Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent image of visiting a military hospital in Moscow to meet with wounded soldiers is allegedly morphed, claim online users. The image is a stark reminder of the 2015 doctored photo of Modi during the Chennai floods.
Online users claim to have recognized one of the “patients” from a previous event. Wearing a white lab coat, Putin was seen on video and in still photos talking to soldiers at Mandryk military hospital.
The visit was his first to a hospital since the war in Ukraine broke out on Feb. 24.
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Putin was accompanied on the visit by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He asked one of the soldiers standing next to their beds about his baby son, telling him: “He will be proud of his dad.”
Putin also hailed the troops as “heroes” during a televised meeting with government officials.
However, it was noted that the image was likely photoshopped.
“Putin met with a wounded solider who, by a strange coincidence, was also a factory worker he previously met,” Adam Rang, a self-described “counter-propaganda” activist living in Estonia, stated.
Rang shared a photo of the purported soldier in the hospital room, and another image allegedly showing the same man with a receding hairline and a distinctive widow’s peak in a crowd of people meeting with Putin on another occasion.
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India’s state-run Press Information Bureau faced a similar flak in 2015 after tweeting an edited image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying deadly Chennai floods.
The bureau initially retweeted the prime minister’s photo of himself looking through a plane window. At the time, Modi and his government faced criticism over the image. The tweet was later deleted.
Modi flew to Chennai in Tamil Nadu state to see the damage caused by the widespread flooding, which killed more than 260 people.
Last week, there have been reports that the Russia’s military doesn’t have enough soldiers. The growing disconnect among the government and the soldiers led to offers to draw interest in joining the forces.
Officials in Moscow offered four times the average salary for those who sign up for a three-month military service contract.
A recruiter for the military in Chechnya also offered a first-month salary of 300,000 rubles ($5,200).