4 December 2023

Misleading: Video shows naval forces exercise in Brazil, not volunteer-soldiers in Ukraine

The video shows participants in Operation UNITAS LX, a multinational maritime exercise hosted by Brazil in 2019.


A Twitter video posted on March 1 shows men and women from different countries clad in military fatigue shouting the names of their nations such as Argentina, Mexico, United States and United Kingdom, among others.

The Chinese tweet, when translated to English, says “Volunteers from all over the world arrive in Ukraine to resist Russia and aid Ukraine.”

The video, which actually has a TikTok logo, comes with a line of overlay text in Spanish, “Todos estamos con tigo Ucrania [sic],” which means “We are all with you Ukraine” in English.

The video has been viewed over 76,000 times and retweeted over 900 times as of this writing. On TikTok, the video has garnered 1.1 million likes.

However, the claim is false and the TikTok video was used misleadingly. The original clip was made for a military practice that 13 nations participated in three years ago.

Screenshot of the tweet.

The video in question had the text “motorizado” superimposed at the bottom. A search on YouTube with that word led to this channel, Motorizado, that posts videos about military exercises, vehicles and equipment.

Screenshot of the video with the text “Motorizado” encircled by Annie Lab.

A scan of the content led to this 4-minute video that contains the shorter clip in the misleading tweet (from the beginning until the 0:42 timestamp). The misleading TikTok video has added background music.

Screenshot of the video from the YouTube channel Motorizado.

The Motorizado video was posted on Dec. 31, 2019. The description of the YouTube clip says it is about the military operation named “Operation UNITAS LX,” a long-established multinational maritime exercise held in Brazil and organized by the Brazilian Navy and the United States Navy.

An article posted on the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Brazil website confirms that UNITAS LX was held in Brazil from Aug. 19 to 30, 2019.

The video on Motorizado is a mixture of different clips. Some scenes are taken from the video posted on Marinha do Brasil’s Facebook account on Sept. 7, 2019 (here)and on their official YouTube account (here). One of the aircraft carrier’s shots can be found in a TV Brasil news report on the UNITAS.

A detailed comparison of the clips can be seen here.

The misleading TikTok video and tweet came as Ukrainian forces stave off Russia’s military operations against them while the government has publicly called for international volunteers to help the fight in the ongoing war.