FACT CHECK: Does This Footage Show A Protest In Russia Against The War In Ukraine?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter allegedly shows a recent protest in Moscow, Russia against the country’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Verdict: False

The video shows an anti-government protest that occurred in Moscow in 2013.

Fact Check:

Russian officials have cracked down on anti-war protesters in the country and have arrested at least 15,000 people since the invasion of Ukraine began in late February, according to The Economist. One video shared on Facebook claims to show a large anti-war protest that recently occurred in Moscow.

The video shows dozens of people walking through traffic while carrying a black sign bearing Cyrillic writing. Some of the demonstrators ignite flares as they march. The video ends with the protesters being arrested and hauled away by law enforcement.

“Anti-war protest yesterday in Moscow,” reads the May 2 tweet’s caption. “Putin quickly sent out is (sic) police to squash it” (RELATED: Did BBC News Air This Chyron About Anti-War Protests In Russia?)

The footage predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A reverse image search revealed the footage first appeared on YouTube in May 2013 where it was shared with a title that translates to, “Action ‘Death to the Kremlin occupiers.'”

A similar image from the protest appeared in a 2013 article from the Russian-language website MK.ru. The article explains that the anti-government protest took place on Tverskaya Street, a prominent street in Moscow, and that several protesters were found guilty of “disobedience to police officers” and were subsequently jailed for 10 to 12 days each. It also notes the sign the protestors carried read, “Death to the Kremlin occupiers.”

This is not the first time a protest in Russia has been the subject of misinformation. Check Your Fact recently debunked a photo that claimed to show Russian citizens in Moscow demonstrating against U.S. involvement in Pakistan but actually showed Russians protesting the detainment of Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter