Deepfake about alleged assassination attempt on Macron in Kyiv circulating on social network X

Deepfake about alleged assassination attempt on Macron in Kyiv circulating on social network X

Propagandists fabricated the video and distributed it on behalf of France 24

A video allegedly from the French TV channel France 24 is being shared on the social network X. In the video, the host claims that the Ukrainian authorities were supposedly planning an assassination attempt on French leader Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Kyiv. Screenshots are provided to support the claim that Kyrylo Budanov, Chief of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, was working on the operation, but it was disrupted by Valerii Zaluzhnyi, former Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, who allegedly passed the information to the French. In this way, the Ukrainian side allegedly wanted to attract the attention of the international community, hoping to receive more foreign weapons and shift the responsibility for the attempted assassination of Macron to Russia.

The video was distributed mainly on the Western segment of social network X, specifically through English, French, German, and Italian accounts. It was also widely shared by pro-Kremlin Telegram channels and Russian media.

The video is a deepfake. It was presented as an excerpt from a France 24 television news report, but there are noticeable inconsistencies in the presenter's lip movements and flickering around the mouth. Additionally, the video distributed by the propagandists is of poor quality. These factors indicate that it was created using a neural network.

French-speaking users of social network X also pointed out that the video was fake. In the comments section of the video posts, they noted that the host's pronunciation and tone were unusual.

The audio track used to voice the fake was created by a computer, as indicated by the expertise of the Aiornot service in detecting fakes of this type.

According to investigative journalist Christo Grozev of Bellingcat, the Kremlin is responsible for creating this deepfake. The deepfake was made public, among other reasons, to 'cover up' the news of the Ukrainian destruction of Russia’s large amphibious assault ship Caesar Kunikov on February 14.

Recently, Russians have been actively creating fakes using a neural network to destabilize the situation inside Ukraine and to sow distrust in our country among its partner countries.

Ukrinform recently refuted a deepfake news story about former Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, which claimed that he called for a coup in Ukraine.

Dmytro Badrak

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