FACT CHECK: No, A French Magazine Did Not Run A Cover Mocking A Ukrainian Fencer For Not Shaking Hands With A Russian

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook allegedly shows an issue of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo mocking a Ukrainian fencer for refusing to shake hands with her Russian opponent.

Verdict: False

The photo is digitally fabricated. No such cover can be found on the publication’s website.

Fact Check:

Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan was disqualified after refusing to shake hands with her Russian competitor, Anna Smirnova, after their match during the world championships in Milan, according to NPR. Kharlan, a four-time Olympic medalist, has demanded a change in the rules requiring competitors to shake hands, Reuters reported.

A Facebook post purports Charlie Hebdo ran a cover mocking the Ukrainian fencer for this exchange. The photo appears to show a Charlie Hebdo magazine cover with an unsightly depiction of Kharlan waving her fencing sword as Smirnova extends her hand.

“La vraie fierte de son pays,” the cover reads, which translates to “the true pride of her country.”

The photo is digitally fabricated, however. The bottom right corner claims that the image shows issue 1619 and claims that it was published on Aug. 2, 2023. The genuine issue 1619 published on that date can be seen on Charlie Hebdo’s website. “Darmanin met the police unions!” its title reads. The illustration shows French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and France’s police unions.

The alleged cover’s title, “La vraie fierte de son pays,” shows no matching search results on the magazine’s website. (RELATED: No, French Magazine Did Not Run A Cover With Volodymyr Zelenskyy And The Titan Submersible)

“I confirm that this so called front page of Charlie Hebdo is a fake,” a spokesperson for Charlie Hebdo confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact. “This ridiculous and pitiful cartoon has nothing to do with us.”

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter