Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Celebrations In Baku For Azerbaijan's Victory In Nagorno-Karabakh In 2023


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Celebrations In Baku For Azerbaijan's Victory In Nagorno-Karabakh In 2023 October 2020

Did people in the streets of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, wave Russian and Turkish flags to celebrate Azerbaijan's victory in its September 2023 military operation in the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh? No, that's not true. The video was recorded in October 2020 and depicts a march by Baku's Russian community. This march was conducted to express support for Azerbaijan during its September - November 2020 armed conflict with Armenia and ethnic Armenian separatists over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted on TikTok account @333bl1 on September 20, 2023. The video subsequently spread to other Belarusian and Russian-language TikTok accounts (here, here, or here). The caption on the screen (translated from Russian by Lead Stories) reads:

Azerbaijanis wave Russian and Turkish flags in Baku as they celebrate victory over Armenia

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

LS video Baku 290923.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Sep 29 11:54:51 2023 UTC)

A reverse image search revealed that this video was filmed on October 31, 2020. This is confirmed by a screenshot from the video taken from the Azerbaijani Telegram channel ŞEDEVR. The photo caption, translated from Azerbaijani by Yandex Translate, says:

A group of Russian communities supporting Azerbaijan's war to liberate its lands from occupation held a march in the streets of Baku.

As seen in the footage, a group of people accompanied by the flags of Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey made this march.

Footage posted on the Baku-loyal Voice of Karabakh Facebook page also confirms that the TikTok video was filmed in October 2020.

In November 2020, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed a ceasefire agreement to end fighting that year that resulted in Azerbaijan regaining territory in and around Karabakh that had been controlled by ethnic Armenian forces since the 1990s.

On September 19, 2023, Azerbaijan initiated what it termed an "anti-terrorist operation" in Nagorno-Karabakh, called "Artsakh" in Armenian. This region, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, is predominantly ethnically Armenian, with approximately 120,000 residents. Following the defeat by Azerbaijani forces, the de facto leader of the self-declared Republic of Artsakh, Samvel Shahramanyan, issued a decree for its dissolution on January 1, 2024.

  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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