In recent weeks, a grotesque series of street art depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been circulating on social media in several European countries.
These graffiti, depicting the Ukrainian president devouring Europe or sucking up money, have appeared in Paris, London and even Warsaw.
We started by analyzing this first image that was shared by many social media accounts, and by many pro-Kremlin news outlets.
A graffiti of Zelenski swallowing money
It shows Volodymyr Zelensky swallowing money and, as can be seen, he is supposedly in a suburb of Paris, right in front of the Saint-Mandé metro station.
At #THECUBE we wanted to check if it was real. We first did a reverse image search but found nothing conclusive.
We then ran the image through a digital forensics program, and as you can see, the difference in color and light intensity here, in contrast between the Zelenski graffiti and the background, clearly suggests that the image has been tampered with.
Graffiti does not appear anywhere on the web
But that is not all. We googled this graffiti to see if any articles would come up and nothing came up.
In addition, the journalists from the AFP agency say that they have called the hotels and shops around that metro station. And no one has seen that graffiti. Which leads to the conclusion that this image has most likely been doctored.
They also have this other anti-Zelenski graffiti that was supposedly painted on in London.
According to LeadStories research, the building is not located in London, but in Zurich.
It is the Lindt chocolate factory, and as you can see, the chairs are exactly the same and the trees with the Christmas decoration are identical to the previous photo. And according to the director of the factory, at no time has there been a Zelenski graffiti there
Who is behind these graffiti?
#THECUBE was tracking until it reached this Instagram account. The profile only has one image cut into smaller ones, they claim to be an artistic group from Poland.
#THECUBE contacted them with no response.
We may wonder why fake graffiti with fake images is created. It’s a common theme of pro-Kremlin propaganda, driving a narrative that Zelensky and Ukraine are a black hole sucking money out of Europe.
Their intention is to create fear and doubt among the Western population, according to disinformation experts.
Source: Euronews Español