'Died Suddenly' Producer Promotes Fake CNN Post Containing Fake Zelenskyy Quote

A free and simple Google search could have prevented this.

Published Sept. 1, 2023

In this photo illustration a CNN logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
In this photo illustration a CNN logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On Aug. 30, 2023, CrossTalk News host and "Died Suddenly" producer Lauren Witzke posted an image of a purported CNN post on X (formerly Twitter), claiming that amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had spoken of plans for "mass immigration to fix the country's demographics issues."

According to the supposed CNN post, Zelenskyy had said, "We will become a new diverse and multicultural nation that will be the model state for the rest of Europe."

However, as BBC Verify journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh pointed out that same day, not only had CNN never posted this, but there was also no evidence that Zelenskyy ever said these words. Nor did Snopes find any evidence indicating Ukraine had announced plans for "mass immigration."

On Aug. 31, we reached out to Witzke via direct messages to two different X accounts. We did not receive any responses by the next morning, nor did Witzke appear to have corrected or removed her tweets that misled her own followers.

The image of the fake CNN post was at that point months old, having originated back when X was still Twitter and posts were still tweets.

In April 2023, USA Today reported on the image, giving it a fact-check rating of "Altered." The story included a link that showed Witzke had previously tweeted that same image at least one other time. Multiple users replied to Witzke's April tweet to alert her that the content wasn't genuine.

Despite previously repeatedly posting about her apparent distrust of CNN, and being informed by multiple users in her replies that the CNN tweet wasn't real, Witzke reposted it again in late August.

Witzke is listed as a co-host of CrossTalk News, which is described on its X profile as "Christian news you can trust" that provides "hope through fact-based reporting."

She is also listed on as a producer of the 2022 documentary "Died Suddenly."

The phrase "Died Suddenly" refers to both the documentary and a movement. Both promote a conspiracy theory that claims mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines have  caused a significant number of deaths since their introduction in 2020 (a claim not supported by scientific data).

Note: Reuters also previously filed a report about the fake CNN tweet, issuing a fact-check rating of "False."


"Died Suddenly (2022).",

"Fact Check-CNN Tweet Saying Zelenskiy Plans to 'Fix Ukraine's Demographic Issues' by 'Using Mass Immigration' Is Fabricated." Reuters, 28 Apr. 2023,

Hudnall, Hannah. "Fact Check: Image Shows Fabricated CNN Tweet about Ukrainian 'Mass Migration.'" USA Today, 3 May 2023,

Kasprak, Alex. "Did CDC Confirm That Thousands 'Died Suddenly' as a Result of COVID Vaccines?" Snopes, 20 Dec. 2022,

Liles, Jordan. "Boxer Antwun Echols' Cause of Death Was Complications from Diabetes, Not a COVID-19 Vaccine." Snopes, 19 July 2023,

---. "COVID Survivor Claire Bridges Sets Record Straight on Misleading Tweet About Her." Snopes, 24 Jan. 2023,

---. "'He Did Not Die Because of a Vaccine': Late Journalist's Fiancée Refutes 'Died Suddenly' Rumor." Snopes, 28 July 2023,

---. "Wisconsin Mother Callie Driskill Died from ATV Accident, Not a COVID Vaccine." Snopes, 17 July 2023,

@Shayan86. "This Is a Fake CNN Tweet, and Zelensky Has Never Said Such a Thing. It Went Viral Earlier This Year and Is Once Again Being Shared." X, 31 Aug. 2023,

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.