False: U.N. soldiers are being trained in Ukraine and sent to the U.K. disguised as migrants

By: Sam Doak
January 13 2023

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False: U.N. soldiers are being trained in Ukraine and sent to the U.K. disguised as migrants


The Verdict False

The U.N. does not have its own military forces, nor does it operate training facilities in Ukraine.

Claim ID a4a84ed1


For some months, right-wing conspiracy theorists have been making unfounded claims concerning migrants residing in the United Kingdom. One such narrative is that those housed by the government in hotels are not migrants, but are instead U.N. soldiers. Proponents of this view believe that these purported soldiers are intended to allow the government to remove civil liberties and enforce future lockdowns. 

John O'Looney is among the more prominent fringe figures perpetuating this claim. O'Looney, an undertaker who rose to prominence due to his criticism of COVID-19 vaccines, states that U.N. soldiers are being trained in Ukraine prior to their covert arrival in Britain. 

In a video circulating on Telegram and Facebook, O'Looney outlines his narrative, claiming, "I've had members of the Black Watch regiment reach out to me who are training these young men in the west of Ukraine… they are primarily officer ranks down to sergeant. They are then transferred from their place of training in Anatolia or the west of Ukraine to France. They've signed the Official Secrets Act, then they're shipped over with the immigrants and in with a scattering of refugees."

O'Looney continues, "they are U.N. soldiers, and they will be deployed, they will be deployed. When they feel they've got the numbers and they can justify another lockdown, be that under the guise of climate change bullshit or saying there's another variance as these people that have been jabbed."

In Fact

There is no evidence that migrants housed in the United Kingdom are covert U.N. soldiers. Proponents of this narrative point to the fact that many migrants housed in hotels are young men, however, this does not lend credence to their claims. 

While the government currently houses migrants in hotels across the country, this is limited to asylum seekers. According to a House of Commons briefing paper, hotels "are a kind of contingency accommodation that may be used by the Home Office's asylum accommodation providers when there is a good reason to do so." Statistics made available by the University of Oxford's Migrant Observatory show that 73 percent of male asylum seekers aged 18-29 had their applications approved in 2021. Given this, it is highly doubtful that most young men housed in hotels are in the United Kingdom under false pretenses.  

O'Looney's claims are cast into further doubt by the fact that the U.N. does not have soldiers. It does engage in peacekeeping missions, but according to the organization, the personnel required to carry these out are provided and paid for by member states. 

No evidence has surfaced that supports the existence of U.N. training camps in Western Ukraine. While the country is currently at war and does house training facilities, none have ever been shown to be run by the U.N. for the purposes described by O'Looney and others. 

The Verdict

There is no evidence that supports claims that migrants in hotel accommodation are U.N. soldiers. The U.N. does not have its own soldiers, nor does it operate military training facilities in Ukraine. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

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