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HomeFact CheckViral Video Showing Zelenskyy Belly Dancing Is Actually A Deepfake

Viral Video Showing Zelenskyy Belly Dancing Is Actually A Deepfake

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
A video shows President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, belly dancing at an event.

Fact
The footage has been digitally altered. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s face has been superimposed onto the dancer’s face using Deepfake technology.

A video showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy purportedly performing a belly dance at a party, is circulating on various social media platforms. The video, which has been shared by many X users. Some of the posts can be seen here, here and here.

This video is being shared by some Facebook users as well, some of those can be seen here and here.

Many YouTube and Instagram users also shared the video with the same claim.

Fact Check/Verification

We first examined the video carefully and noticed that three seconds into the video, the face of the dancer blends into the texture of the wall behind, leaving a cut-out of what is looks like President Zelenskky’s cheek hanging in the air.  Additionally, when the video is slowed down, there appears to be glitches in the face of the dancer.

Then, we used the InVid Tool to extract key frames of the viral video and conducted a Google reverse image search on a few of them, which took us to an Instagram Post carrying the same video. Instagram channel gamgam.tv had carried a short video featuring an exact video similar to the viral one, on Feb 7, 2022. However, the dancer is not Zelenskyy but another man. The caption states as “Настоящий мужчина” (a real man). This proves that this video is not recent. There are no transition edits in this video and it is a more clear video than the viral one.

Our Google reverse image search also took us to another YouTube link uploaded on December 1, 2020.

Notably, before entering Ukrainian politics, President Zelenskyy began his career as an actor. In 2006, he even won a dance competition in Ukraine.

Conclusion

The viral video does not show Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. His face has been superimposed onto other dancer’s using deepfake tech.

Result: Altered Video

Our Sources:
1. Instagram post by gamgam.tv, dated Feb 7, 2022
2. YouTube post by Salam Sezam, dated December 1, 2020.


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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