Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Kremlin Spokesman's Son Taking The Military Oath


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Kremlin Spokesman's Son Taking The Military Oath Wrong Son

Does this photo show the son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Nikolai Peskov taking the military oath? No, that's not true: Lead Stories found the person taking the oath in the photo is not Nikolai Peskov, also known as Nikolai Choles. It is the son of the fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, Oleksii Poroshenko.

On April 23, 2023, this claim appeared in the video posted on the TikTok account wowarepp76 (archived here). The caption above the photo reads: "Forwarded from 'Логика Маркова' (Translated by Lead Stories as Markov's Logic) Telegram channel." The text accompanying the photo read:

This is a photo of Nikolai Peskov, son of Dmitry Peskov, taking the oath. And the witnesses who served in Wagner together with Nikolai Peskov appeared. Thus Dmitry Peskov was telling the truth. His son fought at the front against fascism in the ranks of Wagner. Now it will become popular with the Russian élite.

Below is how the post appeared on TikTok at the time of this writing:

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 11.37.13.png

(Source: TikTok.com screengrab taken Thu May 4 10:35:23 2023 UTC)

In April 2023, this photo was shared by Russian pro-Kremlin political scientist and a former adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sergei Markov on his Telegram page. This Markov's post was shared and saved by Russian opposition-leaning journalist Oleg Kashin on his Telegram page. On April 22, 2023, Markov deleted the photo, admitting the published post was untrue, and promised to "sort it out and report back."

According to the Ukrainian news publication Telegraf, this photo was taken in August 2007 when Oleksii Poroshenko took a military oath. In the photo, Petro Poroshenko himself stands in the background, and a Ukrainian trident is visible on the folder with the text of the oath.

On April 22, 2023, in an audio recording published on Telegram by his press service, Wagner mercenary group's founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that Nikolai Peskov served with the Wagner group in Ukraine for six months and joined Wagner under forged documents, where his name and surname were changed.

According to a BBC report of April 24, 2023, 33-year-old Nikolai Peskov and Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Nikolai Peskov served with Wagner. However, Dmitry Peskov refused to provide more details. Some social media users in Russia cast doubt on whether Nikolai Peskov actually fought in the war. The BBC reported it was unable to verify Nikolai Peskov's claim about serving with Wagner.

The Wagner Group is a Russian shadowy mercenary company that has been active in Ukraine, Syria, and Africa and has repeatedly been accused of war crimes and human rights abuses. On November 21, 2022, the European Parliament resolution urged the EU to include the Wagner group on the bloc's sanctions list of "terrorist" organizations. On January 26, 2023, the US formally designated the Wagner Group as a transnational criminal organization, freezing its US assets for helping Russia's military in the Ukraine war.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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