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False information: Pashinyan Has Been Using a Duplicate Since the End of the War

Verdict: false information

Aram Gabrielyanov, the Chairman of the Board of the newspaper “Izvestia” wrote on his Telegram page, that the incumbent PM of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan is a “pathological coward”, and that he has been using a duplicate since the end of the war. To provide the evidence, Gabrielyanov published a video clip, in which a Pashinyan lookalike could be seen.

This claim is false. The video published by Gabrielyanov was taken from the film set of the pre-election campaign of the Civil Contract Party. Gabrielyanov's statement that the man was impersonating Pashinyan for the production of the video clip is true, however, his claim that this is the evidence that Pashinyan has been using a body double since the end of the war, is false.

On June 8, Aram Gabrilyanov published a video on his Telegram page. Attached was a caption:

“... I was told that Nikol Pashinyan is a pathological coward and that he has started using a duplicate since the end of the war. We had to get our person around Pashinyan. Here, watch.”

This news was widely shared on various online news platforms – lurer.com, armday.am, hayeli.am, yelaket.am, blog.7or.am and on social media. In the video, we see different people, among them the man resembling Nikol Pashinyan.

The man in the suit in this video is Artur Hakobyan. This fact was confirmed by Hakobyan himself while talking to Media.am. According to Hakobyan, people often tell him that he looks similar to the PM. In the spread video clip, Artur Hakobyan plays the role of Pashinyan while taking part in the shooting of the pre-election video of the Civil Contract Party.

According to Hakobyan, the video clip was shot in the Hayfilm Studio.

Artur Hakobyan – on the day of shooting of the pre-election clip of the Civil Contract Party

Artur Habokyan also mentioned that he is neither an actor nor a member of the Civil Contract Party. He and Pashinyan simply look alike, and for that reason, he had gotten the offer to impersonate the PM. Hakobyan said it was his first time embodying the role of the PM.

Therefore, the video clip shared by Aram Gabrielyan does not prove that the PM has started using a duplicate after the war. It is only, in essence, a behind-the-scenes video from the making of the pre-electoral clip of the Civil Contract Party. Artur Hakobyan has impersonated Nikol Pashinyanonly once. There is no evidence of Pashinyan using a duplicate after the war.

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This article was produced in partnership with Media Initiatives Center and is part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.

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