Old clip misrepresented as depicting Vladimir Putin supporting Kenyan tax protests


As Kenya continues to deal with youth-led anti-government protests, a clip surfaced online claiming to show the Russian president Vladimir Putin supports the protests. But the video is old and has been shared out of context, while the audio track also deliberately mistranslates what the president said. The footage is actually from last year’s annual Victory Day parade in Moscow, where Putin, speaking in Russian, accused Western countries of Russophobia.

The video has been shared more than 300 times on TikTok since its placement on June 23, 2024.

<span>Screenshot showing the false claim, taken on July 3, 2024</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Onfe9EYipkH50uE9wJE8Qw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTgzMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/364fa519edb916fefb30b7eec42e7eef”/><span><knop klasse=

Screenshot showing the false claim, taken on July 3, 2024

The photo shows Putin giving a speech on a podium, flanked by security guards.

“Support from Russia #rejectfinancinglaw,” reads a text overlay.

The clip includes an audio track that reportedly translates what Putin says: “Currently the economy in many countries is not good, but I want to talk about a country in Africa, specifically East Africa, called Kenya. There have been demonstrations to reject this year’s financial law and guess who is leading the demonstrations – Generation Z. I am very proud of the youth in that country, because they have unity and one voice and as Russia we congratulate only the brave (Like this).”

The voice continues: “I know it is none of my business, but I support them and will offer to help them with whatever they need during the demonstration. Get a spokesperson and contact me through the Russian embassy, ​​whatever you need, or to deal with the intimidation of the authorities.”

Protests in Kenya

Young Gen-Z Kenyans Launched protests in May against a controversial finance bill that included a raft of new taxes (archived here).

On July 2, police fired tear gas and attacked stone-throwing protesters in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya, in the worst unrest since the demonstrations began.

Kenyan President William Ruto finds himself caught between demands from lenders such as the World Bank to cut the deficit and a restless population reeling from rising living costs.

However, the video circulating on social media does not show Putin addressing Kenyan protesters.

Modified clip

Via a reverse image search on a screenshot of the images we found the original clip on the YouTube channel of British broadcaster Sky News (archived here).

The photo shows Putin delivering a speech during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on May 9, 2023.

This was more than a year before the protests in Kenya.

WION, an Indian news channel, has uploaded a longer version of the 2023 Victory Day speech on its Youtube Channel (archived here).

The clip circulating on social media was incorrectly subtitled and the audio track was deliberately mistranslated.

An English translation of the speech is available on the Kremlin website (archived here).

In the speech, Putin focused on Russia’s military capabilities and historical significance, without mentioning Kenya. He emphasized Russia’s achievements and commemorated the country’s victory in World War II.

Putin also said in his speech that Russians are united in a “holy” struggle with the West over Ukraine and accused the West of Russophobia.

The Russian Embassy in Kenya distanced Putin from the clip where he says that “fake voice-overs and subtitles have been added to real footage of an earlier speech” (archived here).

Every year on May 9, Russia celebrates Victory Day, with a huge parade in honor of the country’s victory over Nazi Germany.

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