Fact Check: No, this video doesn't show tug of war between Russian, Ukrainian soldier

The video shows two men, dressed in military uniforms, tied with a harness, and engaged in a tug of war while onlookers, who are also in military uniforms, cheer them on.

By Sabya Singh  Published on  13 March 2022 8:09 AM GMT
Fact Check: No, this video doesnt show tug of war between Russian, Ukrainian soldier

Hyderabad: A video reportedly showing a 'tug of war' between a Russian and a Ukrainian soldier is doing the rounds of social media.

The video shows two men, dressed in military uniforms, tied with a harness, and engaged in a tug of war while onlookers, who are also in military uniforms, cheer them on.

Click here and here to view the video.

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that the claim is false.


Firstly, we noticed the badges of the US and Canadian armies on some uniforms. Taking that as a cue, we conducted a Google reverse image search by using keyframes of the video along with the keywords 'USA and Canada forces'. We found a report by Military.com published on 26 November 2014 titled "Epic 'Tug of War' – the USA vs. Canada."

According to the report, "Prior to the departure of 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG) personnel from Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Canadian soldiers observed US National Guard soldiers playing an interesting version of the game Tug of War. 31 CBG soldiers were fascinated by the spectacle and cheered on the competitors."

Further, we searched YouTube using the keywords 'USA Vs Canada Soldiers Tug of War' and found a video uploaded on the channel '31CanadianBrigade' on 22 March 2012. It was titled "One on one soldier Tug of War, Canada vs USA."

According to the description of the video, "Prior to the departure of 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG) personnel from Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Canadian soldiers observed US National Guard soldiers playing an interesting version of the game Tug of War."

It added, "In this video, Master Corporal John Celestino of the Windsor Regiment (left), participates in a game of Tug of War with a US National Guard soldier (right). This version of the game builds esprit de corps and really works the leg muscles…just ask Master Corporal Celestino!"

The video is credited to Captain Tristan Hatfield, 31 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs.

We then set the time frame of the keyword search on Google from 1 January 2012 to 1 December 2012 and found a report by Windsor Star, first published on 28 March 2012, titled "Online tug-of-war video turns Windsor reservist into national hero."

The report carried a still from the viral clip with the caption, "Windsor reservist John Celestino struggles to win a tug of war with a U.S. National Guard member in this screengrab from a viral video." The report also carried the video posted by 31CanadianBrigade on YouTube.

We also came across another article published on the official website of the National Guard dated 22 March 2012. It was titled "Indiana Guard hosts Canadian forces at state military training facilities."

According to the article, "From March 8-25, over 250 Canadian soldiers from 31st Canadian Brigade Group, Land Forces Central Area in Ontario came by bus, helicopter and train to try their hand in urban warfare training at Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex for Exercise Arrowhead Lightning 2012."

Hence, the claim that the video shows a Russian and a Ukrainian soldier in a tug of war is false. The video is from 2012 and is unrelated to the current Russian military operations in Ukraine.

Claim Review:A video showing a tug of war between a Russian and a Ukrainian soldier.
Claimed By:Social media users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social media
Claim Fact Check:False
Next Story
Share it