NewsRussian Propaganda's AI-generated lies on Ukrainian General debunked

Russian Propaganda's AI‑generated lies on Ukrainian General debunked

Russian propaganda in action. It uses artificial intelligence.
Russian propaganda in action. It uses artificial intelligence.
Images source: © Getty Images | VALENTYNA POLISHCHUK
12:51 PM EDT, April 23, 2024

Russian propaganda has recently made headlines for circulating false claims about the head of Ukrainian intelligence, HUR, General Kyrylo Budanov. Initially, reports emerged that Budanov had perished in a Russian missile attack, only to be followed by claims of his capture. Both pieces of information were later debunked, revealing that artificial intelligence (AI) played a role in concocting these narratives.

Russian propaganda has recently made headlines for circulating false claims about the head of Ukrainian intelligence, HUR, General Kyrylo Budanov. Initially, reports emerged that Budanov had perished in a Russian missile attack, only to be followed by claims of his capture. Both pieces of information were later debunked, revealing that artificial intelligence (AI) played a role in concocting these narratives.

According to kyivpost.com, Russian media outlets released videos last week falsely portraying the capture of the Main Intelligence Directorate's (HUR) head, Kyrylo Budanov. This followed an earlier incorrect report that Budanov had been killed in a missile strike.

Following a massive Russian missile offensive targeting the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) earlier last week, reports from Russian outlets falsely announced General Budanov's death in the assault, as highlighted by the source in question.

The narrative later shifted, with Russian propaganda suggesting that Russian forces had captured Budanov. They even circulated a photo purporting to show the officer in captivity, which was quickly identified as a forgery.

An investigation into the materials spread by Russian media uncovered that the videos were actually repurposed from a fake video created last autumn. The video used artificial intelligence (AI) to superimpose images of Budanov's face onto a computer-generated figure.

Ukrainian Official Refutes Russian Propaganda

The HUR's spokesperson, Andriy Yosov, clarified that Kyrylo Budanov was not captured but had been actively working from his office since the onset of the Ukraine invasion. Yosov denounced the Russian tactics as deceptive manipulations that failed to deceive the public. "The entire charade reeked of deceit from the start," he commented.

"Russian propaganda is facing a credibility crisis, entangled in its web of lies. Meanwhile, Kyrylo Budanov continues to adeptly lead Ukrainian intelligence efforts against the Russian aggressors," Yosov emphasized.

Prior instances of Russian disinformation have involved AI-generated videos targeting Ukrainian officials, crafted using publicly available photos. On November 7th of the previous year, the Kremlin disseminated a fake video from Valerii Zaluzhnyi, then Chief Commander of the AFU.

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