Fact Check: Did Putin Love Zelensky’s Comedy Performance Years Ago? No, viral video is faked

Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, a video of Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly enjoying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s comedy act has gone viral on social media from the public.

The short video clip, about 16 seconds long, shows a young Zelenskyy performing on stage. It also shows Putin, sitting in the audience, smiling.

Multiple facebook and Twitter users shared the music video with captions like, “AS FATE WOULD BE! Artist-comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the current president of Ukraine, performed for Russian President Vladimir Putin a few years ago.”

Another facebook user wrote: “About 20 years ago today. Zelenskyy joked about Putin while sitting in the audience at a Russian comedy show. Putin didn’t applaud. Today. Grim enemies.”

The India Today Anti-Fake News War Room (AFWA) discovered that this video had been manipulated. Two separate video clips were stitched together to make it look like Putin was enjoying Zelenskyy’s performance.

The viral messages have been saved herehereand here

AFWA probe

Using InVID and reverse image search, we found the two original videos that were clubbed together to create the viral video.

We found the video of Zelenskyy performing on ‘KVN’ YouTube channel. The Russian title of the video reads: “KVN major league 2002”. The original video was over an hour and a half long. This video was uploaded to the channel in 2012. Putin was not seen once during the entire duration of the original video.

At 35:28 we found the exact clip used in the viral video.

We found the second part of the video, where Putin can be seen sitting in the audience, in another video on the same YouTube channel, uploaded in 2013. The title of the YouTube video read: “KVN Premier League Team – Special project 2006”.

At 1:07 in this video, Putin’s viral part was on display in the audience. Here Putin was reacting to someone else’s achievements – not Zelensky’s.

‘KVN’ Also known as ‘Club of the Funny and Inventive’ is a popular Russian humorous TV show where artists from different regions of Russia and the former USSR participate and compete.

Zelenskyywho was a successful actor and comedian before his political career, has reportedly performed in ‘KVN’ several times.

However, the viral clip showing Putin enjoying Zelenskyy’s performance is undeniably inaccurate.

claimVideo of Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoying a performance by now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a few years ago.ConclusionThis video has been manipulated. Two separate video clips were stitched together to make it look like Putin was enjoying Zelenskyy’s performance. Zelenskyy’s video is from a 2002 episode of the Russian reality TV show ‘KVN’. The video of Putin in the audience is from a 2006 episode of the same show.


The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 crow: half true
  • 2 Crows: Mostly Lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely not true

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