FACT CHECK: Is An Army Of 2.5 Million Chechens Preparing To Overthrow Vladimir Putin?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims an army of 2.5 million Chechens are preparing to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Verdict: False

There are only around 1.5 million Chechens in Chechnya. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, is not leading an effort to overthrow Putin.

Fact Check:

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Dec. 21 that Russia would seek to expand its military from 1 million soldiers to 1.5 million soldiers, according to The Associated Press. Russia announced a partial mobilization in September, mobilizing over 300,000 Russians in response to losses suffered in Ukraine, the outlet reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 100,000 times, claims the Chechens are preparing to overthrow Putin. The video’s caption reads, “Kadyrov gone mad: Huge army of 2500000 Chechens preparing the end of Russia!”

This claim, however, is false. If 2.5 million Chechens were preparing “the end of Russia,” media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Furthermore, there are only around 1.5 million residents of Chechnya, according to NPR. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Ammunition Depot Exploding?)

Kadyrov has called himself “Mr. Putin’s foot soldier” and has sent thousands of troops to fight in Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal. He further wrote on his Telegram channel Dec. 11 that he would be sending more troops to fight in Ukraine, according to fact-checking website Lead Stories.

The video itself acknowledges that Kadyrov is known for his loyalty to Putin and claims he will provide 2.5 million Russian soldiers to fight in Ukraine. This claim also has no evidence, according to Lead Stories.

Kadryov has proposed sending half of Russia’s law enforcement staff into Ukraine, which he claims would be around 2.5 million people, according to Russian state media outlet TASS. Some analysts previously suggested allies of Putin could use their groups to overthrow Putin if conditions warrant, Newsweek reported.

Misinformation surrounding the Russian-Ukrainian war has circulated online since its start in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting Russian forces withdrew from Bakhmut and other regions of Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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