The claim: A video shows Vladimir Putin threatening Kenya
A social media user posted a video they claim shows Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening Kenya.
“Russia targets African Countries with missiles for talking about Russian Ukrainian War,” reads the caption of a Feb. 27 Facebook post featuring the video. “PUTIN DECLARE WAR ON KENYA.”
The video shows Putin seated at a desk and speaking in Russian.
Subtitles quote him as saying: “I have made a decision of a military operation. How can Kenya invade into our missions? Kenya has put itself in a war that it can’t even shoot a single bullet. Bombing Kenya will only take a few minutes for my military men. As from now we’ll start sending our missiles to Nairobi so we can destruct Kenya.”
The video was viewed more than 300,000 times.
But the subtitles are wrong. The video shows a Feb. 24 Russian state television broadcast in which Putin describes his reasoning for a military operation in Ukraine, according to The New York Times. The video does not mention Kenya.
Several independent fact-checking organizations also reported that the subtitles in the video are inaccurate.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.
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Video does not show Putin threat against Kenya, inaccurate subtitles were added
The clip featured in the Facebook post is 22 seconds long. It is an excerpt from a longer statement by Putin broadcast on Russian television.
The statement was translated by The New York Times. The clip shown in the Facebook post begins at timestamp 0:32.
According to this translation, Putin actually says: “I decided to conduct a special military operation. Its goal is the protection of people who, during eight years, suffer from abuse and genocide from the Kyiv regime. Whoever would try to stop us and further create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and lead you to such consequences that you have never faced in your history.”
The clip does not mention Kenya.
USA TODAY has debunked multiple videos making misleading claims associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For instance, social media users have falsely claimed that old videos and even video game footage showed recent events in Ukraine.
fact check: Video shows 2019 meeting between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un
Our rating: Altered
Based on our research, we rate ALTERED the claim that a video shows Putin threatening Kenya. The video shows Putin describing his reasoning for invading Ukraine and threatening anyone who might interfere. The video has been altered with subtitles that do not accurately reflect Putin’s words. Putin does not mention Kenya.
Our fact check sources:
- AFP, March 4, False subtitles added to Putin’s Ukraine war declaration video to suggest African states are next
- The New York Times, Feb. 24, Putin’s Case for War, Annotated
- Lead Stories, Feb 28, Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Declare War On Kenya, Did NOT Target African Countries For Talking About Russia’s War With Ukraine
- PesaCheck, Feb. 28, FALSE: This video clip does not show the President of Russia threatening to launch a military offensive against Kenya
- Poligrafo, March 12, Has Putin announced that he will “launch missiles at Nairobi” and “destroy Kenya”? (Google translation)
- USA TODAY, accessed March 15, Fact check roundup: What’s true and what’s false about the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- USA TODAY, accessed March 15, Ukraine Russia invasion live updates
- USA TODAY, Feb. 24, Fact check: Viral video shows 2015 explosion in China, not in Ukraine
- USA TODAY, March 7, Fact check: Fighter jet clip from video game, not Russian invasion of Ukraine
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