On May 25, 2023, Georgian– and Russian-language Facebook accounts (1, 2, 3) published a video, which, according to them, shows Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The person shown in the video is wearing traditional Ukrainian clothes. The authors of the post claim that this is how Zaluzhnyi looks like after surgery for a head injury.
The disseminated video is altered. In the original video, instead of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, we see a Ukrainian blogger. As for the claims about Zaluzhnyi’s health condition, including the injury to his head, a few days ago, the Ukrainian general published a new video in which he refutes this narrative of the Kremlin media.
The posts distributed on social media represent video manipulation. The video is altered, and the face of General Valerii Zaluzhnyi is inserted instead of the face of a Ukrainian blogger. The original video was published on TikTok and Instagram on May 18.
A TikTok account called “paninistream” posted several videos of him and his friend in Ukrainian attire. In other videos, it is clear that the person shown in the video has no visual similarities with Zaluzhnyi.
In the month of May, the Russian propaganda media has been actively reporting as if Valerii Zaluzhnyi disappeared because he was wounded in the head and needed surgery, due to which he could no longer perform his duties. The mentioned fake video is a continuation of this narrative. Russian-language Facebook accounts published a number of mocking posts regarding Zaluzhnyi’s health, including the Georgian-language account that published this post.
After the release of the videos, the Kremlin media started claiming that the videos are fake, because Zaluzhnyi has blue eyes, while in the new videos, they are brown. Anatoly Stefan responded to gazeta.ru’s tweet with a selfie taken with Zaluzhnyi.
About the Source
Facebook profile “Jenny Burjanadze” is a pro-Russian Facebook account, which actively publishes anti-Ukrainian and anti-US content. The disinformation disseminated by the user regarding the Russia-Ukraine war has been verified by “Myth Detector” a number of times in the past. For more information, see the materials:
- A Story by a German Reporter about Moldova Disseminated Manipulatively
- The Shot Presented as a War Crime Committed by the Ukrainian Soldiers is actually from a Pornographic Video
- Disinformation as if Hackers Leaked a Private Photo of Olena Zelenska
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