Overnight a reader sent me a link to a YouTube video, in which a seemingly resurrected Sergey Mavrodi smiled awkwardly and help up a sign.

On first viewing I knew something was off about the video but initially I couldn’t figure out what.

I felt like I was watching a CGI video, but only so far as the awkward smile and head movements went. The rest of the video lent itself to being real.

Then it dawned on me… I was watching a Deepfakes video.

For those unfamiliar with Deepfakes, the software emerged in late 2017 as a relatively simple way to superimpose a face onto another person’s body.

Some clever political videos initially emerged  but Deepfakes quickly gained notoriety in porn circles.

With a bit of effort some pretty convincing videos have been created (Donald Trump and Barack Obama have both been targeted). None of the Deepfakes videos however, at least in my opinion, have yet to overcome the uncanny valley.

And this is true of the Mavrodi video.

In addition to the previously stated awkward smile and head movements, other giveaways include:

  • Mavrodi’s glasses not having arms to his ears;
  • the fat neck (Mavrodi never had a double chin, not even when he was overweight);
  • the reddish hair color of the actor; and
  • Mavrodi doesn’t speak in the video (he was never one to shy away from the camera)

The video was uploaded on October 19th to a YouTube account bearing the name VnukElkina.

The one-line video description in Russian reads (auto-translated);

Sergey Panteleevich Mavrodi shot a video of 2018.

Perusal of the channel reveals a second video, uploaded on October 14th – in which the actor speaks:

Here the same giveaways exist as in the first video. Additionally the voice is obviously off and Mavrodi’s eyebrows don’t move.

The chosen category of both videos is “comedy”, so for now Mavrodi’s resurrection appears to be joke.

Hopefully scammers trying to resurrect MMM Global don’t run with it hey…


Update 11th January 2021 – As at the time of this update, both Mavrodi videos referenced in this article have been removed from the YouTube uploader’s account.