English, Fake News

Digitally edited visuals shared as a pigeon saluting Russian President Putin


A social media post accompanying a video of Russian President Vladimir Putin waving at a pigeon and in return, the pigeon raising its wing, as if it were saluting him back is being widely circulating as a real video. Another Facebook user also shared the same video claiming ‘Pigeon salutes Putin’. Through this article let’s fact-check the veracity of the video shared in these posts.

Claim: Visuals of a pigeon saluting to Putin.

Fact: The viral visuals showing a pigeon waving at Putin are not real but created digitally. As per the original visuals, Putin waves his hand at a pigeon, however, the pigeon does not wave back in return but pigeon moves away and then walks along its path. The incident took place when Putin visited the Rogozhskiy Religious Center in Moscow in 2017. Russian state owned media agency Ruptly reported the original visuals back then. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Google search with relevant keywords yielded us a 2017 news report of Ruptly (Russian state-owned media agency) that shared a video. The title of the report reads ‘Russia: Coo-Coo! – Putin blanked by pigeon at Spiritual Centre’. However, the video failed to load on this website.

Further, a thumbnail of a Ruptly (YouTube video) news report also carried the image of Putin and a pigeon. Even this video is not available in our country, as YouTube blocked Russian state-owned news channels RT & Sputnik, in the light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

However, a YouTube user uploaded the original Ruptly news video on his channel. Even these visuals show the pigeon moving away a little as Putin extends his hand but does not salute him. Thus these establish that the viral visuals showing a pigeon saluting Putin are created digitally.

Multiple fact-checking agencies have debunked the same claim when it went viral in 2017 (here & here).

To sum it up, digitally edited visuals share as a pigeon saluting Russian President Putin.


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