By: Annie Priya
September 27 2022
The video initially appeared in the context of Vostok 2022, a multilateral strategic and command exercise that took place in Russia.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, several false and misleading videos and images continue to circulate online. On September 18, 2022, "The Hal Turner Radio Show," which broadcasts conspiracy theories and hate speech, published an article claiming "Chinese Military Convoy Enters Ukraine From Russia," along with a video. In the video, we can see a line of military vehicles driving down the road and some civilian cars passing in the opposite direction. Several users have shared the article and accompanying video on social media platforms, claiming the Chinese military is allying with Russian troops invading Ukraine. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.
The Hal Turner Radio Show article published the video in question along with the text "VIDEO IS COMING WITHIN MINUTES." However, we found a corresponding YouTube video dated August 30, 2022, from user Крайние (translation: Extreme). The caption, translated from Russian to English, reads, "PLA to take part in Vostok 2022 land exercises." The video quality is grainy, but every vehicle in the convoy appears to have the People's Republic of China flag painted on the side. The video clip has been shared under the same context on multiple platforms.
Around 40 seconds into the video, one of the tankers appears to have Chinese characters on the side. Although the poor video quality makes the license plates somewhat challenging to read, it is possible to see the license plates of vehicles driving in the opposite direction, which seem to match the format and color of Russian license plates. According to general license plate information on the website Europlate, the passenger cars in the video clip do not seem to have Ukrainian license plates, which feature the Ukraine flag on the left side. Fact-checking organizations PolitiFact and MyGoPen have covered the claim on similar grounds.
On August 18, Reuters reported that in July, Moscow announced plans to hold "Vostok" (East) exercises from August 30 to September 5. China's defense ministry said the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA) would travel to Russia to participate in joint military exercises, including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and other countries. China's defense ministry added that participation in the exercises is unrelated to the current international and regional situation. It is a part of an ongoing bilateral annual cooperation agreement with Russia.
According to a December 2018 report by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the previous Vostok exercises took place in 2018 with nearly 300,000 troops. China sent approximately 3,000 troops, 900 tanks and military vehicles, and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
On March 20, 2022, Politico reported that during the discussion of the situation in Ukraine with President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear that China stands for peace and opposes war. Also, in a recent interview on September 18 on CBS, Biden said there is no sign of material support for Russia by China. "Thus far, there's no indication they've put forward weapons or other things that Russia has wanted," according to Bloomberg. China has sought to remain neutral on the Ukraine-Russian conflict, calling for a peaceful solution.
There is no evidence to support claims that China has entered Ukraine from Russia. The video in question dates back to August 30, coinciding with the timing of Vostok 2022, a recent joint military exercise in Russia's far east. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.