Russia’s disinformation uses deepfake video of Zelenskyy telling people to lay down arms

Pierluigi Paganini March 16, 2022

Russian disinformation continues, this time it used a deepfake video of Zelenskyy inviting Ukrainians to ‘lay down arms.’

A deepfake video of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling its citizens to lay down arms is the last example of disinformation conducted by Russia-linked threat actors.

The fake video shows President Zelenskyy saying ‘It turned out to be not so easy being the president’.”

“My advice to you is to lay down arms and return to your families. It is not worth it dying in this war. My advice to you is to live. I am going to do the same.” the President says in the fake video.

The quality of the video is very low and it has been easy to debunk it due to the lack of proportion between the president’s face and his body.

“In the clip being shared online, President Zelenskyy’s head is too big for the body it has been digitally attached to. It is also lit differently and sits at an awkward angle.” reported Yahoo News. “You can also see a higher level of pixelation around the fake Zelenskyy’s head compared to its body. A translator working for Sky News said that the voice in the fake video was deeper and slower than Mr Zelenskyy’s normal voice.”

Zelenskyy which has demonstrated an outstanding capability in using the media for his messages has commented on the deepfake on his official Instagram account.

“Good day. As for the latest childish provocation with advice to lay down arms, I only advise that the troops of the Russian Federation lay down their arms and return home.” said the Ukrainian President.

“We are already home, we are defending our land, our children, our families. So, we are not going to lay down any arms until our victory.”

According to the media, threat actors hacked the TV24 Ukrainian TV channel to spread the deepfake video with a written message.

The video became viral on social media, including Facebook. Facebook has quickly removed the deepfake video of the Ukrainian President.

“Earlier today, our teams identified and removed a deepfake video claiming to show President Zelensky issuing a statement he never did,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of security policy at Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

Early this month, the Ukrainian Stratcom Centre, the country’s Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security warned of Russia’s disinformation using deepfake videos, which could be very difficult to debunk.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Ukraine)

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