Fact Check: Map Does NOT Prove NATO States Positioned Their Armies To Attack Russia In March 2024

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Map Does NOT Prove NATO States Positioned Their Armies To Attack Russia In March 2024 Satire

Does a map that shows the flags of several NATO member states on Ukraine's border with Belarus and in Odesa prove that the countries plan to attack Russia? No, that's not true: The map, titled "Guarantee of Ukraine Independence Initiative 2024," was previously posted in a Reddit forum dedicated to memes called "Non-Credible Defense," and there is no reliable news about the purported plan of attack.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) by TikTok user @codruta.cerva04 (archived here) on March 3, 2024, under the title "#foryou Slava Rusia!"

The video only shows the map, with the following text written below it (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff):

I thought Russia was preparing to attack Europe and NATO member countries, right?! Well here I see something else! I see that the armies of the NATO countries have positioned themselves to attack Russia! Okay, not at the border with Russia, because they are afraid of Putin, but still, what else does NATO have to say now that they see this picture? 👉🇺🇸😈 GLORY TO RUSSIA! 😎💥👊

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Mar 15 13:42:03 2024 UTC)

The map shows the flags of the U.K., Poland, France, Czechia, Italy, Sweden and other states pinned on Ukraine's border with Belarus, and the flags of Bulgaria and Romania in the south of Ukraine, near Odesa. A text overlay on the map read "Guarantee of Ukraine Independence Initiative 2024," "Main bastard section Charlotte Street, off-pink door" and states among the objectives the creation of the "Coalition of the Willing, Circumvention of the Cowardly" alliance.

A reverse image Google search conducted by Lead Stories on March 18, 2024, shows that this map was first posted on Reddit on March 2, 2024, under the title "Eventual strategy....Ukraine, better late than never ?" (archived here), in a subreddit called "Non-Credible Defense," described as a "home for defense themed shitposts."

All the posts in this subreddit are satirical memes on defense-related news. The post with the map has several comments such as: "Reported for being too credible"; "A coalition of the willing consisting of European nation boots on the ground, securing Ukrainian borders? This is peak Non Credible. Well done"; "A coordinated, quick, cohesive European initiative. There's more zingers where this one came from, I'm here all week!"

The disclosure of such a map related to the war in Ukraine and to a purported plan of NATO countries to attack Russia has not been covered by reliable media, as a search on Google News (archived here) with the terms "Guarantee of Ukraine Independence Initiative 2024," conducted by Lead Stories on March 8, 2024, did not return any results.

Lead Stories has previously debunked claims about NATO member states sending troops to fight in Ukraine. You can read one here.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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