Social media posts share fabricated remarks by Putin on World Economic Forum founder

  • Published on October 25, 2023 at 05:30
  • Updated on October 25, 2023 at 09:30
  • 3 min read
  • By Kate TAN, AFP Australia
Social media users have shared screengrabs and links to an article that falsely claims Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticised Klaus Schwab during a recent forum, including calling the World Economic Forum founder a "terrorist" and saying his days "are numbered". However, a transcript of Putin's remarks published by the Russian presidential office shows Putin did not mention Schwab at all during the forum.

"The World Economic Forum's Klaus Schwab is a 'Globalist Terrorist' who is 'holding Humanity to Ransom…' -President Vladimir Putin," a Facebook post published on October 6 reads.

The post also showed a screenshot of an article published by the People's Voice on October 5 on a speech that Putin gave during the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club held in Sochi in southwest Russia on the day.

The People's Voice is a website that has published false claims about the World Economic Forum (WEF) debunked by the AFP here, here and here.

The article fabricates several remarks that Putin is supposed to have made during this speech, including that he has called Schwab and his closer advisors "legitimate military targets" because they have been actively attempting to seize power illegally via a globalist coup d'etat.

A screenshot of the misleading post, captured on October 19. ( Kate TAN)

AFP reported that Putin said during the talk that Russia's mission was to create a "new world".

"We are tasked, essentially, with building a new world," Putin said during the political forum, adding the West was aiming for global "hegemony".

Putin has met with Schwab and spoken at WEF annual forums in the past, but the body has frozen all relations with Russian entities since March 2022 after the country invaded Ukraine.

Similar claims of Putin's supposed remarks have been shared over 7,000 times in Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

However, the claim is false.

Fabricated quotes

According to a transcript of Putin's speech published by the Russian presidential office, he did not mention Schwab or the WEF during his speech (archived link).

The transcript has also indicated that Putin did not call Schwab a "terrorist". Instead, Putin referred to the explosions of Nord Stream pipelines in 2022 as "an act of international terrorism" during the speech, and that "Ukrainian terrorist groups are plotting to do damage" to the TurkStream pipelines.

Putin also did not say Schwab's days "are numbered". Rather, he warned that Ukraine would only survive one week if the West stopped supplying it with ammunition.

"Just imagine if the [weapons] deliveries were discontinued tomorrow -- they would have just one week to go until they used up all ammunition," he said.

The article's claim that Putin said Schwab has attempted to seize power through a "globalist coup d'etat" is also false. Putin only mentioned the 2014 Maidan revolution -- which ousted former pro-Moscow Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych -- in his speech as a "coup" and blamed it on the United States, not Schwab.

"It was not us who orchestrated a coup in Kyiv in 2014 -- a bloody and anti-constitutional coup," Putin said. "I think, I have no doubt that it was the United States that provoked the Ukraine crisis by supporting the coup in Ukraine in 2014."

The Valdai Club has also published a translated transcript of Putin's remarks on its website, which also shows he has not mentioned Schwab at all during his speech (archived link).

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us