Misleading posts link Russian model’s death to anti-Putin remarks

Her boyfriend has admitted to her murder.

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Claim: Russian model who criticised President Vladimir Putin in January 2021 on social media has been found dead. Her remains were found in a suitcase on 13 March 2022.

Fact: Model Gretta Vedler has been found dead a year after she went missing following her anti-Putin remarks on social media. Her death does not appear to be connected to her criticism of Putin. Her ex-boyfriend has confessed to her murder.

Fact or Fiction?

On 14 March 2022, Facebook page FOX 29 shared a claim about the death of Russian model, Gretta Vedler who branded President Vladimir Putin ‘a psychopath’ on social media in January 2021.

The headline of the article reads, “Model who called Putin psychopath found dead in suitcase.”

Multiple other Facebook pages picked up the claim, including here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, among others. 

It was also shared on a handful of groups, including here, here, and here.

Soch Fact Check found the headlines being used by different pages, media outlets and websites misleading because it suggests that the model’s death is related to her criticism of President Putin, which is not true.

Gretta Vedler, 23, was found dead more than a year after she went missing February 2021. In January 2021 Vedler wrote a post on social media calling Putin a ‘psychopath’ and predicting his campaign ‘enhance the integrity of Russia’ would end in tears.

But the model’s remarks about Putin are not considered to be connected to her death, according to the New York Post.

In March 2022, Vedler’s ex-boyfriend Dmitry Korovin, 23, confessed “to strangling her to death” after a row over money, New York Post reported.

A video from Russia’s Investigative Committee shows Korovin allegedly demonstrating how he killed the model, according to The Independent which cites a report from The Mirror.

The proliferation of the news with misleading headlines appears linked to criticism of Putin over Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.

Virality 

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “Russian model dead Putin” turned up 586 posts on Facebook which received a total of 274,125 interactions over the seven days leading up to 21 March 2022.

Among the verified pages on Facebook that shared the news, Fox News’ post received 26,700 likes and 4,300 shares and Daily Mail’s post received 14,000 likes and 1,200 shares. Meanwhile, Fox 11 Los Angeles’ post, with 11,000 likes and 3,200 shares, is performing 64 times better than other similar posts. 

The oldest post in the time period searched was shared by Fitness-On on 14 March 2022.

The pages and websites carried the story with the following headlines:

  • Model who called Putin psychopath found dead in suitcase
  • Russian model who branded Putin a psychopath is found dead in a suitcase
  • Russian model who trashed Putin on social media found dead in suitcase
  • Russian model who criticized Putin found dead in suitcase

Conclusion: Russian model Gretta Vedler’s murder is unrelated to her critisicm of President Vladimir Putin in January 2021. In fact, her ex-boyfriend Dmitry Korovin has admitted to  killing her over a  money-related row.

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