On November 7-8, Georgian (1, 2, 3.) and Russian-language (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Facebook accounts disseminated information about Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the posts accompanying the video, Zaluzhnyi announced a military coup in Ukraine. Some posts also mention that the Minister of Defense of Ukraine has started the procedures for removing the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The claims voiced in the disseminated posts are false. Valerii Zaluzhnyi did not make such a statement, and the video was most likely created using Deepfake technology. Ukraine’s defense minister denied claims of Zaluzhnyi’s removal, and the source published a post on November 7 apologizing for spreading inaccurate information.
The video address of Zaluzhnyi is fabricated
In the circulated video, which looks like a video created using Deepfake technology, Valerii Zaluzhnyi claims that Volodymyr Zelenskyy eliminated his assistant and ordered his murder as well. He blames the Ukrainian president for the failed counterattack, adding that it cost half a million soldiers. In the fabricated video, Zaluzhnyi calls on people to take to the streets, take up arms, and oppose the illegal decisions of the government. On November 8, Ukraine’s Center for Combating Disinformation published information that the circulated video is a Deepfake, and no such statement was made by Zaluzhnyi. According to their information, the original source of the video is the Russian Telegram channel “Радио Труха“, which often spreads disinformation and fake videos.
Anatoly Stefan, a colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, also published a post about the video, noting that this video was made by Russians, and even before its release, he assumed that a lot of disinformation about Zaluzhnyi would be spread in the near future.
It is important to note that no information confirming Zaluzhnyi’s statement was published in the Ukrainian press or official sources.
A deepfake video was also created in 2022 about Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which the Ukrainian president called on soldiers to lay down their arms and surrender. Read more in the “Myth Detector” article:
- Deepfake video of Zelenskyy Disseminated across Different Channels
The ouster of Valerii Zaluzhnyi is not on the agenda
The information that the procedures for removing the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, have started, was initially published by MP Volodymyr Ariev on his Facebook page.
On the evening of November 7, Ariev published a new post, stating that he had deleted the above post because he had received information from multiple sources that his claim was untrue.
Shortly after these events, the Minister of Defense Rustem Umierov also published a post in which he did not name this issue directly but stated that the statement made by one of the MPs was a lie and aimed to divide the Ukrainian people, which has worse consequences than Russian disinformation.
On November 6, the Telegram account of the Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the death of Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s aide, Major Gennady Chastyakov. The post described that he was celebrating his birthday at home when an unidentified explosive device detonated in one of the gifts. The post also mentions that an investigation has been started.
About the Source
The Facebook account “Eduard Jishkariani” often publishes posts containing anti-Western and anti-Ukrainian content. The disinformation spread by him has been debunked by Myth Detector many times in the past.
Russian-language Facebook accounts “Ольга Адамян” and “Артем Згонников” have published false information in the past as well.
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