FACT CHECK: Did The ‘Russian Civil War’ Begin?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims a ” Civil War” in Russia recently began.

Verdict: False

While the mercenary Wagner Group conducted a brief, violent mutiny in June, there is no evidence of a wider civil war in Russia.

Fact Check:

Reports indicate Russia engaged in an “extensive effort” to force Ukrainians in Russian-occupied areas to accept citizenship to the country, according to CNN. Strikes in Ukraine are continuing, including on a port deemed a “lifeline” for shipping, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 37,000 times, claims that the “Russian Civil War” has begun. The video’s caption reads, “Russian Civil War Begins! Putin’s Loyal General Seizes Control of the Russian Army!”

This claim, however, is false. If a wider civil war had begun in Russia, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. There is also no evidence that a new general has been placed in charge of the Russian ground forces.

Russian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov appears to have visited Russian troops in the south, though he stayed indoors, according to The Telegraph. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan think tank, publishes daily campaign assessments about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. ISW’s most recent campaign assessments, published July 30 and July 31, do not show that a civil war is undergoing or has started.

“Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made largely boilerplate comments framing the Russian state as adequately supporting long-term force-generation efforts and meeting Russian weapons demand through domestic production and international cooperation,” reads part of the ISW’s July 31 assessment.

Wagner Group did briefly mutiny in June 2023, before an agreement brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ended it, according to BBC News. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy Dancing With A Rocket Launcher?)

This is not the first time a false claim about the Russian-Ukrainian war has gone viral. Check Your Fact previously debunked a Twitter video purporting Zelenskyy said he did not know who blew up the Kerch Bridge.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].