FACT CHECK: No, 80,000 Azov Troops Are Not Besieging The Russians

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims 80,000 Azov troops are besieging the Russians in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.

Verdict: False

The Azov Brigade, which is part of the National Guard of Ukraine, is fighting in Luhansk, not Zaporizhia.

Fact Check:

The Azov Brigade, a Ukrainian National Guard unit that has ties to the far-right, has been reconstituted as a fighting unit after fighting during the Siege of Mariupol, according to Meduza.

Social media users have been sharing a video claiming that 80,000 Azov fighters are besieging Russians. The video’s caption reads, “Finally Russian Blockade has been broken- 80,000-strong Azov battalion besieged the Zaporizhzhia!”

This claim, however, lacks evidence. If 80,000 Azov troops had been besieging the Russians in Zaporizhia, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Furthermore, the Azov Brigade is fighting in Luhansk, which is in northern Ukraine, not the south, according to Meduza.

The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, which was formed by Azov veterans, is currently fighting in the Donetsk region, not the south, according to Ukrainska Pravda. Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy recently visited them and other units on the frontlines, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Pentagon Claims Last Time U.S. Used Cluster Munitions Was In 2003)

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan think tank that tracks the Russian-Ukrainian war, has not published any reports about this alleged siege. In its August 16 update, the ISW assessed that Ukraine had made advances in the south but no breakthroughs.

“Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on August 16 and advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast and on the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border, including liberating the village of Urozhaine,” the August 16 update reads.

Elias Atienza

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