Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Ban '5G Across Russia' Or Destroy 'All Towers' -- Signal Is Still Present

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Ban '5G Across Russia' Or Destroy 'All Towers' -- Signal Is Still Present Wants More 5G

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin prohibit 5G in Russia, tearing down all the towers delivering it? Not, that's not true: As of this writing, 5G is working in major Russian cities, and the government continues to invest in the expansion of the technology. The claim originated in an outlet known for publishing fictitious "news" stories.

The claim originated from an article (archived here) published by RealRawNews.com on August 5, 2023, under the title:

Putin Bans 5G across Russia, Destroys All Towers

It opened:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned 5G towers in the Russian Federation amid concerns the technology is medically unsafe and has caused the deaths of school children near St. Petersburg.

Here is what the article looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 10.23.54 AM.png

(Source: RealRawNews screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 14:23:54 2023 UTC)

Contrary to the claim, the NPerf map -- the nPerf website tracks the strength and availability of mobile network signals -- of 5G coverage updated almost in real time shows its presence in the Russian capital and other major cities. 5G is in purple:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 11.19.56 AM.png

(Source: nPerf screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 15:19:56 2023 UTC)

It is true that the 5G connection in Russia is generally not as widespread as in Europe:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 9.52.02 AM.png

(Source: nPerf screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 13:52:02 2023 UTC)

However, it is not a sign that 5G is "banned" across Russia or that "all towers" have been "destroyed" -- the current state of affairs only points to the fact that Russia has lagged in employing the new technology compared to the European Union.

In 2022, Putin pointed out that the results of the previously planned 5G expansion were "modest."

On August 7, 2023, the Russian government announced that it will continue to invest in it, the state-operated news agency TASS reported, as translated by Google Chrome:

The Russian government will additionally allocate about 3.5 billion rubles for the production of base stations to facilitate the transition to 5G networks for operators, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a meeting with his deputies.

The article in Real Raw News did not cite any particular source of information but contained a vivid description of the dramatic scene:

In mid-July, the Russian president met with many telecom executives and health experts to discuss the dangers inherent in the proliferation of 5G tech. He showed them images of dead children; one's brain had liquified. He informed them he intended to enforce a moratorium on 5G research and demolish all towers in the Russian Federation.

His mandate wasn't well-received by the Telecom executives. MTS Vice President of 5G Infrastructure Borya Vlasov said the absence of 5G would put Russia at a technological disadvantage, adding that Russia needed 5G to strengthen a once-thriving economy now faltering thanks to Putin's actions in Ukraine. ...

Putin ordered the security agent beside him to shoot Vlasov squarely between the eyes. Without hesitation, the agent drew his Makarov pistol and put a bullet in Vlasov's forehead in full view of 15 people.

Had the event been public, that would be mentioned on the official website of the Russian president. However, a search for the term "5G" across it shows no 2023 meetings or speeches explicitly addressing it:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 10.49.01 AM.png

(Source: En.Kremlin.Ru screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 14:49:01 2023 UTC)

A search across Google News for the terms "MTS" and "Boris Vlasov" (Boris is the full name for "Borya") typed in Cyrillic shows no results:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 10.54.29 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 14:54:29 2023 UTC)

A broader search across Google for the Cyrillic terms "MTS Vice President" and "Boris Vlasov" limited to the 2023 results does not produce any public mentions of such a person holding the supposed title:

Screen Shot 2023-08-08 at 11.03.16 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Tue Aug 8 15:03:16 2023 UTC)

Murders and poisonings with suspected political motives behind them do happen in Russia, but it's nearly impossible to imagine that as many as 15 people would witness the moment when such an order is given and then get a clear view of both the killing and the assassin.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News bills itself as "humor, parody and satire," as seen on its "about" page (archived here):


Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

However, most of RealRawNews content mimics the composition and the language of journalistic articles, confusing audiences.

NewsGuard, a tool that provides credibility ratings for websites, published a five-page PDF report (archived here) in 2021 describing realrawnews.com as, "An anonymously run website that has published baseless and debunked conspiracies about COVID-19 and U.S. politics." It cautioned that the website severely violates basic journalistic standards."

Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion