Images of Biden eating ice cream in Ukraine are doctored

Images purporting to show Joe Biden eating ice cream in Ukraine have widely circulated on social media since the US president's surprise visit to the country on February 20, 2023. But the photos are manipulated; the original pictures show Biden in the US states of Ohio and Oregon.

Days before the anniversary of Russia's February 24, 2022 invasion, Biden made an unannounced visit to Ukraine in which he reiterated Washington's "unwavering" support for the war-torn nation and President Volodymyr Zelensky.

As news of Biden's visit spread February 20, some online users shared images of the US president supposedly eating ice cream in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

"Biden walked in an actual war zone with air raid sirens blairing (sic) and ate ice cream," says a February 20, 2023 tweet sharing a photo of the president with an ice cream cone in front of what appears to be a Ukrainian shop.

Another tweet includes a picture of Biden supposedly in front of an ice cream truck. The caption says: "'Air raid? Screw the damn air raid, where's my ice cream?' Biden loves his ice cream."

Screenshot of a tweet taken February 24, 2023

Screenshot of a tweet taken February 24, 2023



Similar images spread elsewhere on Twitter and Facebook -- but they are digitally altered, reverse image searches show.

The original picture of Biden purportedly eating ice cream in front of a Ukrainian shop was taken by Reuters photographer Evelyn Hockstein on May 27, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP captured photos of the same event.

Screenshot of a Reuters image taken February 24, 2023

US President Joe Biden eats an ice cream at Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland, Ohio on May 27, 2021 ( AFP / Nicholas Kamm)



The original photo of Biden supposedly in front of an ice cream truck, meanwhile, was taken by Associated Press photographer Carolyn Kaster on October 15, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.

Screenshot of an Associated Press photo taken February 24, 2023

US President Joe Biden stops for ice cream at Baskin Robbins in Portland, Oregon on October 15, 2022 ( AFP / SAUL LOEB)



The backgrounds from Kyiv were added to the images.

The picture of the Ukrainian shop was posted on Foursquare, a reverse image search indicates. The photo shows an eatery in the center of Kyiv.

Screenshot from Foursquare taken February 24, 2023



The other background image was published on a Ukrainian website in 2022. It was taken in front of a cafe in Kyiv.

Screenshot from Delo taken February 24, 2023



AFP debunked another altered photo of Biden during his surprise visit to Ukraine here.