Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Ukraine's Former Army Chief Zaluzhnyi Commenting On Rumors Of His Dismissal

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Ukraine's Former Army Chief Zaluzhnyi Commenting On Rumors Of His Dismissal Manipulated

Did the former commander of the Ukrainian military, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, publish a video with comments on rumors of his dismissal before being removed from his post? No, that's not true: The footage audio has been altered to include the alleged comments of the General, replaced with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi (archived here) on February 8, 2024.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) which was published by @golovnuykanalua (archived here) on January 29, 2024, under the title, translated from Ukrainian into English by Lead Stories staff, "Zaluzhniy commented on the rumors of his dismissal." The edited audio, translated by Lead Stories staff, says:

Well, have you shat your pants? Don't worry, father is with you.

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

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 10.48.03 AM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Feb 5 06:50:43 2024 UTC)

General Zaluzhnyi was removed from his post on February 8, 2024, but the TikTok video claiming to show his comments on him possibly being ousted was published before, at the end of January 2024. While searching for videos with similar claims, Lead Stories found other videos, featuring a Baza Houston icon. The same video shown above (archived here) was shared by the @bazahouston TikTok account (archived here) on January 29, 2024. Further investigation of the account revealed numerous edited videos. A connected Telegram channel link (archived here) was found in the bio section of the TikTok profile. The account shares doctored videos of Ukrainian politicians. As translated by Lead Stories staff, the Telegram channel's description reads:

Reacting to the news with the help of creative technologies. 🇺🇦 We make video congratulations by famous people. Money is transferred to ZSU [Ukrainian Armed Forces].

The TikTok video bears the logo of the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1, indicating its origin. A Google search (archived here) conducted on February 1, 2024, using 'breakfast 1+1 Zaluzhnyi' (Ukrainian: снiданок 1+1 залужний) led to a video (archived here) from a TV program aired on December 6, 2023, on the same channel. In the original footage, used in the TikTok video, Zaluzhnyi can be heard extending his congratulations to a young checkers player during the celebration of the Feast of St. Nicholas, at the 8:56 mark.


  Lead Stories Staff

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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