Ukraine: this video does not show Roger Cloutier, a NATO official, captured by the Russians

Published on: 04/18/2022 – 18:33 Since April 6, social media posts claim that Roger Cloutier, an American NATO lieutenant general, was captured in Mariupol, Ukraine, by the army Russian. On April 11, a video claiming to show his arrest by FSB forces, Russia’s intelligence services, was posted on Facebook. But it actually shows the arrest of a Tatar fighter, engaged against Russian forces in Crimea. Verification in brief A video purports to show Roger Cloutier, a senior NATO official, being arrested by the FSB, according to social media posts. The video actually shows the arrest of a member of a Crimean Tatar battalion, which is fighting the Russians. NATO has denied the rumor that Roger Cloutier would be captured. Verification in detail On the video, we can see a man wearing a cap being arrested by soldiers wearing FSB uniforms. He is transferred to a car and then taken to a building. “War in Ukraine, an American General of the Marines Roger Cloutier and two French instructors of the DGSE captured by Russian soldiers after the clash of their device” (sic), can we read on the publication. The video, shared on April 12 by Direct Infos Abidjan, an Ivorian news site, has more than 13,000 views on Facebook. The video was also shared here on April 12 on Facebook and here the same day on Twitter. Since April 5, publications in French like this one on Facebook and this one on Twitter, or even in English, claim that Roger L. Cloutier, who is in charge of NATO ground command, was captured in Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has been going on for a month and a half. The arrest of a Crimean Tatar fighting against Russian forcesBy doing a reverse image search using the Invid Verify tool (see here how to do it), we can find the original video. It was published by the agency Russian government press Ria Novosti in an April 7 article. The agency indicates that it is about the arrest of a fighter of the Crimean Tatar battalion, by the Russian FSB, on April 7, in Simferopol, Crimea. According to the article, the arrested man carried out “anti-Russian actions on the territory of the Genichesk district of the Kherson region”, especially since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The Crimean Tatar Battalion, also named Noman Çelebicihan Battalion, after a Tatar activist, is a paramilitary unit of Crimean Tatar volunteers who have been fighting Russians and their supporters in Crimea since 2016. Some publications make a mistake about the rank of Roger Cloutier: he is a lieutenant-general, not a general as they claim. On April 5, the day the rumor went viral on social media, Roger Cloutier posted a photo of himself on his LinkedIn page. full speech at a NATO event in Izmir, Turkey. In a comment on April 6, the NATO lieutenant general responded to a netizen’s comment that mentioned the rumor of his capture, saying “these rumors are completely untrue.”Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe NATO (Shape), denied to AFP on April 8 the capture of Roger Cloutier by Russian forces, saying: “Rumors are circulating online that Lieutenant General Roger Cloutier, Commander of the Allied Land Forces, has was captured in the midst of military activity in Ukraine, more specifically in Mariupol. These claims are entirely false.”According to NATO Headquarters Europe, the lieutenant last visited Ukraine” in July 2021 to conduct discussions within the Land Staff in Kyiv in order to strengthen NATO’s partnership with the courageous and capable forces of Ukraine”.