Pro-Russian social media accounts are circulating photos and a video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky standing in front of a green screen, claiming that this image provides proof that the videos he posts on social media were filmed in a studio and not on the ground as claimed. However, these photos prove nothing of the sort – they were taken during a forum where the president appeared as a hologram.
If you only have a minute
- Pro-Russian Twitter and Facebook accounts have been circulating since Oct. 11, showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appearing in front of a green screen.
- These accounts claim that these images provide evidence that the president films his popular videos addressing the Ukrainian people in a studio, not on the floor. Some have even said that this is proof that he has left the country.
- However, these images have been taken out of context. They show a specific setup from June 2022 that allows the president to appear as a hologram at various European summits on technology and innovation.
- It is impossible for us to say for sure that the President has never used a green screen in his videos. However, we can say that these images do not provide evidence of forgery.
The fact check, in detail
Since the very beginning of the conflict, the Ukrainian president has used social media to connect directly with the citizens of his country and his troops. Often the videos seem to have been made spontaneously, filmed as selfies, with the streets of Kiev as the backdrop. These videos have earned him the admiration of many Ukrainians and, indeed, people around the world, who praise his bravery for filming videos outdoors when he is a target of the Russian military.
However, pro-Russian accounts tell a different story about these videos: they say that the Ukrainian president films them in front of a green screen. This theory was given additional fodder on October 11, 2022, when images were posted online showing the president standing in front of a green screen, a cinematic device that allows a different background to be added later. The photos also show the president surrounded by high-tech video equipment.
“All the videos of #Zelensky outside in Kiev are fake. In reality he is filming in front of a green screen in Poland. He is sending hundreds of millions of people to the slaughterhouse while just comfortably hiding in Hollywood,” it reads. one tweet in French shared on October 11.
Some other accounts are circulating a nearly 50-second video of the Ukrainian president speaking in front of the same green screen as the photos. That is the case of this tweetthat has generated over 140,000 views and 3,000 retweets, or this tweet in Frenchshared more than 1,000 times.
This video also features interviews with people who appear to be on the technical team, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting. For example, you can see computer screens where people are editing videos of Zelensky.
Hologram during technical conferences
But these images have been taken out of context.
If you do a reverse image search on the Yandex search engine (see how by following this link), you will learn more about where these images were filmed.
This search reveals that the same images appear in several articles about the appearance of the Ukrainian president at a number of technical conferences in June 2022.
“Volodymyr Zelenskiy records his hologram speech broadcast on Thursday at seven technology conferences, including the Dublin Tech Summit,” the caption reads. an article published on June 16 in the Irish media outlet The Irish Times.
As part of this speech, which was broadcast to the VivaTech conference in Paris and the London-based Founders Forum, the Ukrainian president shared his desire to make Ukraine a pioneering country in technology and invited people to the country to invest and innovate. help with reconstruction.
As for the video also circulating online, you find the full video like you find the keywords “Martin Williams” (the name of one of the people interviewed in the video) and “Zelensky” in every search engine.
This was published on June 28, 2022 on the Founders Forum YouTube channel. The portion of the video between 1’03 and 1’50 corresponds to the video published in the past few days. By comparing it to the original video, you can see that the image has been cropped to remove the QR code and hashtag #REBUILDUKRAINE that appeared in the original video.
The hologram appearance of the president was made possible using technology from the American company Evercoast, which is affiliated with a number of different manufacturing companies.
Talesmith founder Martin Williams and Evercoast founder Ben Nunez traveled to Kiev to volumetrically record the president and ensure we delivered his message in 3D, showing Ukraine’s potential to become a leap to create a better, technology-enabled world after the war,” reads the video’s description on YouTube.
The allegations that the Ukrainian president is using a green screen are not new – they started circulating at the start of the conflict.
For example, allegations of this nature appeared after the president posted a message video on facebook on October 10, 2022, where he told Ukrainians to take shelter while Russia continued to launch airstrikes on the capital. In the video, filmed as a selfie, Zelensky stands in front of a deserted square. “From the safe hideout, Zelensky appears with the help of a green screen…”, reads this tweet in French.
Similar allegations circulated online after this video appeared posted on March 19, 2022 with the Ukrainian president calling on Russia to negotiate to limit the destruction caused by the war. In the video, the president stands in the dark on a deserted street.
“Ukrainian President Zelensky stages a scene in front of a green screen to make it look like he’s lying on the ground,” he says. this Twitter accountwho shared the video.
While it is impossible to prove whether Zelensky filmed these videos in front of a green screen, we can say with certainty that the videos shared in recent days do not prove that the president’s videos are fake.
The Ukrainian president is not alone in being accused of using green screens. last March, pro-Ukrainian bills stated that they suspected that Russian President Vladimir Putin had used a green screen during one of his televised speeches. He then showed that this claim was false and that people who got that impression because of the… bad video quality.