Skip to Content

Germany’s biggest tabloid publishes 3 fake Ukraine articles in succession

A battle of images? German tabloid Bild – which ironically means "image" in English – has lost its way in the fog of war.

Published: February 25, 2022, 7:56 pm

    Read more


    In at least three instances, the news outlet has used fake images in reports from the “war front in Ukraine”. Bild presented images of a burning building allegedly in Kiev which were actually from an explosion in the city of Tianjin, China. The video had “captured the fear of eyewitnesses,” according to the source, BBC News.

    Fake news: The “intrepid” German reporter from Bild “in Kiev”. Screenshot from the Bild report


    Footage of two massive explosions in the Chinese city of Tianjin, was taken by a stunned eyewitness, and captured the fear and terror of those who saw what happened. Dozens of people died and hundreds were injured when a warehouse owned by a company specialising in handling hazardous goods caught fire and exploded. City officials say they still did not know what materials were at the warehouse at the time of the fire, or what caused the blasts. Eyewitness Dan van Duren filmed the moment of the explosions, before he and others fled to avoid the danger in April, 2015.

    Not quite the Ukraine today…

    Then the tabloid proceeded to present another fiction as “hard news” about a woman “getting shot by Russians”, alleging that Moscow has been targeting housing complexes and killing civilians. The Ukrainian State Emergency Service had posted news on its Facebook account that at 8:23 on Thursday about a fire in building 157 in the neighbourhood of Chuguyev, the same location that the notorious “Bellingcat” had geolocated. According to the Ukrainian institution, the fire “was caused by enemy fire”.

    But from a report by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, it is not at all clear if the building had been damaged in this way. Instead, it may have been damaged by Ukrainian shelling. Bild editor Ralph Schuler only tweeted that “the photo was correct” when challenged, without giving any further detail.

    Fake news: These images were not from Ukraine. Screenshot from Bild apology after they were caught lying.

    Then Bild continued to lie about the “danger of masses of troops landing with parachutes in Ukraine this week”, except that the footage was from a Russian military exercise in 2014, when around 2000 parachutists had landed simultaneously in the Rostov-on-Don region. Fortunately, a observant reader noticed the fakery and called out the tabloid. They meekly apologised, but sadly not for their previous fake reports.

    Hollywood to the rescue!

    Ukraine has also been fighting a fact-free war of perception: The Office of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky itself announced the arrival of a Hollywood actor and director to report on the “Russian invasion”.

    The Ukrainian government thanked the “brave” Penn in a statement: “The director came to Kiev specifically to document current events in Ukraine and tell the world the truth about the Russian invasion of our country. Sean Penn is among those who are supporting Ukraine on the ground today.”

    Penn had already visited Ukraine in November 2021 to film the Donbass and “Russian aggression”. At the time, he was visiting the eastern regions of the country and speaking to military personnel. Photos from Penn’s trip were released by the Ukrainian Armed Forces Press Service at the time, showing him in riot gear and trying to look the part of a “tough guy”.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the Catholic bishops who signed the letter, which was read out in churches throughout Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland over the Easter weekend. Photo: The Catholic Church

    Care prompts bishops to criticize transgender ideology

    The Catholic bishops of the Scandinavian countries presented an open five-page letter criticizing transgender ideology on March 21, just before Easter. The document primarily expresses care and advice and was read aloud in Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the signatories of the document.

    FREEZING IN THEIR HOMES is the new grim reality for many Brits and Northern Europeans. Margaret is 92 years old and has just come in from the winter cold, but no warmth awaits her at home. She fears her own home more than the icy streets. Next to her are four thick blankets, and on the shelf above the fireplace, which she can no longer afford to buy wood for, is a meter showing the daily cost of electricity (inset). It shows £1.03, about 13 SEK. When it reaches £3, about 38 SEK, she is forced to turn off the little heat she has to afford it. Still image: ITW News

    Brits Forced to Live in Darkness and Cold

    Food prices are rising at a furious pace, fastest in Scotland in almost half a century. At the same time, energy prices are at record highs. People are forced to choose between freezing or going hungry, and a majority of Scots are forced to live in cold and darkness to cope with bills. Old generations' tricks for saving and keeping warm are returning. Nevertheless, it is feared that 10,000 Brits will die of cold homes this winter. We present the Swedish Public Health Agency's guidelines on indoor temperature. Governments in Europe are introducing rationing and monitoring of food purchases. Net-zero emissions are a lie that, in practice, de-industrializes the West and dramatically lowers our standard of living.

    Thousands of Flemish farmers block roads in Brussels against nitrogen policy

    BrusselsMore than 2500 farmers from Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flanders region gathered at Brussels' central Arts-Loi street and blocked roads with tractors toward Brussels to protest the regional government's plan to limit nitrogen emissions.

    Orban: EU energy sanctions costing citizens billions

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that some western states could soon send troops to Ukraine. He also criticized the fact that the EU sanctions against Russia had cost Hungarian taxpayers tens of billions of euros.

    Italy: New leader of the Social Democrats is one of Soros’ ‘preferred politicians’

    RomeDuring the election campaign, Elly Schlein presented herself as the standard-bearer of the poorest. However, her background and previous work raise doubts about her honesty.

    UK greenhouses shut down due to high energy costs

    LondonIn Great Britain, a particularly depressing facet of the crisis is now showing its first contours - and thus anticipating what is likely to happen in other European countries in the near future: because of the exploding energy prices, agriculture is being strangled and fresh produce has to be rationed.

    Lisbon opens borders to all Portuguese speakers

    LisbonNot only the German and Italian governments keep opening new paths for immigration. Portugal, too, has opened a Pandora's box and is paving the way for possibly millions of non-European immigrants to the EU – something which is not mentioned by the mainstream media.

    Illegal immigration to Italy has reached its highest level ever

    RomeIn Italy, despite the overwhelming right-wing electoral success in September, there is still nothing to be seen of the promised asylum turnaround – on the contrary. Giorgia Meloni has been in office for five months, but the arrivals of migrants in Italy have doubled compared to the previous year.

    Dismantling diplomacy with ‘feminist foreign policy’

    BudapestGerman Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wants to counter German security issues abroad with feminist politics. Gender training, LGBTQ events and quotas are now part of their new guidelines, which are intended to bring about "cultural change". The German ambassador to Hungary, Julia Gross, provided an embarrassing example.

    Germans demand investigation of Nord Stream sabotage

    BerlinAfter the sensational revelations by US investigative reporter Seymour Hersh about the perpetrators of the Nord Stream attacks on September 26, 2022, the German government has remained silent. It does not want to comment on Hersh's research results, according to which the pipelines were blown up by Americans and Norwegians.

    Go to archive