Ladimir Elensky? Fake Time magazine cover omits ‘Z’ and ‘V’

An image shows a real Time magazine cover with “Ladimir Elensky”, omitting the letters “V” and “Z” in Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s name.

Fact check

In April 2023, an image purporting to show a Time magazine cover featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was broadcast on social networks. Zelenskyy’s name on this fake cover was spelled “Ladimir Elensky”, because the president had, according to the cover, decided to no longer use the letters “Z” and “V”, two symbols that were used to show support for Russia. military.

This is not an actual Time magazine cover. A Time spokesperson told Reuters: ‘This image is not authentic TIME coverage.

A gallery of actual Time covers is available on the magazine’s website. As of this writing, Time has published eight issues in 2023, none of which feature Zelenskyy on the cover:

Person, Human, Text

The letters “Z” and “V” became symbols of support for the Russian army during its invasion of Ukraine. Although the cover above is fake and Zelenskyy has not changed the spelling of his name, some pro-Ukraine countries have begun banning the public display of these symbols. Euronews reports:

The Lithuanian parliament has approved a ban on displaying the Russian military symbol “Z” after the war in Ukraine.

MPs voted on Tuesday to ban the public display of the letters ‘V’ and ‘Z’, the black and orange Georgian ribbon and other symbols to express support for the invasion.

Anyone found guilty of promoting or disseminating symbols of “military aggression” faces fines ranging from 300 to 700 euros.

Latvia has passed a similar law and Germany is considering legislation that would make the public display of the letter “Z” a criminal offence.

The covers of Time magazine have proven to be a popular medium for rumors based on digitally altered photographs. We’ve written before about fake Time covers that compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, urged former US President Donald Trump to leave office, and called Trump “the liar in chief.”


“Fact Check-Image purporting to show the cover of TIME magazine claiming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky no longer uses the letters ‘z’ and ‘v’ is digitally altered.” Reuters, April 19, 2023.,

Holroyd, Matthew. “Lithuanian Parliament Approves Banning of Russian Army ‘Z’ Symbol.” Euronews, April 19, 2023,

“Latvian Approves Ban on Russian Military Symbols ‘V’ and ‘Z.'” Euronews, March 31, 2023, on- russian-military-symbols-v-and-z.

Reuters. “Displaying the ‘Z’ symbol could be a criminal act in Germany, according to the ministry.” Reuters, March 28, 2023., – 28/.