Video of Zelenskyy with ‘war robot from U.K.’ is digitally altered

By: Ishita Goel
July 25 2023

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Video of Zelenskyy with ‘war robot from U.K.’ is digitally altered


The Verdict False

The original video showed Zelenskyy with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. It has been digitally altered to include the robot.

Claim ID 6933d782


A video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a robot is viral on social media. In the clip, Zelenskyy can be seen getting out of a helicopter, walking next to a robot, and posing in front of a military tank. Text inlaid over the clip reads, "New 'Robot Royal Force' Type-C robot arrived to Ukraine." 

Users have shared this video with captions claiming, "Breaking!! Zelensky's first war robot delivered from U.K." "Just when you thought the Zelensky/Ukrainian charade couldn't get any weirder…," read another tweet, which has garnered over 137k views. A Facebook user posted the video and asked, "Zelensky acquires android robot soldiers. Could this be a game changer?"

However, the clip has been digitally edited to add the robot.

In Fact

The original video was shot in In February 2023 when Zelenskyy met with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Lulworth Camp in Dorset, southern England. 

Through a reverse image search, we identified a longer version of the original clip published by news agency AFP on February 9, 2023, captioned "Zelensky and Sunak visit Ukrainian troops receiving training at U.K. army camp." At 0:05, we see Zelenskyy walking with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. At 0:36, we can see Zelenskyy shaking hands with Sunak and posing in front of a military tank. 

On comparing the background and people around from the AFP video and the viral video, we concluded that it is the same video, only edited to replace Sunak with a robot. 

On February 9, Sunak posted photos from their meeting and wrote, "We know Ukraine will ultimately defeat tyranny, and the U.K. will continue to train and arm Ukrainian forces with the equipment they need." One of the images shows them standing in front of a tank, which matches the one in the viral video.

Further, we found the viral clip was published on TikTok by a user ‘Animatronic3D’ on July 15, with the caption, "New "Royal Robot Force" RRF Type-C 🦾🦾🦾 #robot from #england 🇬🇧 finally arrived to #ukraine." The account description read, "Showing the world how AI+ Robots will change our world”, and has other edited clips of real people replaced by robots.

The Verdict

The video has been digitally edited to replace Sunak and show Zelenskyy with a robot. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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