He noted the angle of the tail of the aircraft, the way the tail has drifted too far, and the spacing of the engines as well as the tunnel between them.
Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, confirmed that the aircraft belonged to the Russian MiG-29, and the farthest soldier in the advertisement also showed an AK-74 assault rifle.
The Trump Make America Great Again Committee is run by both the Republican National Committee and the campaign. Most of the low-dollar and digital donations raised by the committee go to the campaign.
The image in the advertisement is a stock photo available on Shutterstock.com entitled “Military Silhouette of Soldiers and Air Force Against the Background of Sunset Sky.” The creator of the image named “BPTU” says they are based in Andorra, but did not respond to a Facebook message.
The MiG-29, a twin-engine fighter jet designed in the Soviet Union, which first flew in 1977, is Russia’s main fighter aircraft and has been sold worldwide. It was developed specifically during the Cold War to counter American F-15s and F-16s, and the US gained anything to play hostile to war games. The planes have recently been spotted at a Russian airport in Syria and Libya.
Russia has also exported them to many countries, including North Korea, Syria, India and Uzbekistan. Iran also acquired the MiG-29K 68 at the end of the Soviet Union. In 1997, the US purchased 21 “nuclear-capable” MiG-29 aircraft from Moldova to keep them in the hands of opponents like Iran.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. The RNC declined to comment.
Politicians have in the past gotten into trouble for running advertisements or creating content that displays military equipment from Russian or other countries. Last October, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) Tweeted photo of Russian war painter Pyotra Velikia With the comment: “Happy birthday to the US Navy. To those men and women who serve to keep our water safe, we thank you.” His office later downgraded the tweet.
Mark Caputo contributed to this report.