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How true is claim a nuclear missile was built by Russian-based Biafran?

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Claim: A user on Twitter claims that: “Russian-based Biafran Builds Nuclear Missile.” 

The claim that a Russian-Biafran has built a nuclear Missile is false. The picture used to depict the narrative was doctored to forge a misleading story. 

Full Text

Nuclear weapons  of mass destruction were used during World War II. The most horrendous incident involving the use of nuclear bombs was the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. As a result  of its fatal power, and expensive cost of production,  the United Nations banned the production of the  bomb. Nonetheless, some countries such as the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain, Pakistan, India, Israel, Iran, and North Korea still have and continue to develop them.

Yet, notwithstanding the reality around the production of the Nuclear weapon and the fact that it is only available in  few advanced nations, a Twitter user, Kingsley Uba Dike (@uba_dike) claims that a Russian-based Biafran has not only built a Nuclear missile but has also named it the ‘Biafran Satan 404’. The post amassed over a thousand interactions with multiple comments that appear to be in agreement with the idea.

A user, Ejimchi (@Ejimchi) commented that “Now they know nwanne, for arewa to advised death buhari to let Biafra go if they want to, I believe they know. But Fulani janjaweed cabal feel that they are very stubborn, but they will know how far in near future. They think that 1967 is the same with 2021.” While other users dismissed the claim others appeared frightened about it all.  

‘Biafra’

Biafra was a region that roughly correlates with Nigeria’s current South East geopolitical zone. In May 1967, Biafra declared its independence from the rest of the country. A civil war followed. It is estimated that 500,000 to 3 million people died from disease, starvation and the conflict itself. Biafra’s defeat in January 1970 ended the war.

However, the Biafran separatist movement continues, most notably in the activism of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an organisation led by the exiled Nnamdi Kanu.

Nigeria’s South East is said to be mainly populated by Igbo people. When members of the separatist movement say “Biafrans”, they generally mean the Igbo.

Other news websites reinforced the claim

On Nairaland, a popular Nigerian-based interactive website, the ‘radio Biafra’ shared the same claim with more details attached to it.  

The post, as it appears on Nairaland

The post also reappeared on ‘Africa Status’ (a new site) with the same heading and narrative as the one one Nairaland. So also on Pinterest, where the post seems to have enjoyed a reasonable viewership. 

The post as it appeared on Pinterest

Even more findings by DUBAWA revealed that the claim has been published on over 30 different blogs. 

Some results of the conducted advance google reverse search on the claim. Results show the claims multiple resurgences on different platforms

Verification 

Dubawa first conducted a Yandex Reverse image search on the purported image of the nuclear image built by the Biafran. Results show that the image was taken out of a different context to forge a new and bogus narrative.  While the original image of the missile had no Biafran flag attached to it, the one under scrutiny was doctored to add up the Biafran flag and the text ‘Republic of Biafra’.

Image 1: Acclaimed image under scrutiny, depicts the nuclear missile said to have been built by a Russian-based Biafran.

The acclaimed image, simply doctored to add up the Biafran Flag and the ‘Republic Of Biafra’ 

Image 2: depicts the actual source and narrative around the image as shared on the Business insider 7 years ago. The missile neither carries the flag of Biafra, nor the text ‘Republic of Biafra’.

Original and actual narrative behind the image without the Biafran Flag and the ‘Republic of Biafra’ 

The missile on the picture was neither built by a ‘Biafran’ or any other entity related to the secessionist state. In fact, the image was originally taken when the  deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium nuclear-capable ballistic missile was displayed at La Cabana fortress in Havana, Cuba on October 13, 2012.

The picture was originally taken October 13, 2012, by Desmond Boylan of the REUTERS news agency, depicting the Russian missiles transported to Cuba in 1962 during the cold war between the U.S and the Soviet Union

The story behind the missile dates back to the 13-day missile crisis that began on Oct. 16, 1962, when then-President John F. Kennedy first learned the Soviet Union was installing missiles in Cuba, barely 90 miles (145 km) off the Florida coast. After secret negotiations between Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the United States agreed not to invade Cuba if the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles from the island. The same missile that is now attached to a bogus new narrative. 

Conclusion 

This claim is false. The purported image was originally taken when the  deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium nuclear-capable ballistic missile was displayed in 2012 and not made by a Biafran as claimed.

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