Earlier this month, the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in Kenya shared a picture on the platform showing what looked like a drained and exhausted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Is the former journalist’s health continuing to deteriorate for the worst? Or was this just part of Russia’s agenda to spread false news?

Assange, an Australian journalist, programmer, and activist, gained international fame in 2010 when his infamous organization WikiLeaks released a series of US military and diplomatic documents, which a former US Army intelligence analyst obtained. After his initial incarceration in the United Kindom due to allegations of sexual assault in Sweden, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and lived there from 2012 to 2019. The British police, who have been on standby for seven years outside the Ecuadorian embassy, immediately arrested Assange soon after leaving the building for violating his bail conditions on the sexual assault charge. He later received a guilty verdict and a 50-week prison sentence.

Since then, Assange has been staying in Belmarsh prison in London. He is also facing extradition on charges of espionage and computer hacking due to his unauthorized release of confidential US documents. However, he has since been appealing against this along with his supporters who believe prosecuting Assange is an attack on press freedom.

Assange has long completed his 50-week sentence but remains in custody inside one of the UK’s most brutal detention centers, which causes health concerns for the 52-year-old former journalist. His family has also expressed growing concern regarding his health caused by consistently facing extreme physical and mental toll.

But fast-forward to the first quarter of 2023, Assange remains in London’s maximum-security prison as he waits and pleads for the US government to drop charges.

This is why, when an image of an exhausted-looking Assange emerged and circulated online on April 6, people, especially his supporters and sympathizers, went nuts.

Most prominently, the Russian Embassy in Kenya tweeted the image, further fueling the speculations regarding Assange’s health condition.