Putin, Lavrov's old videos shared as them warning U.S. against interfering in Israel-Hamas war

By: Vivek J
October 10 2023

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Putin, Lavrov's old videos shared as them warning U.S. against interfering in Israel-Hamas war

Screenshots of social media posts purporting to show Putin and Lavrov threatening to support Palestine against Israel. (Source:X/screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Putin, Lavrov's old speeches about use of nuclear weapons have been misinterpreted to make false claims about Russia's role in Israel-Hamas war.

Claim ID 21226599

Israel continues to bomb the Gaza Strip in response to the surprise attack launched by Hamas on the morning of October 7. According to the latest news reports, nearly 1,600 people have been killed on both sides as Israel declares siege of Gaza and the Palestinian militant outfit continues with its air strikes and threatens to start killing hostages. 

What is the claim? 

Amid the escalating violence, several unrelated videos claiming to be from the recent war have flooded social media platforms. One video of Russian President Vladimir Putin is going viral with the claim that he has warned the United States of America from interfering in the ongoing Israel-Palestinian war. Putin is speaking in Russian in the video, and the English text overlaid on it read, "America wants to destroy Israel. As we destroyed Ukraine in past. I am warning America. Russia will help Palestine and America can do nothing." 

One user shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption: "#BreakingNews Putin: I am warning that #America should not interfere in #IsraelPalestineWar, if America does that we will openly help #Palestine #Gaza #Israel_under_attack #IsraelAtWar." This post (archived here) alone had over 93,000 views at the time of publishing. Archived versions of similar posts can be seen here and here.

Screenshot of social media post sharing videos that show Putin warning the U.S. from interfering in the ongoing conflict. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Another video of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also been shared in a similar context. In this video, Lavrov can be heard speaking Russian, and the accompanying English translation claims that he said Russia would support Palestine if the U.S. interfered in the conflict. Archived versions of such posts about Lavrov can be seen here and here.

Screenshot of social media posts sharing videos that claim to show Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatening to support Palestine. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that both these videos are shared with an edited English transcript, and the original videos predate the recent Israel-Palestine war by a few months.

What did we find? 

We conducted a quick reverse image search of the viral video of Putin and found a YouTube video uploaded by Indian English news outlet WION News on December 8, 2022. This news video was titled "Won't use nukes first, says Russian President Putin." In this video, we came across visuals of Putin with the same attire and a similar background as seen in the viral video.

Comparison of the viral video and Putin's image published by WION News. (Source: X/YouTube/Screenshot)

We also noticed a 'USA Today' logo on the top left corner of the viral video and looked for reports by American news publication USA Today from December 2022 about Putin speaking about Russia not wanting to use nuclear weapons first. This search led us to an article published by USA Today on December 7, 2022. The article was titled, "Putin dismisses nuclear weapons concerns, says 'we haven't gone mad,' denies another draft is coming: Ukraine updates." 

Logically Facts' fact-checkers with knowledge of the Russian language reviewed the video and confirmed that there was no mention of Israel or Palestine. The English translation overlaid on these videos is incorrect.

The caption of this video, shared as a YouTube short by USA Today, read, "Putin on Nuclear Weapons:’Threat is growing.". According to the original translation provided by USA Today, Putin was speaking about the growing threat of nuclear weapons and mentioned that Russia would not strike first with nuclear weapons. There is no mention of either Israel or Palestine in this video.

Comparison between the screenshots of the viral clip and the YouTube video shared by USA Today. (Source: X/YouTube/Screenshot)

What about the video featuring Sergei Lavrov?

Upon listening to the video of Sergei Lavrov from the viral posts, we could hear him mention the name Tucker Carlson around the 0:09 mark. In the background, we also saw the United Nations (U.N.) logo. Upon looking for comments made by Lavrov on Tucker Carlson during a U.N. event, we came across several videos by multiple news outlets. A USA Today video uploaded on April 27, 2023, read, "Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov comments on Tucker Carlson's Fox News departure." 

Comparing this clip with the viral video showed that the two show the same visuals. In the April 2023 video, Lavrov questioned the freedom of speech in the U.S. and noted that while Tucker Carlson's exit from Fox News was a matter of speculation, the diversity of viewpoints in the American information environment has been affected. Lavrov makes no mention of Israel or Palestine in this video clip shared by USA Today on YouTube. 

Comparison of the screenshot from the viral clip and the USA Today video on YouTube. (Source:X/YouTube/Screenshots)

Furthermore, a recent news article by Reuters noted that while Russia condemned the violence against both the Israelis and Palestinians in the ongoing conflict, it accused the U.S., an Israeli ally, of following a destructive approach and ignoring the need for an independent Palestinian state. 

The verdict 

The viral videos of Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov have been shared with an edited transcript to include incorrect narratives about the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The original videos are a few months old, with no reference to Israel or Palestine. Therefore, we have marked these claims as false. 

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