Fact Check: NO Evidence Putin Beheaded Bioweapon Engineers In Ukraine

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: NO Evidence Putin Beheaded Bioweapon Engineers In Ukraine Satire Site

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin behead 12 bioweapon engineers in Ukraine? No, there's no evidence that's true: The allegation was published by a website well known for publishing fake news stories. The supposed source for the claim was an unnamed person close to former President Donald Trump. A spokeswoman for Trump told Lead Stories that the article is false.

The article (archived here) was published by Real Raw News on March 23, 2022. Titled "Putin Beheads Bioweapon Engineers in Ukraine," the story opened:

On what he said would be his final update until the war was won, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told Donald J. Trump that he had ordered the execution of 12 international bioweapon engineers whom Russian forces had captured in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, said a Mar-a-Lago source privy to the conversation.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Putin Beheads Bioweapon Engineers in Ukraine - Real Raw News

On what he said would be his final update until the war was won, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told Donald J. Trump that he had ordered the execution of 12 international bioweapon engineers whom Russian forces had captured in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, said a Mar-a-Lago source privy to the conversation. Putin [...]

The story included graphic details on the alleged "communal execution" and what were purported to be direct quotes from both Putin and Trump.

Lead Stories reached out to Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington to ask about the story's claims. In an email, dated March 25, 2022, she wrote: "This is false."

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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