Russian deepfake video appears to show Zelensky surrendering to Russia

On Wednesday, hackers posted and circulated a deepfake video depicting Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky telling his troops to lay down their arms and surrender to Russian forces who have invaded Ukraine.

The Ukrainian President immediately debunked the video on social media, posting a video on Telegram in which he says “We are defending our land, our children, our families. So we don’t plan to lay down any arms. Until our victory.”

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube officials swiftly took down the video saying it violated their user policies, but the video had already been widely spread on Russian social media.

Ukrainian news station Ukraine 24, which was hacked to show the fake Zelensky video on television, confirmed the video was uploaded by “enemy hackers.”

While the video does show some lip syncing and at times appears obviously edited, experts believe this type of deepfake content can be dangerous, and more might be coming.

“This is the first one we’ve seen that really got some legs, but I suspect it’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Professor Hany Farid at the University of California, Berkeley.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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