FACT CHECK: Video Claims To Show Russian TV Host Talking About Being Drafted

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Russian television host Vladimir Solovyov talking about being drafted.

Verdict: False

Solovyov was not discussing being drafted, but rather discussing Russia’s disorganized mobilization efforts. Russian media experts confirmed that the clip does not have accurate subtitles.

Fact Check:

Russia announced a partial military mobilization Sept. 21 following successful Ukrainian counter-offensives, according to The Washington Post. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, pledging citizens in the areas would become “Russia citizens forever,” CNN reported.

The Facebook video claims to show Solovyov complaining about receiving a draft summons. In the footage, the caption underneath the video appear to show the host and a guest arguing over Solovyov being drafted to fight in Ukraine.(RELATED: Does This Video Show Russian Equipment Left In Izyum?)

However, the video’s subtitles are not accurate. Russian media observers, such as Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, stated that the video’s subtitles are inaccurate. Francis Scarr, a BBC Monitoring reporter who focuses on Russia state media, stated on Twitter the captions on the video is “complete parody.”

The actual video discusses mobilization and drafting conscripts with little to no military experience, according to Newsweek. Scarr shared a clip from the Facebook video from the exchange on Twitter.

“Last night Kremlin mouthpieces Vladimir Solovyov and Margarita Simonyan tried to find scapegoats for Russia’s chaotic mobilisation, with Solovyov even calling for overzealous recruitment officers to be shot I don’t think this morning’s attack in Siberia was what he had in mind,” Scarr tweeted

The video itself appears to originate as satire. The account that shared it, Real Subtitles, was described as satirical by Newsweek. The video, though, was shared widely on Twitter, with Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson sharing it without disclosing it was satire.

This is not the first time the Russian mobilization has been the subject of misinformation. Check Your Fact previously corrected an image that allegedly showed conscripts carrying bolt-action Mosin-Nagant rifles.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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