Fact Check: Lukashenko Did NOT Enroll His Son In The Wagner Group Instead Of Summer Camp


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Lukashenko Did NOT Enroll His Son In The Wagner Group Instead Of Summer Camp Satire

Did the President of Belarus conscript his son Nikolai into the private military company (PMC) Wagner, instead of enrolling him in a summer camp? No, that´s not true: This claim was featured in a post from a Ukrainian satirical website "SRIA Novosti" known for publishing fictional content. The Telegram channel profile warns that the information published is intentionally fabricated (translated from Russian by Lead Stories staff):

All news is satirical fiction, and all coincidences are deliberate

The story appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) which was published by @jolybe11_ on July 27, 2023, and got almost a million views at the time of writing of this fact check. The same video can be found on various Russian-speaking TikTok accounts, here or here or here. The complete caption on the video (translated from Russian by Lead Stories) reads:

Alexander Lukashenko enrolled his son in PMC "Wagner" instead of summer camp.

"Moustached cocksucker" - Nikolai gave his comment before departure.

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

Wagner summer camp Kolia.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Sep 7 11:10:24 2023 UTC)

A search of the Google News index of thousands of web pages, using the keywords in Russian "Lukashenko enrolled his son in PMC Wagner" produced no credible independent reports supporting the claim. It would have been deemed a significant news event with widespread coverage if this were true.

In late June 2023, it was reported that construction had started on camps in Belarus, specifically in the Mogilev region. These camps were intended for PMC Wagner mercenaries after the mutiny that occurred on June 23-24, 2023, which was aimed at the Russian Ministry of Defense. On July 22, 2023, the Washington Post published a radar image of the Wagner PMC camp in Belarus, and on August 24, 2023 satellite images showed its subsequent dismantling. On August 31, 2023, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko further inflamed the controversy by calling the demands of Poland and the Baltic states to withdraw the PMC "unfounded and stupid."

  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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