German TV Caught Faking News Story About Russia-Ukraine ‘War’

Fact checked
German TV caught faking a news story about the alleged Ukraine-Russia war

A German TV report about an alleged Russian soldier who went to war in the south-east of Ukraine has been exposed as a fake news story. 

The story was reported by German TV channel ZDF and featured a Russian “volunteer” who called himself Igor. The volunteer was actually a resident of Kaliningrad and had been paid as an actor to feature in the news report. reports:

The main character of the report is named Igor, although his real name is Yuri Labyskin. He said that all of his remarks in the documentary had been rehearsed and scripted.

The report tells the story of a 27-year-old man named as Yuri Labyskin, who came to Donetsk as a militia man. In reality, Labyskin is an unemployed man from Kaliningrad, Russia.

Russian-speaking ZDF director and producer Valery Bobkov chosen Labyskin for the role, knowing of his financial problems. The man accepted the job because he could not even pay his public utility bills.

According to, the man has received 30,000 rubles of the promised 50,000.