Altered Images: Bobsleigh and beer satirise Ukraine leader

  • 21 February 2014
Doctored image of Viktor Yanukovych in a bobsled Image copyright DOZHD
Image caption The caption says: "Yanukovych promised to speed up talks to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine"

Doctored images of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych are being circulated by media organisations in the region, making political points and exhibiting dark humour, as tension and violence has peaked in Ukraine in recent days.

Dozhd TV - one of the last independent TV outlets in Russia - tweeted an image of Yanukovych on an Olympic bobsleigh as it speeds downhill. The accompanying caption says: "Yanukovych promised to speed up talks to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine."

The picture appeared despite pressure the station is facing over its coverage of the Ukraine crisis, and for providing a platform for some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken opponents.

Meanwhile, the electronic version of popular Russian daily newspaper Moskovskiy Komsomolets had what appeared to be blood splattered across its front page on Friday. "Mourning Kiev style: Dozens of new victims", its headline says.

Image copyright MK.RU
Image caption Bloodstained: Electronic readers of a popular Russian daily saw this front page

Another Russian website, Grani.ru - which has been sympathetic to Ukraine's opposition - went further on Twitter. It promotes a story on the situation there with a picture of Viktor Yanukovych - but he's seen in front of a wall of flames with blood smeared around his mouth.

Image copyright Grani.ru
Image caption Russian opposition website Grani.ru published a picture of a blood-stained Yanukovych

Another popular image circulating on Ukrainian and Russian social networks - in contrast to the violent images emerging from Kiev - is a version of Carlsberg's "Beer on the Moon" advertisement. It is subtly altered to imply that the astronaut pictured is the Ukrainian president, casually observing developments from a great distance. "Problem-solving, Yanukovych-style", the caption reads.

Image copyright Twitter/hrunmorgov
Image caption President Yanukovych is seen relaxing on the moon in a new take of a beer advertisement

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