Russia did not organize anti-US protests in support of Imran Khan

Doctored image showed people protesting against the United States for allegedly interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs

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Claim: An image is being shared on social media with the claim that it shows an anti-US protest staged in Russia in support of ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Fact: The image is doctored. The photo is in fact of a 2021 protest in the Russian capital Moscow against the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

On 4 April 2022, Facebook user Ch Sharafat posted an image that shows a protest in Moscow at which one demonstrator appears to be holding a photo of Khan with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The others are shown to be holding placards reading, “Stop interfering in the affairs of other countries”, and “No for American interface”. However, the image is doctored and the claims accompanying it are false. The image is from a 2021 protest that took place in Russia.

Fact or Fiction?

The image was shared with an Urdu-language caption that translated into English reads as, “Demonstrations in Moscow today against US intervention in other countries, in which some people also carried posters of Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to independent sources, the demonstration was organized at the behest of the government.”

Soch Fact Check found the claim in the caption to be false. A TinEye image search revealed that the original image was shared here on 23 January 2021. The image was first shared by the Associated Press here on the same day, in an article about a protest staged in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The image now being shared on social media was doctored and photoshopped to replace the image on the original placards with photos of Khan with Putin. The text on play cards was also manipulated to incorporate anti-US sentiments. A comparison of both images can be seen below:

A comparison of original and doctrine pictures

Virality

The doctored image was shared here, here, here, here, here, and here on Facebook between 4 and 6 April 2022. A video of the same image was also shared here by a Facebook user Yousaf Jhamat.

On Twitter, the doctored image was shared here and it received 17,000 likes and 6,000 retweets. It was also shared here, here, here, here and here on Twitter.

Conclusion: Russia did not organise a protest against the US for allegedly interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs in order to have now ex-PM Imran Khan removed. The image being circulated is doctored and the claims accompanying it are false. The image in fact shows a 2021 protest staged in Moscow following the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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