(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A manipulated video of someone who appeared to be Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was placed on a Ukranian news website Wednesday and circulated on social media by hackers before being debunked, TechCrunch reported.
Citing a policy against manipulated media, Facebook said it would block any efforts to post the video, but it is still circulating on Russian social media and news sites.
In the video, it looked as if Zelenskyy was ordering troops to cease fire and surrender to the Russians.
“If I can offer someone to lay down their arms, it’s the Russian military,” Zelenskyy said. “Go home. Because we’re home. We are defending our land, our children and our families.”
Zelenskyy responded to the video, debunking it and saying Russians must cease fire instead:
#Ukraine Hackers published a deep fake of @ZelenskyyUa urging citizens to lay down their arms. He responded immediately:
“If I can offer someone to lay down their arms, it’s the Russian military.Go home.Because we’re home. We are defending our land, our children & our families.” pic.twitter.com/TiICf3Z5Te
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) March 16, 2022
This response video was confirmed as the real Zelinskyy and was filmed in the selfie-style that he has been employing since the beginning of the invasion.
The deepfake video followed a March 2 warning from the Ukrainian government that Moscow could use this technology to pose as Zelenskyy.
“Imagine seeing Vladimir Zelensky on TV making a surrender statement,” the Ukranian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy posted on its Facebook.
“You see it, you hear it—so it’s true,” said the post. “But this is not the truth… Be aware–this is a fake!”