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Posts mislead on photo of Zelenskyy in front of green screen

Not Real News

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a press conference in Kyiv, Thursday, June 16, 2022. On Friday, June 24, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming a photo of Zelenskyy filming in front of a green screen shows he was “never in his own land.” 

CLAIM: A photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy filming in front of a green screen shows he was “never in his own land.”

THE FACTS: The photo, taken in Kyiv last week, shows Zelenskyy filming a message that appeared as a hologram at various digital conferences.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, misinformation campaigns have falsely accused Zelenskyy of fleeing the country or its capital. In recent days, some social media users have misrepresented a photo of the leader filming in a studio to push the false narrative. The picture shows Zelenskyy dressed in a khaki T-shirt and standing on a set in front of a green screen.

“The ukraine king was never in his own land he was using green screens.jpg,” reads the caption on the photo.

One post of the photo on Twitter was retweeted over 900 times. It was also shared on Facebook. However, the photo was taken in Kyiv as Zelenskyy filmed an address that was played as a hologram at various digital technology conferences across Europe, director Martin Williams confirmed. Williams, the founder of media production company Talesmith, wrote in an email to the AP that the image was captured on June 14, and is actually a screengrab from a behind-the-scenes documentary he is making about the project. The picture was distributed in a June 16 press release about the hologram.

“I directed the piece and was in the room. We built the green screen studio as part of a volumetric capture for an AR hologram,” Williams wrote. AP reporters have interviewed Zelenskyy in person in Kyiv during the war. AP reporting also shows he also visited soldiers on the front line in Kharkiv in May.

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