There is no police investigation claiming that the family of Shani Louk, who was killed by Hamas, received ransom calls from Ukraine. Neither the German media WDR, cited by the propagandists, nor any other credible sources published such news. Propaganda used the signature style of the German media to justify Hamas and denigrate Ukraine.
Kremlin media and social media users started spreading fake information that Ukrainian fraudsters were allegedly demanding money from the family of the deceased German-Israeli citizen Shani Louk, previously abducted by Hamas militants. Propaganda claims that police officers came to this conclusion through their investigation. The proof of the information is a screenshot of the news allegedly published by the German media source WDR.
“Along with the news about the death of abducted German Shani Louk, unpleasant details surfaced. It turned out that as soon as the girl’s abduction became known, her family started getting calls on behalf of Hamas and demanded a ransom of 500,000 euros. The police investigation showed that the calls came from the territory of Ukraine and have nothing to do with Hamas,” the users write.
After the spread of such information, StopFake decided to check whether the police investigation really showed that the calls to Shani Louk’s family demanding ransom came from Ukraine. As it turned out, this information is not true.
Due to the fact that neither the Russian media nor the users of social networks provided a direct link to the German media, StopFake started an independent search for this news. Since the screenshot was allegedly taken from the website of the German TV channel WDR, that’s where we started our search. It turned out that the German media never published such a story.
The screenshot shows that the news was allegedly published on October 30, 2023. Using the search for information on the site, we set the search parameter for one keyword in the news — “Louk” — the victim’s last name. Sorting all the news by publication date, you can see that there is no news on the site to which the propaganda refers.
StopFake conducted a similar search on Google on the WDR website over the past week. None of the found news contained information about the ransom demand from Ukrainian fraudsters. We also tried to find references to the police investigation in at least some credible German or other media. This also yielded no results.
Earlier, StopFake refuted information that former porn actress Mia Khalifa thanked Ukraine for helping Hamas.