English, Fake News

An AI-generated image of Vladimir Putin in monk attire is being shared to propagate false information


A photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin donned in a Buddhist monk attire is being shared widely on social media. It is claimed that he has become a Buddhist monk for a few days. Let’s understand the facts behind this photo and the claim through this article.

Claim: This photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin in the attire of a Buddhist Monk.

Fact: This photo was generated using the Artificial Intelligence tool Mid Journey. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.

To check the veracity of the claim, we searched the internet to see if Putin had truly converted into a Buddhist Monk for a few days. This search did not yield any credible news reports or any related stories.

Further, we performed a reverse image search on the viral photograph to learn more about it. This search led us to many sources, which revealed to us that this is an AI-generated image. Firstly, we found the viral photo on an online forum named Aistyle.art. This photo was uploaded on 22 March 2023. A user named Skynet posted this photo along with a few other photos of Putin and American President Joe Biden in monk attire. The caption reads, “Monks do not lie”. Users share AI-generated images on this online forum.

Through further search, we also found the same photographs on a few Facebook pages. Khaosod English, a Thailand-based new organisation, shared these photos on 19 March 2023, which clearly mentioned that these were doctored images. Another Facebook page named “AI CREATIVES THAILAND” contained the same set of photos. The user who posted these pictures clearly mentioned that these were created using the AI tool Modjourney. Also, in a YouTube video titled “Fact Check: How to spot AI images?” DW News labelled the viral photo as fake and generated using AI. With this evidence, we can conclude that the viral photo is AI-generated, not real.

To sum up, an AI-generated image of Vladimir Putin in monk attire is being shared to propagate false information about his conversion to Buddhism.


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