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Deepfake Putin Warns Civilians to Prepare for 'Martial Law,' Kremlin Blames Hysteria on Hackers

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Source: mega

Jun. 8 2023, Published 6:15 p.m. ET

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Hackers deployed a deepfake Vladimir Putin to send a troubling message during a Russian state tv broadcast. The Kremlin leader lookalike told civilians to prepare for a "mass mobilization" and "martial law," RadarOnline.com has learned.

While the Kremlin dismissed the broadcast as a hoax, the damage from the deepfake announcement was done.

The deepfake Putin sparked hysteria and heightened hostility with Ukraine.

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As Russians tuned into regularly scheduled programming, hackers interrupted with an "emergency appeal of the President." An AI-generated Kremlin leader appeared on the screen and called out the threat from Russia's "insidious enemy."

The statement stroked draft paranoia as ill-equipped Russian troops struggled on the frontlines.

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"We need to pull all efforts of Russians together to defeat the dangerous and insidious enemy," the deepfake President told viewers as hackers scrambled signals from local tv and radio stations.

The level of sophistication behind the address — and its uncanny resemblance to the real Putin — forced networks to issue their own statement as riled-up viewers were unsure of which Putin to trust.

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"Today, from 12:41 PM to 13:18 PM, unidentified persons made an illegal tie-in with the substitution of the content of the information programs of the Mir TV channel and Mir radio," read the statement from Russia's International Television and Radio Company MTRK.

MTRK added that "all information posted from 12:41 to 13:18 PM has nothing to do with the Mir MTRK and is an absolute fake and provocation."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also confirmed that the message was the work of hackers.

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"Definitely there was no address," Peskov said of the deepfake Putin. "It is true that there were hacks in some regions. Now all this has been eliminated and taken under control."

It was not the first incident of hackers gaining access to state-controlled television and radio broadcasts. While the Kremlin has been embarrassed by the behavior before, authorities have yet to identify who's behind the screen.

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