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FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Vladimir Putin Wearing A Bulletproof Vest In May 2022?

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An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a recent photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he appears to be wearing a bulletproof vest under his suit. 

Verdict: Misleading 

The photo is more than four years old. It is unrelated to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

A top Ukrainian military official claimed an unsuccessful assassination attempt took place against Putin shortly after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, according to the New York Post. Western officials are reportedly skeptical of the claim, stating such an operation would be “hugely complex,” Business Insider reported.

An image shared on Facebook claims Putin has taken extra security precautions since the war in Ukraine began. It shows an image of Putin bending over, revealing what appears to be the outline of a bulletproof vest beneath his suit. “Looks like Putin has start (sic) wearing bulletproof vest,” reads the May 22 post’s caption.

The photo is not recent. A reverse image search revealed it was shared by the Russian news outlet Kommersant in August 2017 with a caption that indicates it shows Putin at Lake Baikal in Siberia with other Russian officials. It is unclear whether Putin is wearing a bulletproof vest in the photo and the article makes no mention of the subject. 

The image was also shared on Twitter in 2017 with the same claim made in the Facebook post. “Am I the only one who thinks that Putin has a bulletproof vest under his jacket?” reads the translation of one Russian-language tweet that shared the photo. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Vladimir Putin Walking Home From A Recent Press Briefing?)

Putin has reportedly survived five assassination attempts, according to the Mirror.

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