Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.
An image appearing to show an illustration of Russian President Vladimir Putin with ousted Pakistani leader Imran Khan in the back of a truck has been shared thousands of times in social media posts claiming it was taken in Russia. However, the photo has been edited to add the illustration to the truck, and it was originally taken in the United States.
The image was posted here on Twitter on May 7, 2022.
It appears to show a white truck stuck in traffic that features an illustration of Putin with former Prime Minister Khan on the back.
“Scenes from a road in Moscow Russia,” read the tweet’s Urdu caption.
It was retweeted over 4000 times.
On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Khan was in Moscow to meet the Russian leader in what was widely seen as an untimely visit, AFP reported.
Just over a month later, Khan was removed from office following a vote of no confidence.
The same image was shared in misleading posts on Twitter here, here, here and here.
It was also shared in misleading Facebook posts here, here and here.
Some social media users seemed to believe the image shows a real illustration of Khan and Putin on a truck in Russia.
“Well done Russia, keep it up, God bless your country,” one user wrote in English.
Another thanked Russia saying, “We Pakistanis also love Putin as much as you love our Khan.”
However, the image has been doctored to add the illustration of the two rulers.
A reverse image search found the photo showing the white truck posted here by Getty Images.
The truck does not feature any artwork of Putin or Khan.
“A traffic jam on a California highway,” read the caption for the photo.
Below is a screenshot comparing the doctored image (left) with the original Getty image (right):
A yellow traffic sign on the right side of the image reads in English: “TRAFFIC MERGE LEFT”.
The style of the sign matches those commonly used in the United States, as seen here.
The unaltered image was also included in a 2021 report by British broadcaster BBC, also credited to Getty.
AFP has debunked a wave of misinformation following Khan’s impeachment.