An old video of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking about nuclear war has been mistranslated and shared as a recent video to claim his support to Palestine amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. The video also purports to show Putin warning the United States to not interfere in the conflict.
BOOM found that the video is from December 2022 and shows Putin discussing the threat of nuclear war. He does not mention Israel or Palestine in this address.
Hamas launched an unprecedented ambush against Israeli forces on October 7, ensuing a deadly conflict between the two that has claimed 1,600 lives so far. Calls for peace and ceasefire have emerged globally including appeals by PM Narendra Modi, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia, the White House, the United Nations, the European Union, and many others.
The 20-second video of Putin is being shared with the following subtitles: "America wants to destroy Israel, as we destroye(d) Ukraine in the past. I am warning America. Russia will help Palestine and America can do nothing."
Right-wing blue tick account @indicfaith on X (formerly Twitter) shared the video with the caption, "Russia enters the game as Putin said I am warning that #America should not interfere in #IsraelPalestineWar, if America does that we will openly help #Palestine."
The post is viral on Facebook with similar captions.
Click here to view the post.
BOOM found that the video of Putin has been mistranslated and layered with incorrect subtitles to make the false claim. The video is from December 2022 and shows Putin addressing a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights in Russia.
We watched the viral video closely and spotted a logo of American news outlet USA Today on the top left.
Taking a cue from this, we ran a search on Google using 'USA Today Vladimir Putin speech' and found a video from December 8, 2022 titled 'Putin on nuclear weapons: ‘Threat is growing’ | USA TODAY #Shorts'. Putin's attire in this video bore a close resemblance to the viral video.
Here is a comparison of the original video by USA Today and the viral video:
We found that the subtitles in the original video were completely different from the viral video. In the original video, Putin talks about the threat of nuclear war and how Russia would never initiate a nuclear attack on Ukraine and that Russia considers nuclear weapons only as a means of protection or self defence.
The description of the video also mentioned that Putin was speaking at the Human Rights Council meeting when the clip was shot. Taking a hint from this, we ran a search for more information about the interaction and found a release on the Kremlin's website from December 7, 2022 that was titled 'Council for Civil Society and Human Rights meeting'
The release contained a detailed transcript of the meeting. We found the portion from the viral video where Putin was addressing Svetlana Makovetskaya, director of the Centre for Civic Analysis and Independent Research Foundation, who raised the concern of nuclear weapons.
We also found that Putin did not mention either Palestine or Israel during the entire meeting.
As far as the Kremlin's reaction to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas goes, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called for peace in the area and said, "We believe that the situation should be brought to a peaceful resolution as soon as possible, as the continuation of such a spiral of violence is fraught with further escalation of the conflict." Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov ensured that Moscow was in contact with all parties involved and called for an "immediate ceasefire" in the region.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while condemning the violence also criticised the United States for thwarting the efforts of the Quartet to help Palestine. The Quartet, consisting of Russia, USA, the United Nations and The European Union, was formed in 2002 with the objective of helping Palestine achieve statehood peacefully.