Russia

FACT CHECK: Russia gave no helicopters to the Philippines

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: Russia gave no helicopters to the Philippines
Reverse image search shows the video was first uploaded by YouTube user Aviation video on July 29, 2017

Claim: A video shows Russian helicopters allegedly given by the Russian government to the Philippines. 

The video says it captured the arrival of the helicopter in the country on February 15, 2023.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube post has 60,404 views as of writing. 

From a Russian YouTube channel: Reverse image search shows that the video of the Russian helicopters was first uploaded by YouTube user “Aviation video” on July 29, 2017. The original video shows an Mi-26 about to take off from an airfield. 

According to AirforceTechnology.com, Mi-26 is a twin-engine heavy transport helicopter designed and manufactured by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Russia. 

A quick glance at Aviation video’s YouTube channel also shows that its videos were taken in Russia. 

Scrapped deal: The Philippine government previously had a P12.7 billion deal with Russia to buy Mi-17 helicopters, not the Mi-26 model that the video claims. Mi-17s are multimission helicopters that can only carry up to 30 passengers, unlike Mi-26 helicopters that are designed for heavy transport and could carry up to 100 passengers, according to AirforceTechnology.com.

However, the Philippines scrapped the deal on July 27, 2022, because of fears it would face sanctions from the US government. The Philippines and the US are allies. 

On August 15, 2022, the Philippine government announced it is looking to buy heavy-lift Chinook helicopters from the US instead. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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