False Information: Russia to Draw Back Troops from Armenia

Verdict – false information

A number of Facebook pages, sharing the content that was published on clickbait sites, claim that Russia is drawing back troops from Armenia. This information is false. Not only have the Russian troops not withdrawn, but two more stations of the 102nd Russian military base have been established in Syunik Province.

The Headline Does Not Match the Content

More than a month ago, a piece of news claiming that the Russian troops are withdrawing from the territory of Armenia began circulating in the Armenian media. The reason for this withdrawal, as stated, was the forthcoming war. On June 10, this news started circulating again, at an even faster rate and with a more sensational headline: “What a turn of events! Russia is drawing back troops from the RA…”

The headline seems to be describing something happening right at the moment; as if the Russian troops are currently in the process of withdrawing. However, the information provided in the article does not support this immediate impression. The withdrawal of the Russian troops is, according to the body of the article, only an assumption allegedly made by a person named Hayk Martirosyan during a certain press conference. The article does not mention who Hayk Martirosyan is; neither did we find any press conference through the open sources at which an individual named Hayk Martirosyan might have made such a statement. The information did not appear on any reliable platforms. It is possible that the author of the article meant political scientist Hayk Martirosyan, but the latter told us that if it was him being quoted in these posts, “then we are dealing with a false story”, since he had never made such a statement.

The author of the article states further, that they were unable to check the validity of Hayk Martirosyan’s statements, yet still found it necessary to have shared the story with the readers.

Even the paraphrases from alleged Hayk Martirosyan’s statement show that it is not the immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops or military bases that he was foreseeing but rather that the Russian army is slowly retiring from the Armenian territory. The reason for this retreat, according to him, is the forthcoming war expected in the spring.

The Russian Troops Do Not Intend upon Withdrawing

The talks about the Russian troops withdrawing are not backed by evidence. More than a month has passed after the release of the information, however, no Russian troops have yet pulled out. Moreover, on April 14, the incumbent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced in the National Assembly (NA) that the core of ensuring Armenia’s foreign security is the Armenian-Russian military alliance and that effective negotiations have been held with Russian colleagues about stationing a unit of the 102nd Russian military base in Syunik Province.

Later, on May 3, Pashinyan announced in the NA again, this time confirming that two new stations of the Russian military base have already been deployed to Syunik.

During the press conference organized on May 6, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, emphasized the importance of the cooperation between Russian and Armenian nations in the military field, including the area of military engineering. He went on to say that the guarantee of the security in the Transcaucasian region is the operation of the 102nd Russian military base, as well as The United Group of Forces (a joint military unit between the Armenian and the Russian Armed Forces), and the presence of the Russian border guards in the territory of Armenia.

On May 24, Lavrov highlighted in his lengthy interview that that Russian-Armenian relations have stood the test of time, and that he has no doubt that the relations will continue to develop in the spirit of mutual trust, strategic partnership and allied cooperation. He also assured that Russia is ever ready to stand by the Armenian people.


This article was produced in partnership with Media Initiatives Center and is part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.