Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Lukashenko Discussing War With Zelenskyy, Urging Him To Negotiate

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Lukashenko Discussing War With Zelenskyy, Urging Him To Negotiate Edited Video

Did Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko discuss the Russia-Ukraine war with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, showing him a map with military positions, and advising him to reconsider his stance to spare his country a defeat? No, that's not true: A video circulating on social media was created by juxtaposing excerpts from an interview given by Lukashenko to a Ukrainian journalist in August 2023 and separate footage of Zelenskyy visiting troops in the Ukrainian city of Melitopol the same month.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published by @immine64 on August 21, 2023, and later resurfaced on several Russian accounts (here, here and here, for example), (archived here, here and here), with the following text overlay (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff):

Lukashenko warned Zelenskyy and showed the map and all the positions. CNN 21 08 2023 No war

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 10.24.09 AM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Nov 13 06:23:53 2023 UTC)

The CNN shown on the graphic refers to Caucasus News Network, the account that first shared the video.

On August 17, 2023, Lukashenko gave a nearly two-hour interview to Ukrainian opposition journalist Diana Panchenko, during which he spoke about events predating the "special military operation" by Russia in Ukraine, his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy, the use of nuclear weapons and the necessity of starting negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Starting from the 36:42 mark of the video, he shows a map with the current situation in the field according to him. He says his advice to Zelenskyy is to be open to negotiations, to avoid suffering for his people and the defeat of his country. In the video, Lukashenko is clearly seen talking to the Ukrainian journalist.

This fragment of the interview was used to show what looks like an exchange between Lukashenko and Zelenskyy, which never took place. The manipulated video shows shots of Zelenskyy after Lukashenko speaks, as if the Ukrainian president was reflecting on what Lukashenko is saying. Those shots were taken from other footage, shot on a different occasion, in Melitopol.

On August 15, 2023, Zelenskyy paid a visit to the brigades carrying out offensive operations in the Melitopol sector, where he met with the fighters and the brigade commanders.

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