German magazine Handelsblatt didn’t publish cover mocking Ukraine's mobilization law

By: Ishita Goel
June 14 2024

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German magazine Handelsblatt didn’t publish cover mocking Ukraine's mobilization law

A screenshot of a social media post falsely claiming to show a cover page published by German magazine Handelsblatt. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

Handelsblatt’s archives do not show records of any such cover. Issue 87 was published on May 6, not May 4.

Claim ID 3b053c56

On May 18, 2024, a new law came into effect in Ukraine, requiring all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 to register for the military. Passed in April, the law also requires all male citizens living abroad to have up-to-date registration paperwork in order to renew or apply for a new passport.

What is the claim?
Following this, an image purporting to show a cover published by German magazine Handelsblatt went viral on social media. The viral photo is of a newspaper cover showing a severed hand holding a Ukrainian passport, with a German caption which translates to, "Yes, dead. But with a new passport." It appears to be dated Saturday, May 4, 2024, and a number on top claims that it is issue/edition number 87.

Social media users on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) shared the image with captions claiming that this is a cover published by the German newspaper in reaction to Ukraine’s new mobilization law, saying, "It means that this will happen to all men from 18 to 60 years old who fall for Zelensky's trick and return to Ukraine to update their documents. They will be sent to the front, where they will die." Archive links for these posts can be seen here and here.   

Screenshot of the viral social media posts. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

What are the facts?
We checked Handelsblatt's website and social media accounts and found no such cover page published by them.

The archives of their e-paper section, also carried no such edition published on May 4; instead, editions were published on May 3 and 6. We also found that edition 87 was published on May 6; and it features multiple stories on the front page, including a big story on Chinese President Xi Jinping and his visit to Europe.

The original cover page of the May 6 edition, number 87. (Source: Screenshot/ Handelsblatt archive)

Logically Facts has contacted Handelsblatt for clarification. We will update the story if and when we receive a response. 

Logically Facts has previously debunked posts which shared images of an alleged Handelsblatt cover featuring a cartoon of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The verdict
The viral image, claiming to show that Handelsblatt published a graphic on Ukraine's new mobilization law is fake. The date and edition number do not correlate with the original cover pages published. 

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