Russian media fall for Latvia warship April Fool

  • 2015-04-02
  • from wire reports and TBT staff, RIGA

Various Russian media outlets on Wednesday fell for an April Fools' joke news story published by the EUObserver, which stated that France has decided to deliver a Mistral-class warship originally meant for Russia to Latvia instead.

The article was re-published by Russian media outlets like RIA Novosti, TASS, Interfax and the English-language Sputnik.

A little later, all of the Russian media outlets corrected their reports, stating that it was a joke news-story from the EUObserver.

In the news story, the EUObserver wrote that EU sanctions had prevented the ship - "Sevastopol" - from being delivered to its intended destination, so it would be renamed "Juncker" (after European Commision president Jean-Claude Juncker) and would be sent to Riga instead, in order to protect the Baltics from threats from Russia. The article also claimed that the Juncker is registered in Panama for tax purposes and would sail to Luxembourg, a landlocked country, when it takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.