FACT CHECK: Was Vladimir Putin Pictured Watching News Of Imran Khan’s Electoral Victory In Pakistan?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Russian President Vladimir Putin watching a news segment about the victory of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party in the country’s recent by-elections.
This photo is digitally fabricated. The unedited photo shows Putin in a video conference with Italian business leaders.
Pakistan’s PTI party, which was founded by Khan in 1996, won 15 of 20 seats in a by-election upset in Punjab, Pakistan last week, according to BBC News. Khan was ousted as prime minister by a no-confidence vote in April, the outlet reported.
An image shared on Facebook claims to show Putin watching a news report about the developments in Pakistan on TV. “Russian President Putin listening to the news of Imran Khan’s victory,” the post’s caption reads. “The whole world is a fan of Putin, but he is a fan of Imran Khan…” An iteration of the same post on Twitter gained over 780 likes and 120 shares.
The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search reveals the original image can be found on the stock photo website Alamy. Noticeably, the screen Putin is watching shows the faces of several other men, not a news report about Pakistan. “January 26, 2022. – Russia, Moscow Region, Novo-Ogaryovo. – Russian President Vladimir Putin iat the Novo-Ogaryovo residence during a video conference meeting with Italian business leaders,” reads the unedited image’s description.
Khan faced criticism for visiting Putin in Russia on Feb. 24, just hours after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, according to Sky News. Khan claimed to have planned his visit ahead of time without knowing about Putin’s plan to invade, the outlet reports. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Vladimir Putin Wearing A Bulletproof Vest In May 2022?)
This is not the first time a fabricated image of Putin has gone viral. Check Your Fact previously debunked a fake Time Magazine that depicted Putin alongside Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.