FACT CHECK: Image Showing Burning Russia And Billboard Is AI

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on X claims to show Russia burning with a billboard that says “stability.”

Verdict: False

The original image was created and was not taken in Russia.

Fact Check:

Thousands of children are being evacuated from Belgorod as pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters have attacked Russian border areas, according to BBC News.

Social media users are sharing an image of buildings on fire with a billboard in the foreground, claiming it shows Russia. One user wrote, “good morning to the russians. the billboard says ‘stability.'”

However, the image was not taken in Russia. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image was created by a pro-Ukrainian designer who goes by Kherson Designer. The image was posted to Telegram in January 2024 with the caption “In connection with the recent events in the swamps.” 

Kherson Designer addressed the claim that it was real in a March 18 Telegram post

“Who would have thought that this picture would become popular all over the world) Journalists from abroad write and ask ‘Is this a real photo or a processed image?) Unfortunately, the picture became popular without specifying the author, and people really think that it is a photo,” Kherson Designer wrote.

The claim was also debunked by BBC Verify reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh in a March 17 post. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Vehicles On Fire Near Belgorod)

‘This image, which claims to show a pro-Putin billboard with the word ‘stability’ on it in Russia while a huge fire burns in the background, is AI-generated. It was posted on Telegram by a pro-Ukrainian designer in January,” Sardarizadeh tweeted.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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