The Russian website Optimist has once again used well respected international media as a source for a fake.


Website Screenshot  Optimist
Website Screenshot Optimist

On January 4 Optimist posted a story alleging that German Chancellor Angela Merkel insulted the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Optimist claims that Deutsche Welle correspondent Frank Hofmann showed Merkel a tweet by President Poroshenko of an Economist magazine cover on which Vladimir Putin’s photo was replaced with a photo of the Ukrainian president.  Merkel, claims Optimist, reacted indignantly and allegedly said “Both Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are rotten bastards”.



Frank R. Hofmann really is Deutshe Welle’s Kyiv correspondent, but his last story on the DW site is dated December 6, 2015. Hoffman also replied to our StopFake inquiry via Twitter, confirming that the Optimist story is a complete fake.



This fake story was republished by the site Hollivizor and was actively spread in pro-Russian social media communities.

Website screenshot Hollivizor