Putin video discussing Russian ties with Yemen has fake subtitles

20 May 2024
What was claimed

A video shows Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that he will unite with Yemen in the future, because Yemen has become a “force that cannot be ignored”.

Our verdict

The video has been altered to include incorrect English subtitles and Arabic voiceover. The original video is of Vladimir Putin addressing Russian citizens after the election in March 2024 and does not mention Yemen.

A video circulating on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube claims to show Russian President Vladimir Putin talking about strengthening ties with Yemen.

But the clip has been edited to include a false Arabic voiceover translation and English subtitles.

The English subtitles claim Mr Putin says “I strongly believe that Yemen will be Russia’s strongest and most stable ally in the future” and that “there is huge potential for joint cooperation and strengthening of bilateral relations between our two countries”.

Captions posted with the video include “Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he will unite with Yemen in the future, because Yemen has become an invincible force. Do Saudi Arabia and the UAE understand the meaning of this issue?”.

There are a few clues that the subtitles have been added later, including spelling mistakes in the English subtitles such as “Yemen has become a force that cannot be ignored in the Middle Eas [sic]”, and that, in some versions, the video briefly pauses 54 seconds in before repeating the beginning of the video. 

The original, three-minute version of the video, without the false subtitles, was posted on the Kremlin’s website on 21 March, following President Putin’s victory in March’s Russian election, in which no credible opposition candidate was able to stand. The official English transcript for the video does not mention Yemen—instead President Putin thanked citizens for voting.

A side-by-side comparison of screenshots from the video on the Kremlin website and the video circulated on social media, produced by Reuters, highlights the same details in both videos. 

These include the Russian flag on the left of the frame, the telephones and Coat of Arms flag on the right and the placement of Mr Putin’s hands on the table. The video on social media appears to be lower-definition and slightly zoomed in. 

Full Fact could not find any evidence of Mr Putin making any such statements about Russian-Yemeni ties. However, in March Bloomberg reported that Houthi rebels (an Iran-backed rebel group that controls large parts of Yemen) told China and Russia their ships could sail through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden without being attacked. 

In February, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Yemen’s internationally recognised government, Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, in Moscow. 

Full Fact has written many times about altered videos and images, which can result in the spread of misinformation. For tips on how to verify content before you share it, read our guide.

Image courtesy of Plato Terentev

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.