The post carries a false statement by Peskov disinforming that some kind of unification will happen between Russia and Belarus. Our check showed that neither Peskov made a statement claiming that Putin’s address from 26th June will determine the fate of Russia, nor did Putin announce any kind of unification with Belarus in his address. In his speech he focused on the rebellion of Wagner Group, stressing to the members that they were Russian patriots and that they had the opportunity to continue serving Russia and to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Defense, or – those who wanted to – could move to Belarus
We are fact-checking a post on Facebook (screenshot here), which on the basis of assumptions and quoting a false statement given by the Kremlin’s Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, is spreading incorrect news that Russia will unite with Belarus.
Peskov said that Putin’s statements given tonight “will determine – without exaggeration – the fate of Russia, states the post which shares an article with the headline: “Tonight Putin will announce unification with Belarus?”
Specifically, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the public on 26.06.2023 after the mutiny of the soldiers of the Wagner Group. The shared article conveys Peskov’s statement, who allegedly said that the statements made by Putin tonight (26.06.) “will determine – without exaggeration – the fate of Russia”.
Starting from the alleged Peskov’s statement, the post we are fact-checking is spreading disinformation that Putin will announce unification with Belarus.
Our check indicated that Peskov did not state that Putin’s announcement will determine the fate of Russia, nor did Putin announce any kind of unification with Belarus.
Namely, on the eve of the Russian President’s address on 26th June, news broke out about Peskov implying that Putin’s speech will supposedly be “definite and final”.
Peskov denied uttering such claims.
Well, of course, that is false. No such statement was made. Very unprofessional of many, stated Peskov for RIA Novosti.
As for Putin’s address, the Russian President did not mention unification with Belarus. He focused on the rebellion of the Wagner Group, explaining to its members that they were Russian patriots and had the opportunity to continue serving Russia by concluding a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Those who wanted could also move to Belarus.
I salute those soldiers and commanders of the Wagner Group who made the only right decision – refused to be a party to fratricidal bloodshed and retrieved to the last line. Today, you have an opportunity to continue serving Russia by concluding a contract with the Ministry of Defense, or other law enforcement agencies, or to return to your families and friends. Whoever wants to, can move to Belarus. I will fulfill the promise I made. I repeat, the choice is yours. I am sure that that will be the choice of the Russian soldiers who realized the tragic mistake they made. I am grateful to the President of Belarus, Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, for all his efforts and contribution to finding a peaceful resolution of the situation, said Putin in his address dated 26.06.2023
From all this, we can conclude that the post we are fact-checking conveyed a false statement, allegedly given by Peskov, and continued spreading the false impression that there will be some kind of unification between Russia and Belarus. Putin did not announce such a thing. Hence, we can conclude that the post is untrue.