Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Tell Trump That Russian 'Spetznas' Liberated Child Trafficking Victims In Ukraine

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Putin Did NOT Tell Trump That Russian 'Spetznas' Liberated Child Trafficking Victims In Ukraine Tall Tale

Did Russian "spetznas" liberate child trafficking victims in Ukraine and did Russian President Vladimir Putin tell former President Donald Trump about this during a recent phone call? No, that's not true: "This is fake," Trump's spokesperson told Lead Stories. The claim was in an article on a self-described satirical website whose disclaimer says it publishes articles for "entertainment purposes."

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on February 27, 2022 titled, "Shock Claim: Russian Spetznas Liberate Child Trafficking Victims in Ukraine - Real Raw News" (archived here). It opened:

It seems an implausible tale. Valiant Spetznas searching for an alleged bioweapons laboratory in central Ukraine accidently stumble upon a child trafficking den, a dimly lit bunker holding 100 young boys and girls whose eyes dilate when the soldiers' flashlights illuminate the decrepit chamber. Some are emaciated, while others, mostly little girls, appear in better [...]

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Shock Claim: Russian Spetznas Liberate Child Trafficking Victims in Ukraine - Real Raw News

It seems an implausible tale. Valiant Spetznas searching for an alleged bioweapons laboratory in central Ukraine accidently stumble upon a child trafficking den, a dimly lit bunker holding 100 young boys and girls whose eyes dilate when the soldiers' flashlights illuminate the decrepit chamber. Some are emaciated, while others, mostly little girls, appear in better [...]

The article spins an unsourced, unsubstantiated story of Russian "spetznas" (Russian for "special forces" according to Google translate, but more commonly spelled "Spetsnaz" ) finding a den in the woods of Ukraine filled with young boys and girls who were victims of sex trafficking and rescuing them. The article -- purporting to be based on an unnamed "Mar-a-Lago source" -- claims Putin revealed this to Trump in one of the many phone calls they've had since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began:

It seems an implausible tale and could be propaganda, but it's what Russian President Vladimir Putin told Donald J. Trump on their fourth telephone call since the crisis began, a Mar-a-Lago source told Real Raw News.

'They spoke after Trump got back from C-PAC last night, and Putin gave the story of his men having saved those kids. Trump asked him to congratulate the soldiers on his behalf, because "child trafficking is a very terrible crime, and evil" but only if the story is true. Putin insisted it was and said he wanted to send the American children home, but didn't trust Joe Biden or the U.S. State Department. He asked Trump to facilitate their safe return to American soil,' our source said.

"This is fake," Liz Harrington, Trump's spokesperson, told Lead Stories via email on March 3, 2022.

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 is collected here.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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