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Truthmeter: Video from TV series misused against Ukrainian president Zelensky

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The video, which is said to be from Zelensky’s presidential campaign, is in fact from a TV series in which he was an actor, four years before he became president. The video has nothing to do with the reality of Ukraine’s political presidential election and was not used in the presidential campaign, writes Truthmeter.mk.

Under the syndicating agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text below:

We are reviewing a Facebook post, which shows a video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The post reads:

The president of Ukraine, Zelensky (the ideological successor to Nazi Stepan Bandera), made the video a few years ago for his presidential campaign, saying he would get rid of pro-Russian politicians.

The video shows Zelensky in a hall, which looks like and can be a parliamentary hall, who goes to the security guard, takes two guns, points them at the MPs and shoots them until he kills them all.

The video is alleged to have been used during Zelensky’s presidential campaign and in which he said he would get rid of pro-Russian politicians. However, this is disinformation, and the video comes from a series starring Volodomir Zelensky, who, before becoming president, was a professional actor.

The series is called “People’s Servant” and in it, Zelensky plays the role of a president. In the second episode of this popular Ukrainian series, in 4 minutes and 40 seconds, the cropped and incorrectly contextualized part of the video can be seen, which is used in the post we are reviewing.

It is a series from 2017, which is categorized on Wikipedia as a Ukrainian political-satirical humorous television series, which premiered on October 16, 2015.

In the series, Zelensky portrays a high school teacher who is fed up with corrupt politicians and happens to become the president. In four years’ time, Zelensky indeed becomes the President of Ukraine on April 21, 2019. But this insert from the series has nothing to do with his presidential campaign and it was not used in it. And especially not in the context that “he will get rid of pro-Russian politicians.” On the contrary, his opponent Petro Poroshenko, the then-current president of Ukraine and his supporters, attacked Zelensky, saying that his eventual election would benefit Russia.

The claim that Zelenski is some kind of “ideological successor of the Nazi Stepan Bandera” is especially meaningless. As it has become widely known these days, Zelensky is of Jewish descent, and during his tenure the construction of a memorial to the 150,000 Jewish victims of the Babi Yar Holocaust (which was recently reported to have been shelled by Russian forces) began.

Due to the above facts, we assess that the shared post and the video which is said to be from Zelensky’s presidential campaign is actually from a television series in which he was an actor. The video has nothing to do with the reality of Ukraine’s political presidential election and was not used in the presidential campaign. In addition, the text of the post contains untruths, according to which Zelensky said that he would get rid of pro-Russian politicians, as well as the claim that he is the ideological successor of Stepan Bandera. Hence, we assess the post as untrue.

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