FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Russian Conscripts With Mosin-Nagant Rifles?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows Russian conscripts with 19th-century era Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles.

Verdict: Misleading

While the image does feature the rifle, the photo is from a 2020 parade. It has nothing to do with the current conflict in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Russia announced a partial military mobilization of 300,000 people Sept. 21 in a major escalation in its campaign against Ukraine following months of losses, according to Axios. The mobilization order has led to country-wide protests, attacks on recruitment offices and thousands of Russian men fleeing the country, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image appears to show show Russian conscripts walking in the street equipped with Mosin-Nagant rifles. The image was also shared on Twitter. Mosin-Nagant rifles were introduced to the Russian military in 1892 and were a standard armament until World War II, according to Military Times.

“Russian conscripts get Nagant-Mosin rifles, designed in 1890/91, and obsolete already at the times of WWII,” the post’s caption reads.

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image is from 2020. Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, shared the image on Twitter in April 2020 and said it shows Russian cadets prepping for a parade.

“Cadets at a Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg have continued to rehearse for the Victory Day Parade,” Lee tweeted. (RELATED: Does This Video Show The Finnish-Russian Border After Vladimir Putin’s Speech?)

The event took place in June 2020 despite concerns about the COVID-119 pandemic at the time, according to Russian-based news outlet TASS. Rehearsals began in April 2020 despite warnings to postpone the celebration, The Guardian reported.

It is true, though, that pro-Russian conscripts from the Donbas have been seen using Mosin rifles, according to Reuters. Newsweek reported that Anton Geraschcenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian minister of internal affairs posted a video on Twitter of Russian conscripts using rusty assault rifles, though Check Your Fact could not independently verify the footage.


Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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