No, that’s not Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy belly dancing

By: Vivek J
September 22 2023

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No, that’s not Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy belly dancing

Screenshots of posts with a video with false claims (Source: Screenshot/X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts))


The Verdict False

This video shows an Argentinian dancer Pablo Acosta and not Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Claim ID 34fa4c28

What is the claim?

A video has gone viral on social media platforms with a claim that it shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dancing. This short clip has been shared across platforms like X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube (archives here, here, here, and here).

One such video is circulating on X with the caption, “This is Zelenskyy. I wonder if he’s ever been to Epstein Island.” There are several such posts with various captions mocking the Ukrainian President. 

Screenshot of social media posts with a video purporting to feature Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/modified by Logically Facts)

While Zelenskyy was a TV personality and comedian before entering politics, the now-viral video shows Pablo Acosta, an Argentinian dancer.

What did we find?

A reverse image search of keyframes from the viral clip shows that it has been online with similar narratives since early July 2023. Numerous posts on X, TikTok, and YouTube date back to July 2023. 

Screenshot of a post from July 2023. (Source: X/Screenshot)

Upon further research, we found the video shared on Instagram by a user named “pabloacostabellydance.” The Instagram page’s bio identifies the person as Pablo Acosta, a dancer, teacher, and choreographer from the Tucuman province of Argentina. Acosta's Instagram page also shows several videos of Acosta in the same costume as seen in the viral clip.

Screenshots of the Instagram posts by “pablocostabellydance.” (Source: Instagram/pablocostabellydance)

By comparing the viral video with those shared on Instagram by Pablo Acosta, it is clear that it is the same video. However, the face in the viral video resembles Zelenskyy while the original video shows Acosta. 

Screenshots of the viral video and the Instagram video by Pablo Acosta. (Source: X/Instagram/Screenshot)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has long been a target of such propaganda on social media ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Logically Facts has previously debunked similar claims. 

The verdict

The video shows Argentine dancer Pablo Acosta and not Ukrainian President Volodymyr. Acosta has shared multiple videos of his dance in the same costume and we found the original video on his Instagram account. The low-resolution videos shared claiming to be Zelenskyy could be digitally altered. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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