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Ukraine. The journalist “started to inhale the line through his nose”? How this frame was processed

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A video allegedly a fragment of a Ukrainian program has thousands of views on the Polish network – it shows a journalist behaving strangely. The video is also circulating on foreign networks and is commented on in several languages. It's a remake and the message points to Russian propaganda.

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Short stories are circulating on social media on profiles disseminating Russian propaganda recording allegedly showing a young Ukrainian journalist who – unaware that he is on camera – puts something into his nose. Numerous comments online show that the recording is consistent with one of the main Russian messages regarding Ukraine: the Kremlin, wanting to denigrate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, claims that he is a drug addict addicted to cocaine. Forged photos and recordings on this subject appear on the Internet all the time. The case is widely discussed in the Russian media. Even a modified slogan is popular on social media. Instead of “Glory to Ukraine!”, Polish Internet users supporting Russia write “Glory to cocaine”.

In a video now popular on the Internet, you can see someone filming a screen on a desk with a phone. The program of the private Ukrainian station 1+1 is broadcast. The staff is divided. On the left we see the presenter sitting behind a desk, on the right – a young man standing somewhere outside in front of a microphone. Instead of the original sound, we hear a Ukrainian song. A journalist in the studio seems to ask a question and then falls silent. His alleged interlocutor – as if not hearing him and not knowing that he was on camera – pours something from his purse onto the phone and then sniffs it into his nose. The recording ends with the presenter's clearly surprised expression.

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Millions of views, comments in several languages

The video has several hundred thousand views in Poland. One of the users published it with the following comment: “The main channel of Ukrainian television. Something like our TVP, TVN, Polsat. The journalist did not expect that he was already on the live broadcast, he took out the drugs and started snorting the linen. The patterns from the drug addict Zelensky were “preserved” (original spelling of all posts).

The recording is popular not only on the Polish Internet. Most popular post with him from French comment has a million views, with Spanish – 778 thousand, z English – 256 thousand, z Italian – 200 thousand Interestingly, several people claim that the recording is authentic Arabic portals.

The material is an opportunity to write anti-Ukrainian comments on the Internet. These are examples from Poland: “Like a leader, like a journalist. Slava of cocaine”; “Well, Russian propaganda will have fodder for the next week”; “Coke, of course, with our money stolen from taxes”; “The guy's face in the studio – priceless”; “Is he following the example of their president?”

However, some commentators doubt the authenticity of the recording. “It's not fake?”; “What a primitive fake. An image inserted into the frame and that hand with the microphone that doesn't move even a millimeter. You have to be super stupid to fall for it”; “It's fake, you swallow everything like a young pelican”; “It looks a bit fake to me,” they write.

A reworked interview with the minister

As we have established, it is indeed a montage. Someone changed the right side of the TV frame. In fact, the guest on this program was not a sniffing journalist, but the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.

The popular video is a remakeX.com, TCH.ua

How can we be sure that a fragment of a conversation with a politician was the source of the fake news now circulating? In both recordings, all the elements on the left side of the frame match: the dynamic background visible behind the Ukrainian journalist, his outfit, appearance and behavior. You can read what he says in the original recording by the movement of his lips.

The conversation, or rather an attempt to talk to Kułęba, took place on February 17, 2024. It was already circulating on the Internet at that time video with this fragment of the program because the politician did not see that it was live and puffed on a cigar, which caused controversy and comments. The video was published on the channel on the same day YouTube station. It was then described by the station's website and others media.

Kułeba then took part in Munich Security Conference. During the live broadcast, he was asked by a Ukrainian journalist about Polish farmers blocking the border crossings with Ukraine. However, it turned out that there were technical problems and the politician did not hear the question from the studio. Kułeba can be heard asking: “Is that all? The end?” – and then puffs on the cigar. The journalist responds to this. “We hear you.” However, the connection is not re-established and the camera only shows the surprised presenter.

We were unable to determine where the video of the man snorting something up his nose came from and who he was.

Main photo source: ANNA SZILAGY/PAP/EPA

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