On 9 April 2023, a Facebook user made a publication containing a piece of disinformation as well as some fake footage. According to the footage, President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, is shown at a municipal information board in Duomo Square in Milan with the caption “Donations for Ukraine.” The opening for the money on the poster is Zelensky’s nose. The footage shows that money is being sucked up by a device located on the president’s nose.

The footage links Zelensky with drugs and drug sniffing, aiming to discredit his character. This is attested to by comments on the publication.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine that started on 24 February 2022, pro-Russian disinformation campaigns regularly target Volodymyr Zelensky as drug addict. See FactCheck’s article on this issue.

Italian media verified the footage in the social network and concluded its inauthenticity.

In fact, the information board where Volodymyr Zelensky’s poster is attached as well as the money donation device for Ukraine belongs to the Milan municipality and it is impossible to use this device without first obtaining permission from the municipality. Milan municipality’s PR service denied the authenticity of the footage when speaking to the Italian online media and stated that the municipality had not authorised such posters. Therefore, it was impossible to have President Zelensky’s poster and the special device to collect money in the municipal administration area.

Guards of Milan’s cathedral who constantly monitor the cathedral and the surrounding area also do not confirm the existence of any such poster.

According to the information verified by the Italian media, there is not enough space on the municipality’s information board to install any kind of money collection device which also confirms that the footage was doctored. Some addition signs of fabrication are also evident when comparing photos of the poster in the footage and actual photographs of Milan’s municipal information board. In particular, Volodymyr Zelensky’s poster is attached to the information board in a way which appears unnatural in the fabricated footage. Other real signs on the board are also not visible.

Therefore, footage featuring Volodymyr Zelensky’s image disseminated in social networks is fabricated and aims to discredit the President of Ukraine.


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