Video shows tanks being moved for military exercise in Finland
CLAIM: Video shows Finland moving military equipment toward its eastern border with Russia.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows a train in Finland transporting tanks from the city of Tampere to the village of Niinisalo for a two-week military exercise called “Arrow 22,” the Finnish Army confirmed to The Associated Press. The train was moving to the northwest. Russia is to the east.
THE FACTS: Multiple social media users on Wednesday shared the video of tanks being moved by rail stating that the video showed Finland shifting the equipment closer to the Russian border. The two countries share a border that stretches about 830 miles.
“Media reports that Finland has begun an active transfer of equipment to the borders with Russia,” a Facebook user sharing the video falsely stated.
The video circulated widely on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram with the false information.
But the train was on its way to Niinisalo, which is in the opposite direction from Russia. A geolocation search confirms that the video was filmed in Tampere.
“I can confirm that the video is really about tanks being moved to the exercise Arrow,” Erikka Mannila, chief of public affairs with the Finnish Army confirmed in an email.
More than 3,000 people will be part of the biannual military exercise that runs from May 2 to May 13. Visiting forces from the U.K., Latvia, Estonia and the U.S. will also participate.
Col. Rainer Kuosmanen, commander of the country’s Armoured Brigade, also shared photos of the tanks on Twitter on May 2.
“A video has been circulating online claiming to show tanks being moved to Finland’s borders. This is not true,” Finnish Defense Forces tweeted on Wednesday. “The tanks were being moved to the army mechanised exercise Arrow 22. The exercise takes place in Niinisalo and Säkylä.”
Russia’s attack on Ukraine led both Finland and Sweden to send assault rifles and anti-tank weapons to Kyiv, breaking their policy of not providing arms to countries at war, the AP has reported.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.