FACT CHECK: Video Claims To Show Wagner Group Mercenaries Arriving In Niger

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show Wagner Group mercenaries arriving in Niger.

Verdict: False

The video is from 2006 and is likely from Sudan. Wagner Group was formed in 2014, eight years after the video first started circulating.

Fact Check:

Wagner Group founder and leader Yevengy Prigozhin died in a late August plane crash, according to BBC News. Before his death, he was allegedly in Africa, where Wagner mercenaries have been deployed in countries such as Mali, the outlet reported.

Social media users have been sharing a video claiming to show Wagner mercenaries landing in Niger. The video’s caption partially reads, “Video Footage LEAKED barely an hour ago is presumably the landing of the Il-76 military transport aircraft in Niger, purportedly carrying Wagner PMC fighters.” (RELATED: Pentagon Claims Last Time U.S. Used Cluster Munitions Was In 2003)

The video, though, predates 2023. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the video is from 2006. The video was shared on YouTube and is titled “IL 76 Approach into Khartoum.” Khartoum is in Sudan.

“IL 76 approach in Khartoum, Sudan, in very low viz…,” reads the video description. While Check Your Fact was unable to geolocate the video to Sudan, Reuters reported that the surrounding buildings are similar to Khartoum International Airport. 

It is also impossible for whoever was in the airplane to be Wagner mercenaries. Wagner was founded in 2014, while the video has been circulating since 2006.

Misinformation around the Wagner Group has circulated widely on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting the Wagner Group had assassinated the Russian Defense Minister.

Elias Atienza

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