A video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky performing on stage while Russian President Putin is seen sitting in the audience and applauding at the performance is going viral on social media, claiming to be footage from early 2000s. In the video, Zelensky seems to be performing a stand up act which is met by applause from the audience including Vladimir Putin.
The video has been shared by Twitter user @ileksandrov which has garnered 5,93,400 views on the platform along with the caption ‘Amazing footage. Early 2000s, Zelensky, one or two years out of college, is performing at the KVN, a popular televised improv/stand up tournament dating back to the USSR, in front of Putin (already Russian president and an honorary judge at the show) and making a joke about him.’
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter with similar captions.
Fact Check/ Verification
To find out more about the viral video, Newschecker conducted a Google reverse image search on the key-frames of the viral video to ascertain its authenticity and found a longer version of the video on Youtube uploaded on a Youtube channel ‘Официальный канал КВН’ on 26th March, 2012. The relevant portion of the video can be seen around the 35 minute mark.
The original video of the full show was one and a half hours long. Zelensky, who was a famous television actor and comedian before he became a political figure, frequently performed on the show. KVN when translated from Russian is “Club of the Funny and Inventive” is a Russian (and formerly Soviet) humour TV show and an international competition where teams (usually composed of college students) compete by giving funny answers to questions and showing prepared sketches.
But upon watching the whole video, we do not see Vladimir Putin anywhere.
On further investigation, Newschecker found a longer version of the second part of the viral video where Vladimir Putin can be seen attending the show on Youtube uploaded by the same channel.
Around the 1 minute mark, Putin can be seen laughing and applauding at the performance of a different comedian. Zelensky’s portion was not found in the video.
According to the investigation conducted by Newschecker, two separate videos of the popular Russian comedy TV show are merged together to claim that Zelensky had performed in front of Putin in early 2000s.
Result: Manipulated/Altered media
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