Fact Check: France 24 Did NOT Report Macron Cancelled Visit To Ukraine Over Fears Of Assassination Attempt

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: France 24 Did NOT Report Macron Cancelled Visit To Ukraine Over Fears Of Assassination Attempt Deepfake

Did France 24 report that French President Emmanuel Macron cancelled a visit to Ukraine over fears of an assassination attempt? No, that's not true: France 24 debunked the claim. The video purporting to show the network report the news is a deepfake, generated by AI.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on February 13, 2024. The post, which included a short video, began:

According to French media, the Kiev regime tried to lure French President Emmanuel Macron to Ukraine in order to murder him and then blame his death on Russia in order to bring media attention back to Ukraine and increase financial and military aid from the west.

The claim appeared three days before Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy were expected to sign a bilateral security agreement in Paris on February 16, 2024.

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

Screenshot 2024-02-16 at 6.32.53 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Feb 16 15:25:34 2024 UTC)

Although the video in the post appeared to be a genuine broadcast by France 24, a state-owned news network, it is not. It's a deepfake, generated by AI, according to France 24. Responding to the claim about the broadcast, the network wrote on its website (archived here) on February 15, 2024:

A viral video supposedly shows an extract from one of FRANCE 24's news bulletins on its French-language channel. In it, the presenter announces that French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his trip to Ukraine, because the French secret services had intercepted an assassination attempt against him. But the news is false, and the video a deepfake

France 24 English posted a segment on Facebook discussing the fake video. You can watch that here and below:

The claim appeared after a French publication, Challenges, reported on February 11, 2024, that the French presidential administration had said that Macron's expected February 13-14, 2024, trip to Ukraine would be postponed for security reasons. The administration did not elaborate further. Two unnamed French officials later confirmed the postponement to Politico Europe, though the presidential administration did not. Neither report mentioned an assassination attempt by Zelenskyy's government.

Find out more

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of deepfake videos can be read here.

We also have disproved in English, Ukrainian and Russian an extensive array of false claims concerning Ukraine and Zelenskyy.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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