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Russian propagandists used American stars to spread fakes about Zelenskyi and the war, but got caught

Russian propagandists launch fake news with American stars

From late July to early October 2023, Russian propagandists distributed videos of American stars in which they allegedly appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to "stop using drugs." Microsoft's Threat Analysis Center provided evidence that this was an anti-Ukrainian disinformation campaign by Russians.

The report was published on Microsoft's website. Cyber experts explained how the citizens of the terrorist country received videos from world-famous personalities and cynically turned them into a propaganda tool.

"Since July 2023, Russian actors have been deceiving celebrities into providing video messages, which were then used in pro-Russian propaganda. These videos were then manipulated to falsely portray President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi as a drug addict," the report says.

Thus, according to the company's experts, propagandists used video messaging platforms such as Cameo to trick celebrities into sending a video message to someone named "Volodymyr." In the video, they were supposed to get that person to seek help for drug abuse.

The received messages were altered in such a way that they ended up looking like a fragment of an interview or InstaStories in which the stars allegedly talked about Volodymyr Zelenskyi and his "fight against substance abuse." These fake videos were distributed in propaganda media and Telegram channels.

Russian propagandists used American stars to spread fakes about Zelenskyi and the war, but got caught
Russian propagandists used American stars to spread fakes about Zelenskyi and the war, but got caught

"Kremlin officials and Russian state propaganda have long spread false claims that President Zelensky is struggling with substance abuse; however, this campaign marks a new approach by pro-Russian actors seeking to expand the narrative in the online information space," the researchers commented.

Microsoft's Threat Analysis Center identified seven such video fakes. They featured the daughter of the iconic Elvis Presley, Priscilla Presley, "Lord of the Rings" star Elijah Wood, actors Dean Norris, Kate Flannery and John McGinley, and musician Shavo Odadjian.

Russian propagandists used American stars to spread fakes about Zelenskyi and the war, but got caught

As OBOZ.UA previously wrote, the Russians also launched a fake that Ukrainians in Poland allegedly beat Poles for refusing to shout "Glory to Ukraine." But no one believed this fake, and moreover, Polish law enforcement officials denied it.

Only verified information is available on our Telegram channel OBOZ.UA and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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