In a deepfake Video, allegedly from France24, Ukraine, allegedly, Plans Macron’s Assassination

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A manipulated video, in terms of France24 news, states that the official visit of Emmanuel Macron was canceled because the French Secret Service intercepted information about a possible assassination of the French President. On top of that, the assassination was supposed to be executed by Ukrainian agents to lay the blame on Russia. The ultimate aim was for Ukraine to receive greater financial and military aid, and even to implicate a NATO Member-State in the war. Even though the news is spreading from obscure social media accounts, it was taken from traditional media

From: Matej Trojacanec


An announcement from the Elysee Palace about French President Emmanuel Macron postponing his official visit to Kyiv was reported by the online edition of the French weekly “Challenges”. This is the second time the visit has been suspended. The first visit was announced mid-January and was supposed to take place mid-February but it was rescheduled – with a very vague explanation “due to security reasons”. The information vacuum was filled by a deepfake video, leaving the impression that it was released on the French state-owned channel France24.

The video is falsely presenting that Macron’s visit was postponed because the French Secret Service intercepted information about a possible assassination of Macron. On top of that, the assassination was supposed to be executed by Ukrainian agents who wanted to blame Russia for it.

This news spread quickly in the Balkans, so our colleagues from SloveniaB&HAlbania, and Montenegro fact-checked social media posts on this topic. ”Who is Macron Afraid of?” was the title of the article in the Serbian portal “Politika” published four days later, while the following day of the release of the video, “Borba” published the following:

Ukrainian authorities planning an assassination attempt on French President Emmanuel Macron during his – now postponed – visit to Kyiv.

This exact event caused sudden cancellation of French leader’s trip, reported France24.

The edition [France24] noted that the liquidation was prepared by the Head of the Main Intelligence Administration of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, Kyrylo Budanov, upon the order of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

They were planning to kill French President during his Kyiv visit as to cause echo in the West, because they wanted to blame “Russian special agents” for the assassination.

“Evidence” will be presented fabricated by the Ukrainian Secret Service, reported

In our country, Infomaks reported the news with a pretentious headline, and a Facebook account that regularly posts inflammatory content followed suit — a post directly copied and translated from Х (former Twitter), the account of the former President and currently second person of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev.


Video debunked by France24 the following day – damage done

Since the video was created to look like a real news report from France24, the editorial team debunked the fake presentation of their peer the very next day – 15 February.

On 14 February, the video spread on Х, Telegram, and the Russian social network ViKontakt. The same day, the video was used as proof for reliable information on Russian portals. News and posts are spread the following days in the wider region, every place where pro-Russian narratives are dominant.


The time, motive, and purpose of the deep fake pinpoint the author

In a wider context, the time when the video was shared, and the purpose of this disinformation are quite obvious. Days before the video was released, France did two things to provoke Russia. The first one was to uncover a vast network of influence through disinformation:

Viginum [French organization for monitoring foreign disinformation] said that it had uncovered a Russian network of 193 websites which it codenames ”Portal Kombat”. Most of these sites, such as, were created years ago and many were left dormant. Over 50 of them, such as and, have been created since 2022. Current traffic to these sites, which exist is various languages including French, German, Polish and English, is low. But, French authorities think they are ready to be activated aggressively as part of what one official calls a “massive” wave of Russian disinformation, reported the Economist.

The second reason was the fact that only ten days before the visit, Kyiv announced that it was amid the second round of talks with France regarding the bilateral Agreement on Security and Cooperation. The agreement was signed exactly on 15 February.

Similarly to previous attempts to discredit both Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian leadership and Army, this attempt to sow discord has one ultimate aim – to stop the support for Ukraine, in whatever way possible.