FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Belarusian And Russian Heavy Equipment Being Sent To The Ukrainian Border?
A video shared on Facebook claims to show heavy Belarusian and Russian equipment being sent to the Ukrainian border.
The video shows Belarusian tanks conducting snap readiness drills, not heavy equipment moving toward the Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian officials recently claimed “heavy Russian losses” in the southern part of the country, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that he sought a diplomatic end to the war, Reuters reported.
The Facebook video, viewed more than 98,000 times, claims to show Belarusian and Russian heavy equipment moving toward the Ukrainian border.
This claim, though, is misleading and lacks context. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the video shows Belarusian tanks conducting drills. The video, shared Dec. 14 by the Twitter account Militaryland.net, a “military blog focusing primarily on Ukrainian military units, equipment and volunteer units.”
— MilitaryLand.net (@Militarylandnet) December 14, 2022
“Belarusian tanks on the move as the sudden check of combat readiness continues in Belarus today. #Belarus,” the tweet states.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported Dec. 13 that the Belarusians were conducting trainings across Belarus. (RELATED: Did Ukraine Sentence A Man To 15 Years In Prison For Displaying A Russian Flag?)
“It involves Belarusian elements deploying to training grounds across Belarus, conducting engineering tasks, and practicing crossing the Neman and Berezina rivers (which are over 170 km and 70 km away from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, respectively),” the ISW stated. “Social media footage posted on December 13 showed a column of likely Belarusian infantry fighting vehicles and trucks reportedly moving from Kolodishchi (just east of Minsk) toward Hatava (6km south of Minsk).”
Belarusian forces did conduct a combat readiness drill near the Belarusian/Ukrainian border, according to The Washington Post. Reuters reported Dec. 13 that the Belarusian Defense Ministry stated that part of these drills were at the Neman and Berezina rivers in western and eastern Belarus.
While there is concern among the Ukrainians that Belarus could join in an invasion of Ukraine, there is no indication that Belarus and Russia were forming strike groups to attack northern Ukraine as of Dec. 20, according to ISW
Misinformation regarding the Russia-Ukraine war has circulated online since the start of the conflict in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting Putin remarked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could defeat Russia “in three days.”