Fact Check

Was a Man Claiming to Be Vladimir Putin's Lover Found Dead in Zurich?

Several web sites have revived an old, fake story about the Russian President's fictional former assistant.

Published May 17, 2017

 (Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com
A Russian man claiming to be Vladimir Putin's lover was found dead in Switzerland

On 18 April 2017, the web site How Africa reported that a writer named Louri Michaelevitch, who purportedly claimed to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's lover, was found dead in an apartment in Zurich, Switzerland.

Writer, Louri Michaelevitch, a former personnal assistant of the Russian President, was found dead last monday in his swiss appartment after some of the neighbors complained about the smell emanating from the residence.

According to the city’s police departmnent, many clues collected on the site suggest that he might have been the victim of an elaborate murder plot [sic]...

...The victim had attracted a lot of attention from the Russian government and media in 2011 when he had written a book entitled “Я был любовник Путина” (“I was Putin’s Lover“), which was taken off the shelves before the official release, after a presidential decree. A warrant demanding the arrest of the author was also issued across Russia, leading him to file a demand of political asylum from the helvetic state.

This is the latest incarnation of an old, entirely fake story that, since 2014, has been published by the fake news sites Top USA News Politics and World News Daily Report.

The photo included in the How Africa article, purportedly of Michaelevitch, in fact appears to show Russian-American figure skater Peter Tchernyshev.

Anything published by World News Daily Report should be viewed with extreme skepticism. The site's disclaimer makes it clear that all its content is satirical and fictional:

WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people –  are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.