Did Russian forces just capture former US special ops commander, Admiral Eric Olson in Azovstal, Ukraine?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Russia Captured US Admiral Eric Olson In Azovstal!
People are sharing pictures of US Admiral Eric Olson, purportedly showing him being captured by Russian soldiers in the Azovstal steelworks in Ukraine.
Here is a sample of claims that are circulating with these pictures :
US Admiral Eric Olson (Highly decorated special ops commander) born in #Tacoma , Wa USA captured in #Azovstal #Mariupol #BREAKING
Over the past 24 hours, more than 250 militant soldiers barricaded in the Azovstal factory in Mariupol have laid down their arms and surrendered. This was announced by Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenko .
No Evidence Russia Captured US Admiral Eric Olson In Azovstal!
Bearing in mind that it is impossible to prove that something does not exist (Russell’s teapot), I can safely say that there is NO EVIDENCE that Russian forces actually captured US Admiral Eric Olson in Azovstal.
In fact, here are the reasons why it is virtually impossible for Russia to have captured him in the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Ukraine.
Fact #1 : Admiral Olson Retired More Than A Decade Ago
Admiral Eric Thor Olson retired as the eight commander of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) on August 22, 2011.
He has an impressive military record, graduating as a Navy SEAL in 1974 before working his way up to becoming the first SEAL to ever be appointed Admiral, and the first naval officer to head USSOCOM.
However, his days of picking up a gun to fight in the tunnels beneath the Azovstal steelworks is long past. It would be absurd to claim that he took up arms to defend Azovstal.
Born on 24 January 1952, he is just over 70 years old, and had already retired from active duty for more than a decade. He is currently the President and Managing Member of ETO Group, LLC.
Fact #2 : Photo Does Not Show Admiral Olson
The photo that has gone viral does not show Admiral Eric Olson amongst 264 Ukrainian soldiers who were evacuated on Monday, 16 May 2022.
That was a photo taken by Alexey Maishev of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, with the caption :
Ukrainian prisoners of war attend an event in memory of those killed in Luhansk People’s Republic as a result of shelling in 2014, in Luhansk, LPR.
Fact #3 : Photo Was Taken In Luhansk One Month Earlier
The photo was taken in Luhansk, not Azovstal. Luhansk is about 300 km away from the Azovstal steel plant.
Even if this is a photo of captured NATO officers (it’s not), they would have been held in Donetsk, which is much closer at 113 km.
Maishev also took the photo on 14 April 2022 – more than a month before the first batch of Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from Azovstal.
Fact #4 : Russia Surrounded Mariupol Since 2 March 2022
While no one really knows where Admiral Eric Olson is right now, it would be quite impossible for him to enter Mariupol as it was one of the first Ukrainian cities to be attacked by Russian forces.
Even if he was “consulting” the Ukrainians, he would have been evacuated in the first few days of the Russian invasion, if not earlier.
Mariupol was completely surrounded by 2 March 2022 – 7 days after Russia invaded Ukraine, making it impossible for anyone to leave, or get into the city.
Fact #5 : Russians Would Have Paraded Olson
If Russian forces did indeed capture Admiral Olson, they would have paraded him on Russian TV, just like they did with two British volunteers they captured – Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin.
Yet the Russians did no such thing. In fact, the only “sources” of these claims are a French blog, and random people on Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp.
There is simply no evidence of Admiral Olson being captured by Russian forces. Never mind a video clip, they don’t even have an actual photo.
Fact #6 : There Are No NATO Forces In Ukraine
NATO Allied Land Command told BBC reporter Alistair Coleman that “there are no NATO forces or leaders in Ukraine in any capacity“.
While NATO nations are sending financial and military aid to Ukraine, no NATO soldiers or leaders are deployed to the country.
So the claim that NATO officers were also captured is false. If any NATO officer was captured, again – you can be sure that the Russians would have paraded them on TV.
Fact #7 : Russia Never Captured Any NATO Officer
I should also point out that Russian authorities did not claim to have captured any NATO officer in Ukraine.
Such extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so far, there is ZERO evidence any NATO officer is present in Ukraine, never mind captured by Russian forces.
In fact, this fake story is part of the false NATO forces narrative that have proven to be false at every instance :
- Secret NATO Headquarters Under Azovstal Exposed?!
- Did Russia Capture US General Roger Cloutier In Azovstal?!
- Did Russia Capture Canadian General Cadieu In Azovstal?!
- Is Hunter Biden Trapped In Azovstal With NATO Generals?!
- Was Captured Canadian General In Charge Of NATO Biolab?!
IMHO, Russia is pushing this narrative to shift the blame for losing thousands of tanks and armoured vehicles, and almost 30,000 soldiers to the much smaller Ukrainian army.
It could not have been the Ukrainian army that did this to the much vaunted Russian army. It must have been NATO!
Variants of this FAKE NEWS are now being shared in pro-Russia and pro-CCP websites.
Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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