False: Photos show U.S. President Joe Biden eating ice cream during his visit to Kyiv on February 20, 2023.

By: Anurag Baruah
February 23 2023

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False: Photos show U.S. President Joe Biden eating ice cream during his visit to Kyiv on February 20, 2023.


The Verdict False

The photos of Biden eating ice cream are not from his recent visit to Kyiv but are altered versions of photos taken in the U.S. in 2021 and 2022.

Claim ID f6a03c8d


On February 20, 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. According to reports, Biden reached Kyiv after a 10-hour train journey from Poland. Soon, photos and videos started circulating on social media with claims about the surprise visit of the U.S. president to the war-torn nation. Two images emerged on social media showing President Biden eating ice cream, claiming that they showed him during his recent visit to Kyiv. 

One Twitter user posted a photo on February 21 and wrote, "Joe Biden eating an ice cream cone in Kyiv today is my favorite thing right now." Another user posted another photo of Biden eating an ice cream wearing sunglasses on Facebook and wrote, "Waking up and seeing Biden eating my favorite Kyiv's ice cream near iconic Kyiv's hot-dog place is something…." Both photos have racked up dozens of likes and comments.

However, both the photos are unrelated to Biden's recent visit to Kyiv and have been digitally manipulated.

In Fact

A reverse image search on the photo showing Biden in sunglasses took us to the original photo of the president enjoying an ice cream, published on the photo hosting website Alamy. The photo's caption mentioned that the U.S. President had ice cream in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 27, 2021, and credited Evelyn Hockstein of Reuters for the photo. We further located the same image in the archive section of the Reuters website that confirmed Hockstein as the photographer who took the picture in Cleveland. 

Using the Google Lens feature to focus on Biden's background in the viral photo and then a reverse image search, we were led to the website Foursquare, featuring Kyiv's hot dog joint, "Kyivska Perepichka." We found the photo of the joint in the photo gallery that matched the viral photo's background exactly, even featuring the three men seen purportedly standing behind Biden. Initially, this image showed a user's hand holding up a snack, and has been digitally altered to feature Biden with ice cream instead. "Kyivska Perepichka" is listed as the No. 1 outlet out of the 33 "quick bites" food suggestions on Tripadvisor, and 3 Khmelnytskoho Street near Khreschatyk, Kyiv, Ukraine has been mentioned as the address. We were also able to locate the joint on Google Maps.

Next, we conducted a reverse image search on the other viral photo and found a tweet by AP photographer Carolyn Kaster from October 17, 2022, showing Biden eating ice cream. While the backgrounds of the two images are different, on closer inspection, we found that the viral photo is a laterally inverted version of Kaster's photo. Both images show Biden in a dark blue suit, with the same printed tie, and a pair of sunglasses hanging out of his jacket pocket. According to the hashtags in Kaster's tweet, the image showed Biden having ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins outlet in Portland, Oregon. We used this information to locate the photo on Alamy, which confirmed that the picture had been taken at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland on October 15, 2022. Further, on translating the name on the ice cream kiosk behind Biden in the viral photo, we found that it is a brand famous in Ukraine. Therefore, Biden has been cropped out of the photo taken by Kaster and superimposed onto an image showing an ice cream kiosk to support the false claim.

The Verdict

Old and unrelated photos of U.S. President Joe Biden having ice cream on different occasions in 2021 and 2022 in the United States have been digitally altered to claim that they show Biden enjoying ice cream during his recent visit to Kyiv. Therefore, we are marking the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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