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Polsat Did Not Refer to Putin as the Ukrainian President

Dina Faisal Dina Faisal
5th October 2022
Polsat Did Not Refer to Putin as the Ukrainian President
The screenshot is fabricated (Twitter)

The Claim

Polsat, a Polish news channel, referred to Vladimir Putin as Ukraine's president.

Emerging story

Twitter users are circulating a screenshot that purports to show that Polsat, a Polish channel, referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the President of Ukraine.

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating claim and found it to be fake.

The circulating screenshot appears to have been digitally altered.

Video Not Available on Official Polsat Sites

No website belonging to the official channel, including their main website and social media pages, contained the video that was featured.

Misbar searched all official sites of the Polish news channel Polsat as well as relevant keywords, but the original video could not be found.

Furthermore, the username (@ragulaku) written on the image was suspended for violating Twitter rules.

As seen below, the most recent Putin-related article on Polsat, which appears to be from the same event as the circulating claim, was found on their official website. 

Putin is dressed in the same red tie and black coat as seen in the viral video. 

However, neither Putin is the president of Ukraine nor any other similar information was mentioned.

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Screenshot Is a Low-Quality Image

The image is low quality and seems photoshopped, especially in the bottom left corner, where the text partially covers another text. 

This is highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

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The news network's logo, which appears in the top left corner, is also skewed.

After examining their videos and live streams, it was found that the news channel bulletin's design differs from the viral photo below.

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The Polsat News logo is written in English, not Polish, as per the circulating screenshot.

Other videos, as seen below, had no logo in the top right hand corner at all.

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Suspended Account Username Is on the Screenshot

The username @ragulaku is associated with a suspended Twitter account, which further undermines the validity of the claim.

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We were unable to confirm the reason for the account suspension. However, disseminating false information is prohibited by Twitter policy and may have been the cause of the account suspension.

Putin Annexes Four Ukrainian Regions

The claim comes after Putin annexed four Ukrainian regions.

Vladimir Putin signed "accession treaties" formalizing Russia's illegal annexation of four occupied Ukrainian regions, the largest forcible takeover in Europe since World War II.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the country's political elites in the Grand Kremlin Palace.

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Ukraine's Current President

According to the official website of the Ukrainian government, Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains in office. 

Moreover, world leaders—including Biden, who recently announced a $625 million security aid package for Ukraine—recognize Zelenskyy as president of Ukraine.

President Putin has been a major focus of visual misinformation ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

Misbar has previously debunked numerous videos, photos, and statements attributed to President Putin.

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