FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Putin Blame Americans For Interfering With Their Own Democracy?
A video shared on Instagram purports to show Russian President Vladimir Putin telling Americans they interfere with their own democracy.
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The video was created by the non-partisan anti-corruption organization, RepresentUs. A spokesperson for the organization confirmed the footage of Putin included in the video was not real.
Putin recently visited Moscow-controlled parts of Ukraine in the country’s Kherson region, according to BBC News. The visit marks Putin’s second stop in Ukraine following a March visit to Mariupol, The Financial Times reported.
“You blame me for interfering with your democracy. But I don’t have to, you are doing it yourselves,” Putin appears to say in English via the Instagram video, liked over 700 times. “Polling stations are closing. You don’t know who to trust, you are divided. There are strings we can pull, but we don’t have to. You are pulling them for us,” he appears to continue.
The claim is false. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports indicating Putin made the purported remark. Likewise, the remark can neither be found among a list of recent speeches on Putin’s website nor as a statement published on the Kremlin’s verified Twitter account. In addition, the White House has not publicly addressed the purported remark. (RELATED: Video Falsely Claims To Show Vladimir Putin Being Arrested)
The clip of Putin was created by the non-partisan anti-corruption organization, RepresentUs. The footage appears in a video titled “Dictators – Vladimir Putin” that was uploaded to the organization’s YouTube channel in September 2020. A disclaimer included in the video indicates the footage of Putin is “not real.” Tags included in the video’s description also label the footage as a “deepfake.”
“As we make clear in our video, it’s fake – and that’s exactly the point. By featuring two authoritarians who want to see our country fail, our goal was to wake Americans up to the fact that our democracy faces serious threats,” a spokesperson for RepresentUs told Check Your Fact via email.
This is not the first time a deepfake video has circulated online. Check Your Fact previously debunked a deepfake video in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to endorse Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for president in the 2024 election.