The cover of Fact Check-Time magazine comparing Putin to Hitler was created by a graphic designer

Users shared an image purporting to show a Time magazine cover comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany dictator Adolf Hitler. No such coverage was published by Time. The image was created by a graphic designer.

The image shows Hitler’s mustache superimposed over Putin’s face, with the Time masthead visible at the top of the image. A small text at the top right of the image reads: “Feb. March 28/7, 2022.”

The text on the cover reads: ‘The Return of History’. The caption reads: ‘How Putin Shattered Europe’s Dreams’.

A user who shared the image on Twitter said: “TIME magazine is joining the global wave of Putler. It says a lot about the scale of Putin’s crimes in Ukraine that comparisons between Nazi and Kremlin dictators have now become commonplace and no longer seem excessive. (archive.is/wip/BU1OH)

Another user said: “Time Magazine cover equates Putin with Hitler like everyone else #UkraineRussiaWar.” (archive.is/wip/QO02L)

Other examples of the image shared online can be viewed (here), (here), (here).

However, no such coverage was published by Time.

On February 28, 2022, a graphic designer by the name of Patrick Mulder took to Twitter to confirm that he created the image: “I created the cover for TIME the day Russia invaded Ukraine. The image is one of a sequence of three. I wanted to create something that adds to the conversation around the invasion of Ukraine and captures the mood of the audience. (archive.is/i9OHV) (here)

Mulder added, “It wasn’t originally intended to be a TIME cover. The finished image was so powerful, I felt it deserved to be framed in an equally powerful way. I feel like the official TIME coverage was uninspired and lacking in conviction given the unprecedented events unfolding before our eyes.

His name can also be seen printed in the lower right corner of the image.

A Time spokesperson told Reuters: ‘This image is not authentic TIME coverage.

The authentic March 2022 edition of Time Magazine has the same title and subtitle as the digitally altered image, but instead features military personnel inside a tank and can be viewed (here), (here).

VERDICT

Amended. An image purporting to be a Time magazine cover comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was never published by the outlet. The image was created by a graphic designer.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Learn more about our fact-checking work here.

Amanda P. Whitten