FACT CHECK: Did A Turkish Convoy Encircle Thousands Of Russian Troops In Bakhmut?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims a Turkish convoy encircled thousands of Russian troops in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that a Turkish convoy encircled thousands of Russian troops. Turkey has provided Ukraine with military equipment, but has not sent troops to the country.

Fact Check:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden should not expect any support from Turkey for its application into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) after anti-Turkey and pro-Kurdish protests in Stockholm, according to The Associated Press. The U.S. is sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, sparking concerns of a potential escalation, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 148,000 times, claims that a Turkish convoy had encircled thousands of Russian troops in Bakhmut. The video’s caption reads, “An Enormous Turkish Convoy ENCIRCLE thousands of Russian soldiers in Bakhmut!”

This claim, however, is false. If a large Turkish convoy had managed to encircle Russian troops in Bakhmut, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Defense have confirmed Turkish troops in Ukraine.

There is not any evidence thousands of Russian troops have been encircled in Bakhmut either. The Russian military is on the offensive in Bakhmut, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan think tank that publishes regular updates on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Ukrainian Ambush of A Russian Tank Squad?)

“Russian forces continued ground attacks around Bakhmut on January 22 and 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Bakhmut itself; northeast of Bakhmut near Verkhnokamianske (30km northeast), Bilohorivka (20km northeast), Krasna Hora (5km north), Vyimka (23km northeast), Rozdolivka (15km northeast), and Paraskoviivka (8km north); and west of Bakhmut near Stupochky (10km west of Bakhmut) between January 22 and 23,” reads the ISW’s Jan. 23 report.

The claim might originate from videos showing Turkish MC Kirpis being transported to Ukraine. Turkey has provided Ukraine with drones, vehicles and munitions since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, according to Oryx.

Misinformation regarding the Ukrainian war has circulated online since its start in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting a train carrying 1,000 Russian troops was struck.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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