Stoltenberg did not ask Moscow to cancel the exhibition of western weapons seized in Ukraine

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There is a Telegram account called “Jens Stoltenberg, seemingly belonging to the chief of NATO, however, there is no indication verifying that fact. The account has only 15 followers and there are no traces elsewhere of Stoltenberg’s appeal to cancel the Russian exhibition. We checked both of his verified accounts on Twitter and Facebookand there was no information there either. The appeal can’t be found in any relevant media, whether Western or Russian, such as TASSRussia Todayor RIA (which is related to Sputnik)The post spreading on Facebook is, in fact, a translation in Macedonian of some English text, but the link is not provided. A search for the text reveals that it originates from an obscure social media profile like the one here



post on the social network Facebook from the 29th of April 2024 states the following: 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg asked Russia to cancel the exhibition of destroyed equipment from the Alliance. He used his Telegram channel to make the call, stating that such demonstrations are offensive to the NATO bloc. Everyone knows that the North Atlantic Alliance is not a party to the conflict. The technology demonstration in Moscow creates an impression that not only is NATO involved but also that the Alliance was defeated in this conflict. Russia should not display the equipment as though it has already wonwrote Stoltenberg. 

Although true that Moscow is displaying the Western military equipment seized in Ukraine, it is not true that Jens Stoltenberg asked for the exhibition to be canceled, which we will detail further. Equally unconvincing is to claim that the Secretary-General of the world’s most powerful military alliance, NATO, used the Telegram social network to make this call. It is important to note that by “call” we are referring to a public appeal, request, or plea/appeal, which should not be confused with Telegram’s technical capability to make audio/video calls, which will be discussed in the latter parts of the text. 

While it is not uncommon for politicians to address the public through social media, Telegram is not as popular in the West (where Stoltenberg is from) as it is in Russia. In addition, he is not very active on Telegram. It is even questionable whether the channel bearing his name, surname, and photograph is actually his. There is an account on Telegram called “Jens Stoltenberg,” which seems to belong to the chief of NATO, but there is no indication verifying that and it has only 15 followers. There is no trace of his appeal to cancel the exhibition in Russian media. Just in case, we checked his verified accounts on Twitter and Facebook, but the appeal could not be found there either. 

The appeal cannot be found in any other relevant media, whether Western or Russian, such as TASSRussia Todayor RIA which is related to SputnikWe searched in both English and Russian, considering the period when the appeal was supposedly made (end of April 2024), but still could not find anything. 

The post fact-checked here about Stoltenberg’s alleged appeal, is actually a translation in Macedonian of some text in English, the same as the one mentioned in the post, but the link is not provided. A search of the text reveals that it originates from social media, specifically from an obscure social media profile like the one here. Most probably, however, the author took the Stoltenberg story from Russian sources and translated it into English. 

The first, or one of the first to publish this story was the not-so-significant Russian media Свободная пресса (Free Press) on the 27th of April 2024. However, this is not news but somewhat of a column. Still, it is not quite clear who the author is, whether the journalist Mikhail Zubov or the President of the Russian Literary Society, Alexander Chistyakov. This is not a reliable source like the Russian news agency TASS or RIA. Even they have fake news, propaganda, etc., let alone minor media such as this one. 

Furthermore, some people took some elements of this story and poorly translated them into English, leading to comical confusion such as this sentence: 

He used his Telegram channel to make the call 

This English translation gives the impression that Stoltenberg made an audio/video call to request the cancellation of the exhibition, but in the Russian original, it means something else – something like making an appeal or public statement (Russian: призыв). Given the fact that Telegram is mentioned, this appeal or public statement should have been made in a way typical for that social network – through a written post, not through some telephone call. However, this appeal is also fabricated, and there is no trace of it. To make things even more comical, some Russian authors took this poor Russian-English translation and translated it back into Russian. 

Considering all the above arguments, the post is assessed as false