Deepfake Video Manipulates that General Zaluzhny Is Preparing a Military Coup

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The video in which the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, allegedly, calls for a military coup and speaks against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a high-quality fake video, or so-called “deepfake”, created with the help of artificial intelligence


A post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) is sharing a video of the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who allegedly is calling for a military coup and speaking against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This is not true – the video is a case of altered content.


A video is widely passed around in which a man that resembles the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, states that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, allegedly, “liquidated” his assistant and is preparing to “surrender” the country to the enemy.

He is talking in Ukrainian, but the video has also a Serbian translation. According to the video he, allegedly, calls the Ukrainian population to take to the central squares of their cities and asks the Army to reject the “criminal orders of the authorities”.

Zelenskyy is an enemy of our country. He is the reason for our completely failed counter-offensive. I call upon all Ukrainians to take to the squares and to all defenders of Ukraine to reject the criminal orders of their commanders. Immediately deploy your weapons and enter Kyiv, says the man in the video.

Zaluzhnyi, however, has never given such a statement.

In fact, this video is a high-quality fake video – a so-called “deepfake” – created with the help of artificial intelligence. When you create deepfake videos, some images or videos are stratified with other videos. A machine learning technique called GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) is used for such manipulation. This technology can also be used for voice synthesizing.

Fact-checkers at Stop Fake determined that the video was artificially handled, with the help of the tool Deepware. This tool enables you to reveal facial manipulations generated by artificial intelligence. Having analyzed the video in the post shared on social networks, the Deepware Scanner determined that the video was suspicious, with signs of tampering.

The quality of the video and the appearance of the person also point to “deepfake”. If you look carefully, you will be able to notice “flashy” lightning, unnatural movement of the eyelids and lips, and in some moments there is a mismatch between the facial expressions and his speech.

By using Google’s reverse image search, the original video can be found, which was used for creating the fake one. This is a video message of the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in which he is talking about an escalation of the situation on the first lines of the Ukrainian territory that was published on 18 February 2022.

The fake video is circulating online mainly through anonymous channels of Telegram and pro-Russian groups. Analysts from the Center for Countering Disinformation of the Ukrainian National Security Council managed to determine that this video was published for the first time by the Telegram channel “Radio Truha”, whose description specifies that it publishes humorous content.

By disseminating such lies, the Russians want to spread panic among the population and create a rift between the government and the army, claims the Center for Countering Disinformation.

We conclude that the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, did not call for a military coup, nor did he speak against Zelenskyy. This video is deepfake and we assess the post as altered content.