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Politifact FL: Air show video from Miami repackaged as a military flex against Russia

(Screenshot from Instagram)
(Screenshot from Instagram)

Video footage shows an air show in Miami over Memorial Day weekend, not a U.S. aircraft responding to Russian warships in the Caribbean in June.

WLRN has partnered with PolitiFact to fact-check Florida politicians. The Pulitzer Prize-winning team seeks to present the true facts, unaffected by agenda or biases.

In a video appearing in social media posts, helicopters hover over a sandy beach and vibrant turquoise water, people in swimsuits gawk at aircraft soaring overhead and the sky is a clear, bright blue.

"Breaking," text over the video says. "US Navy deploys in Miami due to Russian warships 6/12."

Multiple Instagram posts sharing the video were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

In reality, a flotilla of Russian warships reached Cuba on June 12, "in an apparent show of force by President Vladimir Putin flexing his missiles in the Western Hemisphere," The Washington Post reported. The United States and Canada have since made their presence known in the Caribbean. A fast-attack submarine has docked at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, and a Canadian navy patrol ship arrived in Havana on June 14.

But this video doesn’t show the U.S. dispatching multiple Navy aircraft in response to the warships.

It’s footage of the Hyundai Air & Sea Show that happened several weeks earlier over Memorial Day weekend in Miami, a spokesperson for the show told PolitiFact.

READ MORE: Russian warships reach Cuban waters ahead of military exercises in the Caribbean

What’s more: The sunny skies in the video don’t reflect reality. June 12 in Miami heralded a rare flash flood emergency with "life-threatening flooding," according to the National Weather Service in Miami. A brief appearance by the sun June 12 was followed by rain and thunderstorms, historic weather data shows.

We rate claims this video shows U.S. Navy aircraft responding to Russian warships June 12 False.

Our sources

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Ciara O'Rourke | Politifact