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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Former Russian Spy Did NOT Claim He Killed "The Real Donald Trump" in 2006

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:52:57 Z)

Did a man 59-year-old man named Vladimir Petrovitch Volchenkov claim he was a former Russian spy who killed "the real Donald Trump" in 2006? No, that's not true: the story originated on a Canadian website that publishes fictional stories (usually about bizarre crimes and weird sex acts but sometimes also politically charged topics) purely for entertainment purposes. None of the stories are real. However this particular one was quickly copied by at least two Macedonian fake news websites shortly after publication and there might be more who follow suit.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on September 12, 2018 titled "Former Russian spy claims he killed "the real Donald Trump" in 2006" (archived here) which opened:

A man claiming he was a professional assassin for the Russian secret services says he killed the "real Donald Trump" in 2006 and that Moscow replaced him with a look-alike.

59-year Vladimir Petrovitch Volchenkov left his home in St-Petersburg in May to seek asylum in France, arguing that his life was in danger if he remained in Russia.

He claims he spent 41 years working for the KGB and its successor the FSB and admits to killing over 180 people for the Russian state.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/former-russian-spy-claims-he-killed-the-real-donald-trump-in-2006/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so some conspiracy-minded people might have thought it was real:

Former Russian spy claims he killed "the real Donald Trump" in 2006

A man claiming he was a professional assassin for the Russian secret services says he killed the "real Donald Trump" in 2006 and that Moscow replaced him with a look-alike. 59-year Vladimir Petrovitch Volchenkov left his home in St-Petersburg in May to seek asylum in France, arguing that his life w

But the man pictured in the story is no Russian spy, he is Gilani Dambaev and his picture appears in this AP wire story about a river polluted by radioactivity in Russia:

Russia's nuclear nightmare flows down radioactive river

MUSLYUMOVO, Russia (AP) - At first glance, Gilani Dambaev looks like a healthy 60-year-old man and the river flowing past his rural family home appears pristine. But Dambaev is riddled with diseases that his doctors link to a lifetime's exposure to excessive radiation, and the Geiger counter beeps loudly as a reporter strolls down to the muddy riverbank.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real. In this case, the relatively new politico-news.site (not the real politico.com) and worldismine.press copied the hoax within hours and presented it as real news.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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