Old Video From Moscow Shared as Recent ‘Anti-War’ Protest in Russia

The clip has been on the internet since at least January 2021 as visuals from pro-Navalny protests in Moscow.

4 min read
Old Video From Moscow Shared as Recent ‘Anti-War’ Protest in Russia

A video of a large crowd of people gathered on the streets in protest is being widely shared on social media platforms, claiming to show protests against the Ukraine war in Moscow, Russia.

The video comes against the backdrop of multiple anti-war protests by citizens in Russia, which led to several arrests.

But we saw that the same video had been on the internet since January 2021, when it was shared as a video showing pro-Navalny protests in Moscow. Russians stepped onto the streets to support Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who had been imprisoned after he returned from Germany, following medical treatment.



The 30-second clip is being shared to claim that it shows recent visuals of anti-war protests in Moscow, Russia.

An archived version of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

This tweet by Twitter user ‘Volodymyr Zelenskyy Fan Page’ was viewed over 3.3 lakh times at the time of writing this article.

The video had been shared with the same claim on YouTube as well.

More posts with the same claim on social media can be seen here, here and here.


Using InVID, we divided the video into keyframes and ran reverse image searches on some of them. The results led us to an Instagram post with the same video, posted on 23 January, 2021.

The video was uploaded on 23 January, 2021.

(Source: Instagram/Altered by The Quint)

The video’s Russian caption loosely translates to ‘Protests in Moscow. Top view. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there are now four thousand people in the center of the capital. But judging by the video, there are many more people. Many are trying to go towards Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin.’

The same video was also shared by journalist Kevin Rothrock, who noted that it showed ‘Navalny’s protest crowd.’

The clip was also shared in a bulletin by Canadian news organisation CTV News in 2021, mentioning that over 2,500 people had been detained while protesting against Navalny’s arrest.

Alexei Navalny is a strong Kremlin critic in Russia, who has been subjected to various arrests and investigations. In January 2021, demonstrations demanding his release from prison took place all over Russia after he was arrested a week after her returned from Berlin, following treatment for nerve-agent poisoning.

Using relevant keywords in Russian, we came across news reports on the protests. One video report by DW News published on 23 January 2021 showed different visuals of the demonstration that took place to free Navalny.

The Quint had also reported on the protests in 2021. Watch here.


Using reverse image search on one of the frames on Yandex, we were able to identify the area as Tverskaya street in Moscow. We looked it up on Google Maps and found the same beige-yellow building as seen in the viral claim.

We spotted the same building at Tverskaya Street, Moscow.

(Source: Twitter/Google Maps/Altered by The Quint)

We explored the area using street view and found more similarities between the street and viral video.

The architecture in both videos is similar.

(Source: Twitter/Google Maps/Altered by The Quint)


Further, we were able to match a frame of the DW News report with shops and signs in a building along the street.

A H&M store is visible in both stills.

(Source: YouTube/Google Maps/Altered by The Quint)

While we were unable to independently verify the context of the video, we found that the video is indeed from Moscow but has been on the internet since at least January 2021 and is not connected to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Vladamir Putin   Webqoof   Alexei Navalny 

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