Video Shows Putin Moving Nukes Through Russia for Impending Attack?

Claim:

A video shows Russian intercontinental ballistic missile launchers armed with nuclear weapons being moved at night for an impending military attack in February 2024.

On Feb. 27, 2024, a self-proclaimed “conspiracy theorist” named Liz Churchill posted (archived) a video on X that appeared to show Russian intercontinental ballistic missile launchers being moved through the streets at night. Churchill’s post read, “President Putin is moving Nuclear Weapons. Russia isn’t playing games. To NATO and the CIA…you cannot win this. Please surrender.”

This screenshot has been altered to remove an incorrect Community Note.

The video was also widely shared by other users on X.

The apparent claim made by these four users — who all appeared to pay for a blue “verified” badge to appear on their X accounts — was that Russian President Vladimir Putin was moving nuclear weapons toward Moscow in advance of some sort of major military action that could have dire consequences.

However, this video was miscaptioned, as often is the case with “verified” X users who might refuse to retract posts when they’ve shared misleading information (another Churchill example and fact check). The footage captured in late February 2024 showed nothing more than the same movement of Russian ICBM launchers that had occurred in recent years — also in the month of February — ahead of the country’s annual Victory Day military parade, which takes place on May 9.

A Feb. 27, 2024, article (archived) on the Russian-language website vmeste-rf.tv (Together-RF) shared the same video that was posted by Churchill and the other users on X. The story, when translated from Russian to English, reported the following: “The Russian military has begun preparations for the Victory Parade on Red Square. A mechanized column of Yars autonomous launchers arrived at the Alabino training ground near Moscow for training.”

A very similar-looking video published in late February 2022 by the official YouTube channel for the Russian Ministry of Defense right after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showed the same sort of camera shots of the missile launchers, in preparation for that year’s Victory Day parade.

For further reading, Snopes previously reported about a rumor involving a video that purportedly showed Russian nuclear weapons present near the Finland-Russia border following Finland’s accession to NATO.

Sources

Burns, Robert. “EXPLAINER: Does Putin’s Alert Change Risk of Nuclear War?” The Associated Press, 27 Feb. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-joe-biden-europe-united-states-f58746ab66c61c6a9b474db2b402ba02.

Lee, Lloyd, and Matthew Loh. “Secret Military Files Reveal When Russia Would Consider Using Nuclear Weapons, Including the Destruction of 20% of Its Ballistic Missile Submarines: FT.” Business Insider, 28 Feb. 2024, https://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-military-files-russia-nuclear-weapons-condition-vladimir-putin-2024-2.

“Moscow Victory Day Parade.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Moscow_Victory_Day_Parade&oldid=1206279210.

Russian Ministry of Defense. “March of Launchers of the Yars Mobile Missile System from Teykovo to Alabino near Moscow.” YouTube, 26 Feb. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zc6NazvKWI.

“The Russian military began preparations for the Victory Parade on Red Square.” TOGETHER-RF, 27 Feb. 2022, https://vmeste-rf.tv/news/rossiyskie-voennye-nachali-podgotovku-k-paradu-pobedy-na-krasnoy-ploshchadi/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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