Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT Announce He Is Resigning


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT Announce He Is Resigning AI Video

Did Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy deliver an urgent speech in which he announced his resignation? No, that's not true: A watermark on the video on social media is from a platform for creating videos with talking AI avatars, the voice is not the same and the content is satirical. No credible reports confirm such an announcement.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) by planet.404 on November 11, 2023, under the title (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) "Urgent announcement by Zelenskyy." The audio (similarly translated) starts:

I want to make an official statement. Dear Ukrainians, I am tired and I am leaving. I want to confess I was guided by the U.S. and extraterrestrial intelligence. I'm stupid and chew grass.

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

Screenshot 2023-11-20 at 2.14.31 PM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Nov 20 06:34:27 2023 UTC)

The content of the audio is satirical, as are some other videos published on the same TikTok account, which has published digitally created videos such as this one (archived here), where world leaders are presented as DJs. The video of the alleged resignation also appears to have been digitally created. There is a watermark on the image, D-ID, which is a platform for creating AI videos with talking AI avatars. The voice in the audio attributed to Zelenskyy does not match his voice. Close examination also shows that the footage of him purportedly speaking is not in sync with the audio. Only the head moves in the video: The rest of the body is perfectly still, and there is no moving shadow below the head.

The video backdrop is a typical one for many official speeches given by Zelenskyy before the Russia-Ukraine war, but it's evident that Zelenskyy's speeches are typically more eloquent with vivid facial expressions and gestures comparing it to other footage of him speaking (here, here, and here).

A Google search (archived here) for the phrase "Zelenskyy announced resignation," conducted by Lead Stories on November 21, 2023, did not return any credible reports to corroborate the claim.

Zelenskyy has not recently issued any declarations stating that he intends to step down. When asked by a Romanian journalist on October 10, 2023, whether he would run for election, he pointed out: "If the war continued, yes, if the war ended, no. I can't run away during the war."

No presidential elections will take place in Ukraine during the war, Zelenskyy mentioned in his interview with the BBC on June 22, 2023.

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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