Deepfake of Zelenskyy tells Ukrainian troops to ‘surrender’

A fake video that appeared to show Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asking Ukrainian troops to lay down their weapons emerged on social media, in what could be the first weaponised use of deep fakes during an armed conflict. The national television station Ukraine 24 confirmed that hackers were able to spread the fake Zelensky message over live television on the scrolling-text news crawl known as ‘the ticker’, and that the video appeared briefly on the news station’s website.

Zelensky himself promptly debunked the claims in a real video, calling it a provocation.

Officials at Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter said the video was removed from their platforms for violating policies. 

Experts have expressed concern about the video’s continued use (of various fake videos) for propaganda purposes, not just in Ukraine, but globally.