How did we find out the truth?: We ran a reverse image search on the viral pictures and came across a Facebook post from 18 March.
This post was found on a group called 'AI CREATIVES THAILAND'.
The post carried four images which included two viral photos of Putin and two images of United States President Joe Biden, where both of them were dressed up as Buddhist monks.
The post's caption clarified that these images are not real and are generated by an AI tool, Midjourney.
The user who posted these images identified himself as a digital creator who has shared several such AI-generated images on his page.
What is Midjourney?: It is an AI-powered tool which can created realistic images suitable to the given prompts by the users.
We checked more AI-generated images of Putin on Midjourney with similar commands and came across similar AI-generated images showing Putin dressed up as a Monk.
(Note: Swipe to check all the screenshots.)
This image was created using commands about a vintage portrait of Putin dressed as a monk.
This image was created using commands about Putin dressed as a monk in Tibet.
We have reached out to the creator of these images, the article will be updated once we receive a response.
Conclusion: Clearly, the viral photo of Vladimir Putin dressed up as a monk is AI-generated and is being falsely shared as a real photo.
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