On July 4, Russian and Ukrainian websites, citing a Facebook post by former Ukrainian anchorman Yuriy Kot (who lives now in Russia), falsely reported that freelance journalist Margarita Valenko had been shot dead in Kyiv. Allegedly, this 26-year-old, mother of two worked for “International News Agency “Russia Today”.
This story was then picked up and reported by Moskovskiy Komsomolets, Komsomolskaya Pravda, REN-TV, Pravda.ru, and many others.
However, there is no record of a journalist named Margarita Valenko being in any kind of incident in Kyiv, and “International News Agency “Russia Today” claims to know nothing of this woman.
Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyiv says that it has received no information about a murder of a journalist in recent days, and nothing specifically regarding a woman named Valenko.
Yuriy Kot, whose Facebook page was the source of the fake, later told REN-TV that he knew nothing about the alleged incident and that the post had been written by a friend.