FACT CHECK: Did The Russian Ambassador To The UN Say That Donald Trump Was Overthrown?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya claiming former President Donald Trump was “overthrown.”

Verdict: False

Nebenzya alleged that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown, not Trump.

Fact Check:

The United Nations General Assembly voted Wednesday to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters. The resolution was supported by 141 out of 193 nations while five nations, including Russia, voted against it, the outlet reported.

The Facebook video suggests that during these discussions Nebenzya claimed Trump had been overthrown. “Absolutely perfect: #RussianAmbassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya ~ peddles #TrumpsBigLie,” reads the video’s caption. The post also includes a quote from the ambassador which reads, “… with the support of the United States, where the legitimately elected president of the country was overthrown.”

This claim appears to stem from a misinterpretation of what the ambassador actually said. Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project Editor Matthew Kufper pointed out on Twitter that Nebenzya was referring to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not Trump, with his remark about the overthrowing of a “legitimately elected president.” Yanukovych fled from Ukraine during the country’s 2014 revolution and was convicted of treason in 2019, according to The New York Times.

This is disinformation,” Kufper’s tweet read in part before clarifying what Nebenzya said. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Fighter Jet Being Shot Down In Ukraine?)

Oskar Górzyński, US correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, also flagged the claim as inaccurate before sending a tweet translating the envoy’s remarks in full.

The mistake appears to have originated with a tweet from the video journalism website The Recount. The outlet took down the original tweet and later issued a correction, claiming it had taken Nebenzya “out of context.”

Business Insider, Newsweek and Daily Beast published articles based on the mistaken translation but later corrected these articles to clarify that Nebenzya was referring to Yanukovych, not Trump.

Update: This article has been updated to note that Newsweek issued a correction after this article’s publication. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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