Does a viral video show Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dancing in a red suit? No, that's not true: The footage of a different person was altered to add Zelenskyy's face. The dance in question was performed by a man from the Russian city of Lipetsk.
President of Ukraine 🇺🇦 who wants to send our sons and daughters to fight with Russian #ukrainewar #presidentzelenskyy🇺🇦 #comedyskit
Here is what it looked like at the time of writing:
Before becoming Ukraine's president in April 2019, Zelenskyy worked as an actor and comedian. He also participated in a local version of the "Dancing with the Stars" show. However, the recording that is the focus of this fact check doesn't show any of that.
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Jan 15 15:59:41 2024 UTC)
The caption in Russian didn't mention Zelenskyy or Ukraine. As translated by Chrome, it reads:
Dancing, my dancing, how do you like it? Modern or Oriental?
"Vusaaaal" also has an Instagram account where he introduces himself as Vusal Mekhtyev (Вусал Мехтиев) and says that he has participated in a reality show.
A search for his name in Russian sources led to a 2015 article in a local Russian newspaper (archived here.) It said that Mekhtyev is from the Russian city of Lipetsk (archived here) and that he decided as a child to follow in the footsteps of his mother, a professional belly dancer.
Previously, Lead Stories debunked a similar claim stating that a video showed dancing Zelenskyy but, in reality, the footage was manipulated to replace the face of an Argentinian dancer.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine's president has been a target of multiple false claims.