The Kremlin doesn’t think the Russian Defense Ministry’s use of video game footage as “irrefutable evidence” of U.S. support for terrorists in the Middle East is a big deal.
While social media users actively mocked the ministry for posting simulation footage in support of its claim, Russia’s state-run media broadcast the ministry statement in full on Tuesday. The Defense Ministry later replaced the erroneous tweet and Facebook post with new images.
“I would say that the Russian Ministry of Defense statements are about as accurate as their air campaign,” U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Colonel Ryan Dillon, said at a briefing in response.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov downplayed the faux-pas as an exaggeration on Wednesday, saying “I wouldn’t exaggerate the significance of this error."
“Mistakes happen and it’s no big deal if they’re corrected in a timely manner,” he was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.
Shortly after taking down the posts, the Defense Ministry attributed the error to a “civilian staffer” who it claimed mistakenly attached development footage from a mobile phone game that simulates a U.S. military aircraft.
The other attachments appeared to come from Iraqi air raids last year.
Peskov added in Wednesday’s statement, citing the Defense Ministry, that the staff member “was punished accordingly."