Pictured: Russian Soldiers In Ukraine Pose With Pictures Of Iranian General Qasim Soleimani

February 20, 2024

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On February 20, 2023, Jihad Al-Samiteen, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq, shared three photos allegedly showing Russian soldiers in Ukraine, posing with pictures of slain Iranian General Qasim Soleimani.[1]

The Iran-backed Telegram channel shared the three photos, writing: "Officers and soldiers from the Russian Army are raising pictures of the martyr, general Qasim Soleimani upon their liberation of the city of Avdiivka[2] from the control of the Ukrainian Nazi Army."

The first photo shows a group of eleven militants, almost all of whose faces are digitally blurred, posing with two flags: the flag of Stary Oskol[3] and a black flag depicting the likeness of Soleimani.

The second photo shows an unarmed masked man wearing a t-shirt depicting the likeness of Soleimani, while the third photo shows the same man raising a camouflage flag also depicting a smiling Soleimani.

A person wearing a black maskDescription automatically generated

A person in a mask holding a flagDescription automatically generated

Ukrainian Analyst: Iranians Pictured Fighting Alongside Russians

Ukrainian military and political analyst Alexander Kovalenko also shared the photos in a February 19 post on X.[4] In Russian, Kovalenko suggested the individuals pictured were Iranians embedded within Russian units, commenting: "Now, among other things, Iran also supplies meat to Russia. By the way, please remind me, is the Iranian embassy in Ukraine still working?"

MEMRI JTTM cannot confirm the identities of the individuals in the photos nor that they were taken in Avdiivka, as claimed by the Jihad al-Samiteen Telegram channel.


[1] Telegram, February 20, 2024.

[2] Russian forces captured Avdiivka, in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on February 17, 2024.

[3] Stary Oskol is a city in the Belgorod Oblast of Russia.

[4] X, February 19, 2024.

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