FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Putin Threaten To Attack Nigeria?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening to attack Nigeria if the country intervenes in the conflict in Ukraine.
The purported video is digitally altered. Putin was actually addressing Russian citizens in April 2020 about COVID-19 measures and extending the government-issued “non-work week.”
Putin has escalated his threats against Western nations in recent days as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, according to CNN. Russia also recently put its nuclear “deterrence force” on high alert, prompting concern in the international community, Al-Jazeera reported.
The Facebook video allegedly shows Putin warning Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to not interfere in the Russian-Ukrainian war. It shows Putin speaking in Russian while a chyron visible at the bottom of the video claims he threatened to “level the whole nation” if Nigeria were to become involved.
“Putin warns Buhari not to intervene in RUSSIA/UKRAIN SAGA,else the bombing of Nigeria will start from lagos,” reads the caption of the 27-second Facebook video. (RELATED: Did CNN Report That Vladimir Putin Warned India Against Interfering In The Invasion of Ukraine?)
The video of Putin speaking predates the Russia-Ukraine war and is not about Nigeria. A keyword search revealed the public address was filmed in April 2020 and published on C-SPAN with the title “Russian President Putin Delivers Address on Coronavirus Response.” It shows Putin addressing the nation to extend the “no work-week” order and to offer economic proposals to prevent severe financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
There are no credible reports suggesting that Russia or Putin has directly threatened Nigeria or that Nigeria is even considering direct military involvement in Ukraine. The government of Nigeria has “condemned reports that its citizens, and those of other African countries, have been stopped from leaving war-torn Ukraine,” according to BBC.
Check Your Fact has reached out to the Nigerian government and will update this article if a response is provided.