Russia’s Shoigu inspected occupied Crimea, not ‘forward positions,’ investigation shows

20 December 2022, 05:39 PM
Shoigu was tens of kilometers from the front line (Photo:Screenshot/

Shoigu was tens of kilometers from the front line (Photo:Screenshot/

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who recently claimed he inspected the “forward positions” of the Russian troops, was actually dozens of kilometers from the front line, the GeoConfirmed Investigation initiative reported on Twitter on Dec. 19.

Russian media reported on Dec. 18 that Shoigu had allegedly inspected the forward positions of the Russian army in the area of “special military operation” –the propaganda term the Kremlin uses to mask the scale and purpose of its war in Ukraine.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Shoigu “flew over the areas where the troops were deployed and inspected the forward positions of Russian units,” where he allegedly “talked with the Russian servicemen and thanked the personnel for the exemplary performance of combat tasks.”

Video of day

However, GeoConfirmed, managed by volunteers, said otherwise.

The team, with the aid of Twitter user @GlasnostGone, established that the video footage of Shoigu actually showed areas dozens of kilometers away from the front line, on the Crimea/Kherson border.

The volunteers geolocated the places the Russian defense minister was seen inspecting from the helicopter window, and provided the coordinates, matching the views seen in the video to satellite imagery of the area.

“...In reality he is flying 85 kilometers behind the front line,” the volunteers tweeted.

“Propaganda it seems.”

The team also determined what kind of helicopter Shoigu had used for his trip: “He is flying with a Mi-8, like a Mi-8AMTSh,” the team tweeted.

“But based on the interior we estimate that this is a Mi-8TPS. A very rare staff version of the Mi-8. Only one wing is visible on the right side, this correlates with the footage from the inside and with the footage at the end.”

GeoConfirmed says it consists of a team of more than 20 volunteers.

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