Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Russian Nuclear Weapons Systems At Finnish Border


  • Автор: Nicholas Muller
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Russian Nuclear Weapons Systems At Finnish Border Wrong Location

Does a video on TikTok show that Russia moved nuclear weapons to Vyborg, a town near the Finnish border, after Finland joined NATO on April 3, 2023? No, that's not true: The actual location of the town shown in the video is not Vyborg, about 25 miles from Finland, but Kolchugino, in Russia's Vladmir region, 104 miles northeast of Moscow.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted on TikTok by an account called .Peacemaker3 on April 6, 2023. The Russian-language caption read (translation by Lead Stories staff):

After Finland's accession to NATO mobile installations of nuclear weapons were noticed in the border [town] of Vyborg.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Vyborg Nukes.JPG

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Apr 26 19:53:34 2023 UTC)

Multiple Twitter users geolocated the site of this video footage to Kolchugino. The footage matches a Google Maps street-view image from the town.

The missiles seen in the video resemble the nuclear-capable RS-24 Yars ICBM missile system from Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces (Note: This link does not work outside of Russia without a VPN.) This missile system is brought out annually for Russia's May 9 Victory Day parade, marking the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The Russian defense ministry announced on March 29, 2023, that it had begun exercises with the Yars ICBM system in three regions of the country, Reuters, Russia reported. The ministry did not disclose the regions.

Lead Stories could not determine the date of the video or what event it documented.

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  Nicholas Muller

Nicholas Muller is a fact checker in Russian and Spanish for Lead Stories. He has been covering China’s global Belt and Road initiatives, climate, and migration stories in Asia, and also has several  years reporting from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Central Asia. He has a double MA degree in Chinese foreign policy and European Affairs from Sciences Po-Paris and Fudan University-Shanghai.

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