A video that appears to show Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky with cocaine on his table while on a video call with Tesla boss Elon Musk has gone viral on social media. However, the claim is completely false as the footage is doctored and is nothing but an attempt to spread misinformation.
The video was initially shared by various Russian websites and blogs and also on Telegram claiming that Zelensky is always high on cocaine. It has now made its way to Twitter also. Understandably, the manipulated video may be an attempt to show Zelensky in poor light amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
A video surfaced in the last week of April that appears to show cocaine on Zelensky's desk during a video call with Elon Musk and another person. The video shows a pile of white powder and what appeared to be a credit card next to the hand of Zelensky.
The video was shared by multiple Russian-language websites and blogs making the wild claim that Zelensky is on drugs even during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. One headline (translated from Google) stated, "Zelensky Caught Again With Cocaine On The Table."
The video also was posted on Telegram and Twitter. Here's an example of a Twitter post with the video.
The video has since been watched by thousands of social media users and many have started believing in it. Many are still confused as they want to know the truth behind what they watch in the video.
While part of the video is real, it has been manipulated to a great extent to create the claim that there's cocaine on Zelensky's desk, which is completely false and baseless.
To put things in a simple way, the video is doctored and the entire claim is false. The video was created using two separate clips. First, a genuine video of Zelensky on a video call with the Musk and another person was used, which was then modified.
In March 2022, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine was in its early stages, Zelensky shared that real clip to his Instagram account. Zelensky encouraged Musk to visit Ukraine "after the war" during the call. The clip was posted by several news outlets including the BBC at that time.
It is the same video that was used to make this false claim. Many who had watched the original clip also pointed out the discrepancy by comparing the original and edited version but most fell prey to it.
If a closer look is taken at the two videos, the credit card did not appear 3-dimensional in the edited footage, according to the Associated Press, and the reflection from the light on the desk was still apparent through the card as the camera moved over it.
Thus the discrepancy is clear and the claim being made that it was cocaine is completely false and baseless. It's nothing but an attempt to spread misinformation.