Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 17/10/2023; Author: Mladen Lakić
Social media posts claim that the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, “confirmed sending the army to Palestine” after the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Putin did not say that.
On October 10, 2023, a video posted on TokTok claimed that Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, “confirmed the sending” of the Russian army to Palestine.
Putin confirmed sending the army to Palestine. Bravo.
The Russians will be in Gaza in a few days, so let’s see.
It is a short video clip, which is a common form for TikTok, in which Putin, who is speaking, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov are seen. The video features claims about “sending the army to Palestine”. By the time of writing this analysis, the video had been removed, but according to the data of the archived version, it achieved a total of 24,599 interactions.
Claims that Putin confirmed the sending of the Russian army to Palestine were published in the form of different videos on several more TikTok accounts (1, 2, 3, 4) and Facebook profiles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). In some videos, Kadyrov is not present and only Putin is visible (1, 2, 3). The claim was also shared in the form of a screenshot, which features only Putin (1, 2).
What are the facts?
On October 7, 2023, the Palestinian militant group Hamas started a sudden attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. The attack came after several months of incidents and Israeli incursions in the West Bank, as well as searches in the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Israel has formally declared war on Hamas with a directive for a “total siege of Gaza”. According to data at the time of writing this analysis, 2,808 people were killed in Gaza, 57 in the West Bank, and 1,400 in Israel.
A keyword search does not yield results that would confirm that Putin once “confirmed the sending of the army to Palestine”. Speaking at the international forum “Russian Energy Week” on October 11, 2023, Putin touched on the escalation of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip, and said that “Israel took away Palestinian land” (1, 2). A day later, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia could be a “mediator” in the conflict and thus contribute to the establishment of peace (1), but he did not talk about military intervention or sending troops.
Where does the video of Putin come from?
The video shared with the claims that Putin “confirmed the sending of the army to Palestine” was actually created on December 7, 2022, at a meeting of the Council for Human Rights, where Putin spoke about the threat of nuclear war. The analyzed footage shows the logo of the USA Today media company, which published Putin’s statements about nuclear weapons in December 2022. A clip from his speech, therefore, was published with incorrect claims that Putin “confirmed the sending of the army to Palestine”.
Our partner web portal Istinomer from Serbia also checked the accuracy of the allegation that Putin “confirmed the sending of the army to Palestine” in an analysis published on October 13, 2023. Istinomer wrote the following about Putin’s authentic statement in the video from 2022:
A longer video of Putin’s speech was published on the YouTube channel of the American media company “USA Today” on December 8, with an authentic English translation. The Russian president actually says on the disputed recording: “Given that Russia will not strike first under any conditions, if under no conditions it will strike first, then neither will the second because the possibilities of a nuclear strike on our territory are very limited”.
The accuracy of the allegation that Putin confirmed the sending of the Russian army to Palestine was also checked by our partner web portal Raskrinkavanje from Montenegro. In the analysis published on October 10, 2023, the Montenegrin Raskrinkavanje also concluded that Putin never confirmed such a thing. The same conclusion was reached by Boomlive in the analysis published on October 10, 2023.
Given all the stated facts, we consider the publication of a video featuring a claim that Putin “confirmed the sending of the army to Palestine” on TikTok as fake news. We assess all subsequent publications of these claims as the distribution of fake news.