Video snippets are being circulated online purportedly showing German tanks bearing the 14/88 neo-Nazi code being sent off to Ukraine. This video is a fake. The original video, dating from nearly a year ago shows no such symbols or inscriptions on the tanks.
Several Russian language Facebook posts are busily sharing a video clip, claiming tanks being shipped by Germany to Ukraine were spotted in the city of Mannheim, and they are allegedly bearing the 14/88 secret neo-Nazi code. The three-second video shows tanks being transported on a railway, one of the tanks seems to have 14/88 painted on its side. “Mannheim (Germany) Who is Russia fighting against? Tanks being transferred to Ukraine, with the inscription 14/88. 14/88 is one of the slogans of modern nationalists and racists. It has the Nazi exclamation “Heil, Hitler”, Adolf Hitler’s date of birth and the volume of the first chapter of his book “Mein Kampf” encoded in it,” a certain Olga Lipetskaya and other Facebook users write.
In fact, the original video showing the transport of these tanks appeared online as early as March 8, 2022. It clearly shows that none of the tanks are inscribed with the 14/88 slogan. This “code” was most likely later added to one of the tanks using a video editing tool, in order to show that the Russian army is fighting against “fascists and Nazis”, as Russian propagandists incessantly claim.
Furthermore, the video does not feature “German tanks going to the East”, but American Abrams tanks. Using the search query “abrams transportation” on YouTube, we find the original video called “Militär Panzer Transporte rollen durch Deutschland” – “Tanks transport passes through Germany.” This video, which is over three minutes long, was published on the Mark Grigi channel on March 8, 2022. Grigi is a German political watcher with accounts on YouTube, Twitter and Telegram.
The video is a compilation of short video segments showing the transport of military vehicles in various German cities almost a year ago, a time when the supply of German or other Western tanks to Ukraine was simply out of the question. The segment from 01:01 to 01:22 shows actual footage filmed from a passing car in the German city of Mannheim. It shows the same tank column as in the three-second snippet being disseminated on social media now, in 2023. However, in the original video, none of the tanks has the 14/88 inscription.
Another detail showing that the video snippet being used in these fake claims is the same video that Mark Grigi posted a year ago, is the song playing in the car from which the video is filmed. Both in the original video from 2022 and in the fake one disseminated today, in 2023, one hears the same music – the German singer Laura Wilde’s song “Stell Dir vor“.
Therefore, the video showing the tank transport in Germany was doctored, the 14/88 code was applied to one of the vehicles using video editing. Social media users are spreading one of Russian propaganda’s main fake narratives, that the Russian army is “fighting against modern Nazis”, just like during the Second World War.
StopFake continues to debunk countless fakes about Russia’s war against Ukraine in stories such as “Fake: Ukrainian tank drivers in Germany asked ‘not to draw a swastika and do sieg heil salutes“, “Fake: Kyiv calls for volunteers to join ‘Nazi groups‘”, “Fake: Arriving for training, Ukrainian military ask for political asylum in Germany.”