Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

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On September 14, 2023, Russian media outlets: Regnum.ru, Tsargrad.tv, lnr-news.ru, as well as Russian-language Facebook accounts (1, 2, 3) published a screenshot of the article from the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to the disseminated information, the author of the graffiti, who depicted the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, as a cannibal on the wall of one of the residential houses, is being wanted in Berlin. The graffiti shows the inscription “Kannibale,” [Cannibal] and the image of Zelensky “eating” the severed hand of a Ukrainian soldier.

In the post published by one of the Twitter users on September 13, in addition to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, there is also a screenshot of the Instagram “story” of the German outlet Deutsche Welle.

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140635 1 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140639 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy Screenshot 2023 09 18 140644 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

Articles disseminated in the name of German-language publications are fabricated. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Deutsche Welle did not publish the photo of the graffiti with the image of Zelensky and the information about the search for the author of the graffiti. As for the building on which Zelensky’s graffiti is supposed to be depicted, it is not located in Berlin, but in Warsaw, the capital of Poland.

A screenshot from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, accompanied by the claim that Berlin police are looking for the author of provocative graffiti, is fabricated. While searching for the keywords “provokanten Graffiti,” “Antiukrainisches Graffiti” on their website, the search engine does not offer any results. Identical or similar information is not among the news published on September 12, as indicated in the screenshot of the publication.

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140703 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

“Myth Detector” contacted Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Deutsche Welle to verify the information. According to the representative of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the screenshot of the article that was spread on the social network is fake, and similar information was not published on the website.

As for the screenshot published under the name of Deutsche Welle, it features the following inscription: “Germany: scandalous graffiti in Berlin.” The link symbol under the photo indicates that the mentioned information should also be placed on the website, although the news about the “scandalous graffiti” is not found on the Deutsche Welle website either. In a comment to Myth Detector, Deutsche Welle also denied publishing a similar article.

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140710 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung screenshot has the symbol of the Russian Telegram channel, VOBLYA. The Telegram channel published the screenshot on September 13, at 18:58 in the evening.

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140718 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

Notably, in the catalog of Telegram channels and chats (uk.tgstat.com), Telegram channel VOBLYA belongs to the humor and entertainment category.

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140723 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy

The photo, which is circulating on social networks, depicts a multi-story building. According to Leadstories, an American fact-checking organization, the building is not located in Berlin but in Ignacego Potockiego N4 in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. The building features the flag of Poland. 

Screenshot 2023 09 18 140745 Fabricated Articles in the Name of German Publications about the Graffiti of Zelenskyy
Source: Google Maps

It should be noted that the street view was taken in August 2021, before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, and photos taken in September 2023, if found, will be added to the article.

Visual manipulation remains a frequently used method to discredit the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. For example, caricature graffiti with the image of Zelenskyy, which seemed to have been taken on the streets of Paris, Madrid, and New York, has repeatedly gone viral. For more information on this topic, see “Myth Detector” articles:

It should be noted that in August 2023, social network users claimed that a banner with the inscription: “Stop Zelensky, Stop War” was placed in Tokyo, and in June of the same year, it was claimed that a similar banner was placed on Fifth Avenue in New York. In fact, the mentioned videos were also altered, and the original version of the videos was shot before the start of the war.

For more information about this, see “Myth Detector” articles:


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Country: Germany
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