Fact CheckPolitics

Niger coup: Viral video of aircraft supposedly carrying Wagner forces, old 

Claim: A video has gone viral on the internet suggesting that Wagner forces had arrived in Niger in an aircraft in anticipation of a military response from ECOWAS following the overthrow of Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum.

Verdict: This is false. Using a reverse image search, DUBAWA noticed that the video had been online for about 17 years.

Full Text

Shortly after leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced their readiness to intervene militarily to reinstate ousted Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum, there have been reports that Wagner forces have supported local soldiers.

On social media, a particular video showing a white aircraft is alleged to be carrying Wagner soldiers and the narrative is that they were arriving in Niger.

The 23-second video has been posted by various users on Facebook and Twitter. Some of these posts can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

“BREAKING: Video Footage LEAKED barely an hour ago is presumably the landing of the Il-76 military transport aircraft in Niger, purportedly carrying Wagner PMC fighters,” one online user said in the post containing the viral video.


Through a reverse image search, we saw that the video had been online since 2006. A YouTube channel, MotorcycleDriveby, posted the same video in August 2006 titled “IL 76 Approach into Khartoum.”

Screenshot of the video found on Youtube.

Khartoum is the capital city of Sudan.

The narrative by those sharing the video, which has gone viral, is false. The video has been online for about 17 years.

Are Wagner Forces in Niger?

At the moment, there is no official confirmation of the presence of the Russian mercenary group in Niger despite widespread social media reports that fighters have been stationed in Niamey in anticipation of an attack from ECOWAS.

However, news reports from credible sources have indicated that the military rulers have asked for help from the mercenary group in neighbouring Mali.


A reverse image search led DUBAWA to the same video on YouTube since 2006. Currently, there is no official confirmation of Wagner forces in Niger.

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