FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Russian Military Vehicles Spelling Out A Crude Word In Cyrillic?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows a satellite photo of Russian military vehicles spelling out “dick” in Cyrillic as a message to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Verdict: False

The satellite image has been photoshopped to make it look like the military vehicles spelled out the word.

Fact Check:

Russian troops have been stationed on the Ukraine-Russia border over the past few months, raising concerns that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine in 2022, BBC News reported.

In recent days, Facebook and Twitter users have been sharing what they claim is a satellite photo of Russian military vehicles positioned to form a word to send an insult to the U.S. and NATO. Text in this particular Facebook image reads, “One of the military field camps of the Russian armed forces. The personnel sends warm greetings to the optical reconnaissance satellites of the ‘partners’ from the US and NATO. The message says ‘Dick.'”

A reverse image search revealed the picture has been digitally altered to make it look like the vehicles spelled out a crass word in Cyrillic. The original photo was taken in November 2021 by the satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies, which shared it with news outlets such as Politico and Military Times. In the original satellite image, the rows of the Russian vehicles do not appear to form any word.

“This satellite image from Nov. 1, 2021 shows tanks and other military equipment in Yelnya, Russia. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies),” reads the image’s description in the Military Times article(RELATED: Does This Photo Show Vladimir Putin’s Daughter Receiving A COVID-19 Vaccine?)

Reuters published other recent satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies in a Dec. 27 slideshow titled “Satellite images show build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine.” None of those pictures depict Russian military vehicles positioned to form an insult like the one in the doctored image.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].