FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy Holding Hands?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holding hands as they walk during Biden’s unexpected visit to Kyiv. 

Verdict: False

The photo is digitally altered. The genuine photo, taken by a New York Times photographer, shows the pair walking with their hands at their sides.

Fact Check:

With the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaching, Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine to meet with Zelenskyy in the country’s capital, Kyiv, according to The Associated Press. The U.S. president vowed to defend all NATO allies in the region amid growing concerns about China’s role in the conflict, The New York Times reported.

A Facebook image purportedly shows an image of Biden and Zelenskyy holding hands as they walk. In the photo, Biden is wearing a black trench coat and Zelenskyy is wearing a brown bomber jacket as they walk in front of a mural.

“Trump goes to East Palestine while Biden holds hands in Kiev with Zalinskyy! (sic) What about your country Joe?” the post’s caption reads. “You truly can’t make this kind of total disrespect up! Ignoring America is unacceptable as the President!”

This photo is digitally altered. The image was originally shared by Twitter meme account, @MidnightMitch, whose watermark can be seen faintly on the Facebook post by Zelenskyy’s left kneecap.

The bottom left corner of the edited photo attributes it to Daniel Berehulak, a New York Times photographer. The unedited photo can be seen in the second image of an Instagram post Berehulak published on Feb. 20, in which they are not holding hands. The genuine photo can also be seen in a newsletter by The New York Times (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy Saying ‘Butthole’ While Giving Joe Biden An Award?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to the White House and Berehulak for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

This is not the first time misinformation has spread online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim a video showed a Black refugee attacked a priest in France.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter