Fact Check-Image with CNN headline claiming Russian forces set fire to compound outside Kyiv is digitally altered

Users on social media have shared a falsified image claiming to show a CNN headline reporting that Russian military forces set fire to a building in Ukraine. No such article was published by the outlet

The headline seen in the falsified screenshot reads: “Russian Military Forces Set Fire to Compound Outside Kiev Occupied by Women and Children, Burning Them Alive.”

The CNN logo appears on the top left with an image of a burning building centered in the screenshot. The image purports to show that the headline was published on Feb. 28, 2022.

One user shared the image on Twitter and said: “When did you realize that the MSM is an arm of the establishment and cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything of import?” ( here )

The tweet had gathered more than 840 likes at the time of writing. An archived version of the tweet can be viewed ( ).

Other examples of this image can be seen ( here ), ( here ), ( here ) and ( here ).

A spokesperson for CNN confirmed to Reuters that the image was fabricated, and no such headline was published by the outlet.

A search through CNN’s website did not reveal any such article ( ). A Google advanced search did not find the headline published by the outlet ( ).

A Twitter advanced search did not reveal any such article published via the outlet’s social media feeds (@CNN, @cnnbrk) ( ).

Meanwhile, a reverse image search of the photograph featured in the screenshot reveals that it dates to 1993 when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) raided the Branch Davidians' Mount Carmel compound outside of Waco, Texas ( here ).

The screenshot is an example of imposter content, which is an image or video that impersonates a legitimate organization such as a news outlet to spur on a false claim or narrative ( here ).

Reuters has previously addressed imposter content circulating online pertaining to the war in Ukraine ( here ), ( here ).


Altered. An image purporting to show a CNN headline reporting that Russian forces set fire to a compound outside Kyiv with women and children inside is digitally altered. No such headline was published by the outlet.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .