By: Sam Doak
August 2 2023
This video was filmed in 2022, in Nigeria. The individuals shown are not soldiers.
On July 26, 2023, the armed forces of Niger seized power in a coup. This action resulted in the detention of President Mohamed Bazoum, one of the few remaining pro-western heads of state in the Sahel region.
This event has gained significant attention internationally, largely due to being celebrated by pro-Kremlin social media users as an indication of Moscow’s purportedly growing influence in the region.
In this context, a video showing uninformed individuals in a field was shared by a prominent pro-Kremlin Twitter account with the caption, “A strange picture of the training of the Niger army to deal with the coup plotters!”
This post was widely shared, garnering 350 retweets and 1,700 likes at the time of writing. Despite many users believing the attached video was recorded in Niger, Logically Facts has determined this is not the case.
By researching keyframes from the video in question, Logically Facts found that the footage was included in coverage published by the Nigerian outlet YabaleftOnline in July 2022.
YabaleftOnline’s article provides important context, stating, “A video making the rounds on social media captures the moment some National Youth Service Corps members engaged in a rigorous training to develop necessary skills in the fight against banditry and insecurity in the state and maybe, the entire country.”
According to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a “one-year mandatory service for Nigerian graduates.” Logically Facts geolocated its location to a field in the North of the NYSC’s Permanent Orientation Camp in Benue State, Nigeria, to verify that this organization is the one shown in the now-circulating video.
This video was recorded in 2022 in Benue State, Nigeria. It has nothing to do with the recent coup in Niger. This claim has therefore been marked as false.