A viral YouTube video that has been viewed more than a million times is falsely labeled as showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky singing a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The video was posted on March 19 on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter by an Italian radio station called Radio Salento. Within 10 days, he had racked up more than 445,000 interactions — such as likes, shares and comments — across all platforms, according to CrowdTangle and BuzzSumo, two social media analytics tools.
The video and posts sharing it were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Zelenskyy garnered international attention and support by leading Ukraine in its defense against Russian invasion. The video, however, does not show Zelenskyy. It features Alejandro Manzano, the lead singer of Boyce Avenue, a Florida-based band known for its covers. Boyce Avenue uploaded Manzano’s original video to his YouTube channel on July 9, 2017.
The captioned Radio Salento video went viral weeks after another video of Manzano and singer Connie Talbot was shared online by social media users who falsely claimed it showed Zelenskyy and his woman singing “Endless Love”, a song by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.
Such claims are fueled by Zelenskyy’s previous career as an actor, writer and comedian before entering politics and being elected President of Ukraine in 2019.
Claims that this YouTube video shows Zelenskyy are false.
Source: Shot from PolitiFact.