A 2:22-minute video where Rahul Shrivastava, India's ambassador in Romania, can be heard giving a special message to the Indians evacuated from Ukraine inside an Air India (AI) flight is being shared with a claim that he is Russian President Vladimir Putin, who "himself went on the AI aircraft to convince Indians."
The claim comes on the back of the evacuation efforts of the Indian government under 'Operation Ganga', which aims to bring back stranded Indians from war-torn Ukraine.
But as stated, it was Shrivastava and not Putin who had addressed the evacuated students inside the aircraft, leaving a poignant message before the first flight from Romania took off on 26 February.
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The claim alongside the video reads, "Russian President Putin himself went on aircraft of AI to convince Indians. What a Respect for India. Be proud of to be an Indian (sic)."
WHAT WE FOUND
We found that the video had the logo of business news channel 'ET Now'.
We searched using keywords and found the video on the official Twitter handle of the channel, posted on 26 February.
The caption of the tweet read that Shrivastava had a special message to Indian nationals onboard an AI flight.
In the video, he begins by saying, "Good morning, my dear friends, my name is Rahul Shrivastava, and I am your ambassador in Romania."
"Remember, your friends who are still here. And when you talk to your friends who are still waiting to be evacuated, you should tell them, assure them that the entire government of India team is working day and night to evacuate everyone. And, our mission is not complete till we have taken the last Indian out of Ukraine," he goes on.
Wishing everyone a safe journey, he signs off saying, "Remember this day, 26 February, whenever you face difficulty or feel things have become difficult, and things are not moving, remember this day, and everything will be fine."
We also found similar reports on other news websites, including Hindustan Times.
Clearly, a video of the Indian ambassador is being falsely shared as Putin meeting Indians onboard an AI flight.