Russia, Ukraine war: Deepfake of Volodymyr Zelesnky calling for Ukrainians to surrender broadcast on hacked TV channel

A Ukrainian television station and tabloid news website were allegedly hacked on Tuesday, broadcasting a manipulated image of the country's leader calling for his citizens to surrender.

According to a statement posted on Facebook by television channel Ukraine 24, "enemy hackers" earlier this week hacked it and the Segodnya website "broadcasting [President Volodymyr] Zelensky's message about the alleged 'surrender'".

It's reported that the message was shared through a broadcasted 'deepfake' of Zelensky. This is a video of someone whose face or body is changed to appear like someone else.

"This is fake! Fake! Friends, we have repeatedly warned about this. Nobody is going to give up. Especially in conditions when the Russian army is defeated in battles with the Ukrainian army!" a translation of the Ukraine 24 message says.

Zelensky has responded, sharing a video message in which he calls the hack a "childish provocation" and says the only people who should be laying down their weapons are the Russians. 

"But we are defending our land, our children, our families so we are not planning on laying down any weapons, until our victory," a Newsweek translation of Zelensky's message says.

EuroNews reported Sam Gregory from human rights and technology group Witness as saying this is an example of deepfakes being used in an "intentional and broadly deceptive way". 

"It's not an effective deepfake, partly because it's not an extremely well-made deepfake, but also because Ukraine has done a masterful job pre-bunking and then swiftly rebutting the video."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader called on United States lawmakers to push for a no-fly zone over his country as "Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people". 

So far, Western leaders have pushed back against such an idea out of concern it may escalate the conflict and pull them closer into the war.