A little-known blog, Optimist, falsely claimed that U.S. President Barack Obama had asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to invite him to spend a vacation in Crimea, annexed by the Russian Federation.
Allegedly he did this while they were both at the United Nations headquarters in New York in September for a meeting of the UN General Assembly. It gave CNN as its source.
Newsli.ru meanwhile falsely reported that Obama had refused to shake hands with Poroshenko.
Poroshenko did have an informal conversation with Obama during the UN General Assembly on September 29, though there were no official confirmations about other meetings between the two.
The links to CNN go to CNN’s main webpage, but not to a corresponding article. A search on CNN’s website produced no corroborating story.
Some of the posts also claimed that CNN journalist Nick Paton Walsh had covered the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, though the CNN site has no articles by him on the event. Paton Walsh is an international correspondent based in Beirut.
The Optimist blog recently created a fake story about Obama accusing Ukrainian authorities of “the genocide of their own people,” again falsely attributed to CNN.