Did Russian President Vladimir Putin threaten to "level the whole nation" of Nigeria for sending troops to Ukraine during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict? No, that's not true: In the clip used to make the claim, which was published in 2020, Putin is discussing the impacts of the novel coronavirus. He never mentions Nigeria.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post on March 2, 2022. The post included a clip of a televised address given by Putin. There were news banner captions included in the clip that supposedly summarized what Putin, who was speaking Russian, was saying. The captions read:
PUTIN WARNS THE NIGERIAN MILITARY TO DESIST FROM SENDING UNTRAINED TROOPS TO UKRAINE OR ELSE WE WILL LEVEL THE WHOLE NATION STARTING FROM LAGOS LAST WARNING FOR PRESIDENT BUHARI
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on March 4, 2022:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Mar 4 21:23 2022 UTC)
However, the subtitles from Facebook proved that Putin was not actually discussing Nigeria. Translated from Russian, the auto-generated English subtitles -- which can be accessed by clicking the closed captions ("CC") button at the bottom right-hand section of the video and clicking "English" -- read:
Citizens of Russia For the week that was declared non-working in Russia. At the same time, doctors nurses and all the staff of medical institutions continue to work in a stressful mode. It is very difficult for them all now. They are in hospitals and
Lead Stories also located another video of Putin's address posted by the YouTube channel NTV (Russian: HTB) on April 2, 2020. The Google translated title of the NTV video from Russian to English is "Vladimir Putin addressed the Russians for the second time in connection with the coronavirus." Unlike the obviously edited Facebook clip, the NTV video does not include footage of soldiers marching and an image of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. The portion of the address used in the Facebook clip begins at the 0:20 mark and ends at the 0:46 mark of the NTV video. We used Google to translate the NTV video of Putin's address from Russian to English:
and the citizens of Russia are coming to the end of a week that was declared non-working in Russia, while doctors and nurses continue to work in a tense mode, there are personnel of medical institutions, it is very difficult for all of them now, it is they who are in hospitals and
The Facebook clip is one of many examples of the mistranslated videos of Putin's addresses that Lead Stories has debunked. Other fact checks of mistranslated addresses from Putin can be found here, here and here.
More Lead Stories fact checks about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.