FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Moldova Residents Blocking A NATO Column In 2022?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows citizens in Moldova blocking a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) column in 2022.

Verdict: Misleading

While the video is from Moldova and shows a NATO column being blocked, the video is from 2016.

Fact Check:

Ukraine applied for NATO membership last week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, according to The Associated Press. Several European nations, including Poland and Slovakia, issued a statement supporting Ukraine’s application, the outlet reported.

The Facebook video claims to show a recent protest where Moldovan residents blocked NATO equipment from advancing. The video’s caption partially reads, “People do not want the presence of the alliance in the country and do not allow #NATO cars to pass.”

The video predates the current state of affairs in Europe. A reverse image search found that the video first appeared in 2016 on YouTube titled, “Moldova: Anti-NATO Protesters Block U.S. Tanks.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show The Finnish-Russian Border After Vladimir Putin’s Speech?)

“Anti-NATO activists blocked a United States armored convoy which was heading for military drills with the Moldovan army near the city of Negresti,” the video’s caption reads.

Protests took place during this time as U.S. troops conducted joint exercises with the Moldovan military, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Russian state media reported that Moldova’s then president opposed U.S. forces participating in the Victory Day parade.

Demonstrations have recently appeared against Moldova’s pro-western government, but news reports from media outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty have not noted any protesters blockading NATO equipment. NATO has likewise not issued any statements about protests in Moldova or suggested columns were being blocked in the country.

This is not the first time a video from a European country has been miscaptioned to represent the current state of affairs in the region. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video suggesting to show Italian protesters tearing down a European Union flag in Rome following the election of far-right Prime Minister Girogia Meloni.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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