On July 22, Russian and separatist media falsely reported that American surface-to-air missiles had been found in a Luhansk airport storehouse. News agencies cited LPR Today as their source after LPR published a video allegedly showing the discovery of American (SAM) FIM-92 Stinger missiles.

According to the so-called general prosecutor’s office of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), the Ukrainian Army, withdrawing from the Luhansk airport in 2014, left the weapons behind. The video in question shows LPR militants examining a storage facility that looks like an armory. Boxes filled with weapons with English-language inscriptions are shown in a close-up view.


This “sensational finding” was reported by TASS, Russia Today, Lifenews, RIA Novosti, Zvezda, Vzgliad, the Luhansk informational center, Sputnik News and News-front, among others.

Screenshot of TASS site
Screenshot of TASS site

Screenshot of Sputnik News site
Screenshot of Sputnik News site

However, details in the close-up indicate that it is a poorly staged fake and that the weapons and boxes had not been manufactured in the U.S.

1. The box bears an inscription “TRACKING RAINER”.

Screenshot of video
Screenshot of video

The correct inscription should be “TRACKING TRAINER.” The blogger Anton Logvinov, who writes about computer games, believes that the inscription was forged based on the model of FIM-92 Stinger from the computer game Battlefield 3. Indeed, the second result of a Google search for “Stinger fim-92” is an image from the computer game with the same spelling mistake.
Screenshot of Battlefield 3 web-site
Screenshot of Battlefield 3 web-site

This is a video, in which American Special Forces demonstrate how to operate the FIM-92 Stinger. Notice the inscription on the weapon: “TRACKING TRAINER.”
Screenshot from the training video of American Special Forces
Screenshot from the training video of American Special Forces

2. The cover of the wooden box bears the inscription “RE USABLE.”
Screenshot from "LPR" video
Screenshot from “LPR” video

It should either be hyphenated, “RE-USABLE,”
Inscription "RE-USABLE"
Sign “RE-USABLE”

…or printed as a single word, “REUSABLE.”
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3. The wooden box bears the inscription, “DATE LOUDED.”
Inscription "DATE LOUDED"
Sign “DATE LOUDED”

The correct inscription would be “DATE LOADED.”

4. The poor welding seen on the alleged weapons is yet another indicator.

Screenshot of video with poor welding
Screenshot of video with poor welding

Incongruities in this strange video were brought to our attention by bloggers, Reddit users, and the Meduza site.\