Fact Check: Video Of Putin's Hand Going Through Microphone Is NOT Proof Of Green Screen -- It's Due To Compressed Video

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Video Of Putin's Hand Going Through Microphone Is NOT Proof Of Green Screen -- It's Due To Compressed Video Distortion

Does a video of Russian President Vladimir Putin show him putting his hand through a microphone, meaning it was filmed in front of a green screen? No, that's not true: His hand appearing to float through the microphone is only visible in low-resolution videos and not in higher-resolution ones. The video anomaly appears to be due to video compression and does not show Putin filming in front of a green screen.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on March 5, 2022. It is a 15-second video without sound, with a caption saying, "Zelensky trolls Putin for using a green screen."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 7 19:37:27 2022 UTC)

A post on Twitter made the same claim:

In the video on Twitter and Facebook Putin's hand appears to move through the stem of the microphone in front of him on the table.

A higher-resolution video on YouTube of Putin speaking to Aeroflot employees on March 5, 2022, does not show his hand moving through the stem of the microphone. The hand gesture is seen at 12 seconds and again at 21 seconds in the video:


The illusion of Putin's hand going through the microphone stem is due to video compression. When the video is shared to other apps like Twitter or Facebook, it's compressed, or made smaller to save space:

Video compression is the process of encoding a video file in such a way that it consumes less space than the original file and is easier to transmit over the network/Internet.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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