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PunditFact: Photo of a sad Vladimir Putin goes viral, but it wasn't taken during Russia's loss to Finland

7:50 PM, Feb 20, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL - It was a devastating blow for Russia after their men's hockey team was eliminated from winning an Olympic medal By now, you've probably seen the photo on social media of President Vladimir Putin's apparent reaction to the loss. 

We team up with PunditFact to check the photo that went viral.

Moments after the Russian hockey team was eliminated from Sochi Olympics without a medal, a photo of a sad-looking Vladimir Putin started popping up all over social media. In it, Putin clearly looks upset, resting his head on his hand alongside Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who also doesn't look too happy.

It quickly went viral. Publications like The Daily Mirror tweeted it out. There's even a hashtag, #sadputin. But there's more to this picture. 

PunditFact did some digging and found it was actually taken three days earlier in a game which the Russian hockey team defeated Slovakia 1 to 0 in an overtime shootout.

"What we did is we looked and found that neither Putin nor Medvedev was in attendance for their final game. Putin was in Moscow, meeting with folks and Dmitry Medvedev was in the far east of the country, about 6,500 miles away," says Aaron Sharockman, editor at PunditFact.

This is a real picture. It was taken by a contributor to Getty Images on February 16. But it was not taken after Russia lost to Finland on Wednesday, so PunditFact rates it: PANTS ON FIRE.

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