FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Putin Make Disparaging Comments About Africa?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Russian President Vladimir Putin made disparaging comments about Africa, calling the continent a “cemetery for Africans.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to suggest Putin made such comments about Africa.

Fact Check:

Macky Sall, the head of the African Union and president of Senegal, met with Putin in June to discuss food shortages in Africa stemming from Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, according to France 24. Sall warned Putin that Africans were “victims on an economic level” of the conflict due to the freeze in grain exports, the outlet reported.

A widely shared video on Facebook taken from a 2018 episode of the podcast “Drink Champs” claims Putin once made disparaging remarks about Africa and wealthy Africans. In the clip, American rapper David Banner claims that Putin once said, “Africa is a cemetery for Africans.” (RELATED: Vladimir Putin Make These Disparaging Comments About Western Leaders?)

“When an African becomes rich, his bank accounts are in Switzerland,” continues the alleged Putin quote. “He travels to France for medical treatment, he invests in Germany, he buys from Dubai, he consumes Chinese, he prays in Rome or Mecca. His children study in Europe. He travels to Canada, the U.S.A., and Europe for tourism. If he dies, he will be buried in his native country. Africa is just a cemetery for Africans. How could a cemetery be developed?”

The quote is fabricated. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to suggest the Russian president ever made such comments. A search of the Kremlin’s website and of Putin’s archived speeches do not generate any results for the alleged quote. There is likewise no credible news reporting that attributes such a quote to the Russian leader.

An internet search reveals the quote has circulated online since at least 2018 but none of the posts clarify where or when Putin made the alleged statement. The quote has been previously debunked by AFP Fact Check, Reuters and Africa Check.

Check Your Fact has reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter
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