March 11, 2022

In what looks like a Time magazine cover, Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen with an image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s mustache layered on his face.

“The return of history,” says the cover, which appears to be from Time’s Feb. 28/March 7 double issue. “How Putin shattered Europe’s dreams.”

The image is being shared and cheered by some on social media.

“What a brilliant TIME cover and so true. This mongrel Putin has lowered himself to the shameful level of Hitler,” one tweet said.

“Leaked image of new Time magazine cover,” said another.

But this isn’t an authentic Time cover.

The actual cover for that date shows 11-year-old Orion Jean, who the magazine declared “kid of the year.”

On Feb. 24, Time tweeted its cover for its March 14/March 21 issue. It says “the return of history” and “how Putin shattered Europe’s dreams,” but it shows an image of a tank, not Putin with a Hitler mustache.

The photo shows a Russian tank entering a region controlled by Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine that day, according to a caption in the cover story.

The altered Time cover was tweeted Feb. 26 by Patrick Mulder, who describes himself as an artist and graphic designer. Mulder also tweeted another version that shows Putin with Hitler eyes, writing: “This is the second edition of a rework I made of this month’s TIME magazine cover. I felt the official choice was somewhat uninspired.” On Feb. 28, he tweeted a statement on what he called his “TIME cover artwork.”

“It wasn’t originally intended to be a TIME cover,” Mulder said. “The finished image was so powerful, I felt that it deserved to be framed in an equally powerful way.”

We rate claims that this is an authentic Time cover False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Ciara O'Rourke is a contributing writer for PolitiFact. Previously, Ciara covered local government and public safety for the Austin American-Statesman and fact-checked elected officials and…
Ciara O'Rourke

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