On April 5-6, 2023, the Russian platform dzen.ru, as well as on the Russian-language Facebook accounts (1, 2) started circulating the cover of the special issue of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo.” The cover of the magazine depicts the President of Ukraine – Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Russia – Vladimir Putin and Jesus Christ. According to the attached descriptions, Zelenskyy’s “persecution of the churches” enraged even Jesus Christ, whom Putin reassures and says: “It is not necessary! We will figure it out ourselves!” The release date of the caricature is April 5.
The cover of the “Charlie Hebdo” magazine is fabricated. The cover published by the French satirical magazine on April 5 does not match the published versions, and similar caricatures are not found on the covers of special issues of “Charlie Hebdo” either.
The disseminated cover of “Charlie Hebdo” features the serial number (#1603) and the release date of April 5. According to the official website of the publication, on April 5, the magazine with serial number – №1602 was released, and it has a different design. The issue features French President Emmanuel Macron, and the cover echoes the theme of protests caused by the new pension reform in France.
The cover of “Charlie Hebdo” with the image of Zelenskyy, Putin and Jesus Christ cannot be found in the archive, including special editions either.
Notably, Kremlin propaganda is actively amplifying the messages as if the Ukrainian government is fighting against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The caricature in question was allegedly fabricated to illustrate this issue. This issue became more active after it became known in December that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate would be deprived of the leased churches. This was preceded by a search process in Kyiv and other regions. Clergymen subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate were accused of propagating the “Russian world” in the churches. In connection with the mentioned process, Russian propaganda started voicing a number of messages, as if Ukraine is fighting against Orthodoxy. For more information on the topic, see the articles prepared by “Myth Detector:”
- Kremlin Media Disseminates a Conspiracy about the Blackening of Crosses of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
- Manipulative Claims about the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
- Photomanipulation, as if an Icon of Bandera was Written for the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
- Videomanipulation, as if an Orthodox Church was Burned in Ukraine
Fabricating the covers of prominent editions is a common method of Kremlin propaganda. Myth Detector verified a number of fabricated covers disseminated in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war. For more details, see our articles:
- Fabricated Caricatures of Zelenskyy in the Name of NEWSWEEK and FRANC-TIREUR
- How does Kremlin Propaganda Fabricate the Covers of Western Outlets to Discredit Ukraine?
- Fabricated Covers Disseminated in the Name of Polish and German Outlets
- Caricatures of Zelenskyy and Sunak do not Belong to the Indian Magazine ANANDA VIKATAN
- Another Fabricated Caricature of Zelenskyy in the Name of COURRIER INTERNATIONAL
- Was the name of Volodymyr Zelenskyy printed on the cover of TIME without the forbidden V and Z symbols?
- Does the Viral Caricature Belong to the Spanish Satirical Magazine EL JUEVES?
About the Source
The Russian-language account Злой Ёжик frequently publishes posts with anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western content, including false information. This account has appeared in the articles of “Myth Detector” a number of times.
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