.Follow Josh at OfficialJoshBrooks.com

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