Q: Has Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warrant for the arrest of George Soros?
A: No. That rumor has been circulating online for years in various forms.
It’s true that Russia in 2015 banned two charities run by the billionaire George Soros.
Soon after that ban was announced, an internet rumor circulated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had issued an arrest warrant for Soros himself. That’s false.
Facebook users rightly flagged stories about the arrest warrant as potentially false. The international police organization, INTERPOL, does not list Soros among those who have warrants out for their arrest.
The most recent version of the rumor has been circulating with the headline: “PUTIN ISSUES INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT FOR GEORGE SOROS.”
The bogus story starts by saying: “Russia has officially declared that Billionaire George Soros is a wanted man in their country, citing him and his organizations as a ‘threat to Russian national security.'”
That echoes part of a headline from Russia’s government-run news outlet, RT, which announced the ban on two of his charities this way: “Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as ‘threat to Russian national security.’” The RT story doesn’t explain why the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were banned beyond saying they were deemed a “threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security.” More important, it says nothing about Soros being wanted for arrest.
The false story goes on to reproduce part of a piece that ran on a website called Veterans Today in 2016. That piece confused Russia’s ban on the charities with removing Soros from the country, and is largely made-up of a hodgepodge of quotes from a variety of sources.
For example, it quoted from a Rolling Stone article about the effect that Goldman Sachs has had on the American economy and then, without any evidence, stated: “Obviously Soros wants to be like Goldman Sachs.” The Rolling Stone article didn’t mention Soros at all.
The story also quoted from a post on a Russian website during the 2016 presidential campaign that claimed Soros had rigged the outcome of the U.S. election.
Although there is no truth to the claim that Putin has issued an arrest warrant for Soros, stories with that headline have been shared on Facebook more than 13,000 times.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label false stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
Ablan, Jennifer. “Russia bans George Soros foundation as state security ‘threat.’” Reuters. 30 Nov 2015.
“PUTIN ISSUES INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT FOR GEORGE SOROS.” ViralPoliticsUS.com. 10 Mar 2018.
“Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as ‘threat to Russian national security.’” RT. 30 Nov 2015.
“Vladimir Putin to George Soros: Thank God we kicked you out of Russia.” Veterans Today. 17 Aug 2016.
Taibbi, Matt. “The Great American Bubble Machine.” Rolling Stone. 5 Apr 2010.
“George Soros: ‘Let’s Call the Terrorists a Taxi!’” Journal-neo.org. 7 Aug 2016.