Various analysts and political observers have found a unique and unlikely source of vital information about Russian military movements along the Ukrainian-Russian border through the use of rising social media and video sharing platform TikTok.

TikTok, domestically known in China as Douyin, is a Chinese-owned social media platform owned by ByteDance Ltd. For those who are unfamiliar with TikTok, it is a platform where individuals can share 15 seconds to 3-minute videos across all genres, including but not limited to educational, comedy, and dance content. As of 2022, there are over 1 billion users of TikTok, where many are based in the United States, Russia, and Southeast Asia. The user base in Russia and Belarus had started sharing photos and videos showing Russian military weapons and vehicles being transported by train toward the border.

TikTok Military Tracking

This TikTok video posted by a certain Russian train enthusiast, Dinis Vogonov, whose name translates to Mr. Railway Car, shows military vehicles being transported via train to an unknown location. However, several internet sleuths and a slew of analysts have determined the train’s location, likely near the Siberian train station in Polushkino traveling westward – in the direction of Ukraine. The train contains Tigr-M multipurpose terrain vehicles, among other equipment.