Did Russian forces just capture several NATO officers after capturing the Azovstal steelworks in Ukraine?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Russia Captured NATO Officers After Capturing Azovstal!
People are sharing a photo allegedly of high-ranking NATO officers that Russian forces captured after capturing the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.
Here is a sample of claims that are circulating with the viral photo :
No Evidence Russia Captured Any NATO Officers In Azovstal!
Bearing in mind that it is impossible to prove that something does not exist (Russell’s teapot), I can safely say that there is NO EVIDENCE that Russian forces actually captured any NATO officers in Azovstal.
In fact, here are the reasons why it is virtually impossible for Russia to have captured any NATO officer in the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Ukraine.
Fact #1 : Photo Does Not Show NATO Officers
The photo that has gone viral is not a photo of NATO officers captured by Russian soldiers amongst Ukrainian soldiers who started surrendering on Monday, 16 May 2022.
They are actually Ukrainian prisoners of war captured more than a month earlier in Luhansk – about 300 km away from the Azovstal steel plant.
Alexey Maishev who took the photo on 14 April 2022 identified them as Ukrainian prisoners of war who were forced to attend a memorial event for people who were killed in Luhansk in 2014.
Fact #2 : British Lt. Col. John Bailey Does Not Seem To Exist
There does not appear to be any Lieutenant Colonel John Bailey in the British Army.
There is a Lieutenant Colonel John Bailey, but he is a Division Head of Security Operations for the US Navy, based in Virginia.
Fact #3 : Russia Never Claim To Capture Any NATO Officer
I should point out that Russian authorities themselves have never claimed to have captured any NATO officer in Ukraine.
Such extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so far, there is ZERO evidence any NATO officer is present in Ukraine, never mind captured by Russian forces.
Fact #4 : Russians Would Have Paraded NATO Officers
If Russian forces did indeed capture NATO officers, they would have paraded them on Russian TV, just like they did with two British volunteers they captured – Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin.
Heck, Russia has been releasing photos and videos of the Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered at Azovstal. So why not release photos and videos of captured NATO officers?
Yet the Russians did no such thing. In fact, the only “sources” of these claims are conspiracy theory websites, and random people on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp.
There is simply no evidence of any NATO officer being captured by Russian forces. Don’t bother asking for a video, they don’t even have an actual photo!
Fact #5 : NATO Withdrew Military Trainers Before Russian Invasion
To avoid being embroiled in any potential war with Russia, NATO forces evacuated all of their military trainers before Russia invaded Ukraine.
The United States, for example, evacuated about 150 members of the Florida National Guard who were training Ukrainian soldiers on 12 February 2022.
The United Kingdom also pulled out about 130 troops who were training Ukrainian soldiers on the same day.
Even if these NATO officers were somehow present in Ukraine when Russia invaded on 24 February 2022, they would have been immediately evacuated.
This was not just to avoid their capture by Russia. It was critical for NATO to avoid any direct confrontation with Russia.
Fact #6 : There Are No NATO Forces In Ukraine
NATO Allied Land Command also confirmed that “there are no NATO forces or leaders in Ukraine in any capacity“.
So the claim that NATO officers were also captured is false. If any NATO officer was captured, again – you can be sure that the Russians would have paraded them on TV.
Fact #7 : All Captured NATO Officer Claims Proven False
This fake story is part of the false NATO forces narrative that have proven to be false at every instance :
- Secret NATO Headquarters Under Azovstal Exposed?!
- Did Russia Capture US General Roger Cloutier In Azovstal?!
- Did Russia Capture Canadian General Cadieu In Azovstal?!
- Is Hunter Biden Trapped In Azovstal With NATO Generals?!
- Was Captured Canadian General In Charge Of NATO Biolab?!
- Did Russia Capture US Admiral Eric Olson In Azovstal?!
IMHO, Russia is pushing this narrative to shift the blame for losing thousands of tanks and armoured vehicles, and almost 30,000 soldiers to the much smaller Ukrainian army.
It could not have been the Ukrainian army that did this to the much vaunted Russian army. It must have been NATO!
Variants of this FAKE NEWS are now being shared in pro-Russia and pro-CCP websites.
Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out!
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