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.\