President Putin did not say WEF’s Klaus Schwab is a ‘legitimate military target’

22 December 2023
What was claimed

President Putin said WEF president Klaus Schwab is a ‘legitimate military target’ in a speech at an international conference in October.

Our verdict

This is not true. Transcripts of the speech do not show any mention of Mr Schwab.

A video being shared on social media falsely claims President Putin declared the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab, a “legitimate military target”. 

In the video, a man says: “According to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, speaking at the plenary session of the 20th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Putin declared that globalists, including Schwab, and his close advisors are legitimate military targets”. 

Mr Putin supposedly added that this is because they have been “shamelessly attempting to seize power in a globalist coup d’etat”. 

However, English-language transcripts show President Putin did not mention either Mr Schwab or the WEF in his aforementioned speech on 5 October 2023 at the Valdai Discussion Club, which is a Moscow-based think tank that hosts the Russian leader once a year for a public address. 

President Putin’s 2023 keynote speech discussed Ukraine joining NATO, nuclear weapons and Russia’s relationship with China, among other issues. 

Beyond this, Full Fact could find no credible reports of President Putin making any such comment about Mr Schwab. 

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Who is Klaus Schwab?

The WEF is a foundation headquartered in Switzerland that engages with governments and business leaders on global issues. Mr Schwab founded the organisation in 1971 and is now its Executive Chairman. 

Following a meeting with Mr Schwab in 2019, it was reported that “Putin noted the importance and significant benefits of the World Economic Forum in Davos as an international platform”. 

This recent false claim appears to have come from an article on a website named The People’s Voice, and several posts on X (formerly Twitter) have shared a screenshot of its headline. The People’s Voice is connected to the websites YourNewsWire and NewsPunch, which have been identified by other fact checkers as frequent sources of misinformation.

Full Fact has written about many other unevidenced claims from The People’s Voice, including false claims that the Pope said disabled people should be “euthanized", that Klaus Schwab’s daughter Nicole Schwab warned “permanent climate lockdowns” were coming and that a UN expert claimed Christians who don’t accept paedophiles will be “excluded from society”

Mr Schwab and the WEF are regular subjects of misinformation. We’ve previously written about false claims that Mr Schwab had been arrested, is related to the Rothschild family and wrote a book about “organised epidemics”, and that the WEF has advocated for the slaughter of millions of pets and is banning natural conception

Image courtesy of World Economic Forum

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