Media and social media users spreading pro-Russian rhetoric claim that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi ordered the Ukrainian military to “immediately leave” the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, supported by a corresponding video. However, this video is fake.
Analysts from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the video used old footage and a voice similar to the voice of the Ukrainian president. In addition, it is distributed only by users of social networks, pro-Russian sites and Telegram channels. Not a single authoritative Ukrainian or English-language media reported such a “loud” order from the Ukrainian president. In addition, this video distributed by Russian propaganda is not on Zelensky’s official pages on social networks, where he usually publishes his addresses.
Secondly, with a detailed review of the fake “video message”, it is noticeable that Zelenskyi’s facial expressions do not correspond to his language. StopFake specialists discovered an identical video with Zelenskyi dated October 31, 2023. However, in the original video, the president does not issue any “orders” regarding Avdiivka, but talks about the situation in the Black Sea, the work of the “grain corridor”, international support, and so on. To create a fake, audio with an artificially created voice of Zelenskyi about the order to leave Avdiivka was simply superimposed on this video, using the corporate style of the 1+1 TV channel for greater credibility.
By spreading such fakes, propagandists want to cause panic among Ukrainians and personal distrust of Zelenskyi. Like, Ukraine is losing. However, Detector Media also refuted other fakes and manipulations on a similar topic, where propagandists manipulated the President of Ukraine.