A video of an Easter church service in Russia on Sunday has sparked questions on whether or not Russian chief Vladimir Putin was truly in attendance.
The footage from the church service, which has been seen over 530,000 up to now, cuts to Putin a number of instances. At one level, it cuts to Putin doing the signal of the cross gesture whereas holding a candle.
Ukrainian race automobile driver Igor Sushko posted the clip on his Twitter web page and accused Russia of spreading “propaganda” because the nation enters the ninth week of its invasion of Ukraine.
“Russian propaganda fake: Easter on Russian state TV. Putin was too much of a coward to be present in the church during the actual event,” he tweeted. “Pre-recorded footage of him added in, and quite poorly. He is missing next to the painting of a crown on a red table on the wall.”
Other footage has emerged on Twitter that seems to point out Putin doing this gesture in an empty church. The managing director of the TLFRD Baltics consultancy agency, Mykhailo Golub, alleged on Twitter that Putin’s footage was shot individually. “Someone in the Kremlin leaked how the Easter church service was filmed. The footage of Putin was filmed separately,” he tweeted.
Sushko also tweeted the video and claimed Putin’s look was prerecorded.
“Someone captured Putin on video during the pre-recording of him in an emptied church protected by his body guards. This footage was then broadcast as ‘live’ on Russian state propaganda TV, sprinkled into the actual footage of Easter services.”
However, BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh dismissed these theories and mentioned the Twitter thread was spreading false claims. He additionally shared photographs from the church occasion which might be on the media firm Getty’s web site as an example the truth that Putin was on the occasion in particular person throughout the service.
“It’s day 60 of war in Ukraine. A Viral Twitter thread falsely claims footage of President Putin at the orthodox Easter mass was pre-recorded and edited in, incidating he wasn’t there, ” Sardarizadeh tweeted. “Agency photos from the mass clearly show him at the event wearing the exact same suit and tie.”
The Associated Press Fact Check Twitter web page also tweeted that Putin was on the occasion.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin did attend an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow on Sunday, contrary to false online claims. The Associated Press photographed him at the service.”
The report that the AP shared alongside its tweet mentioned that each Reuters and Agence France-Press additionally printed their very own images of Putin from the service.
Newsweek has contacted the Russian Foreign Office for remark.