Pro-Russia Accounts Spread Obviously Fake Zelensky Cocaine Video

A video spreading throughout social media of Volodymyr Zelensky with a bag of cocaine on his desk is – in fact – faux, and the most recent in an ongoing smear marketing campaign towards the Ukrainian president.

In the manipulated video, a not-inconspicuous quantity of white powder is seen subsequent to Zelensky as he conducts a video convention with Elon Musk. 

It didn’t take lengthy earlier than the unique, cocaine-less clip resurfaced — BBC disinformation journalist Shayan Sardarizeh famous the unique video was from March — however by then a whole bunch of pro-Russian, English-speaking Twitter accounts had unfold the shallow faux video.

Disinformation investigative group Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins additionally shared a side-by-side comparability of the digitally altered video and the unique:

Pro-Russia Ukrainian politician Ilya Kiva beforehand appeared on Kremlin-funded media in March to propagate the Zelensky drug use smear. “He is a drug addict. Cocaine,” Kiva, going through treason costs in Ukraine, stated on Russia’s Channel 1 (by way of The Mirror). “His addiction to cocaine also distorts reality.”

Another video that circulated on social media featured a clip of a years-old interview the place Zelensky praises the drug, saying it “gives energy for the whole day.” A deeper dive into the interview revealed that Zelensky was simply “really addicted to coffee.” “I don’t use drugs,” Zelensky added.

The drug rumors even date again to when Zelensky was operating for president, leading to each he and his opponent Petro Poroshenko — rumored to have an alcohol dependancy — agreeing to blood screening checks that had been broadcast stay, the AFP reported. Both candidates handed.

However, since then, each sniffle seen in a Zelensky video that’s uploaded on-line has been labeled as a aspect impact of cocaine use by the a whole bunch of pro-Russian social media accounts that unfold the movies on-line, culminating within the clearly faux pile-of-coke video this weekend.

As Rolling Stone lately reported, as Russia’s army wages a increasingly more brutal marketing campaign towards Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s propagandists have been in overdrive.

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