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The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was not arrested

October 14, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Bridget Brink, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was arrested on charges of high treason.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The State Department told The Associated Press that Brink has not been arrested. The claim was first made by a website that says that it publishes “humor, parody, and satire” and has previously published similar false stories.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing the false claim that Brink was arrested on charges of high treason, baselessly claiming she provided Ukrainian officials with large amounts of cash from the Biden administration.

“BREAKING: US Special forces have arrested US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Ann Brink on charges of high treason,” one tweet alleged. “US Cyber Command has discovered she has been hand delivering enormous amounts of cash directly to Ukrainian officials on behalf of the Biden Administration.”

The tweet had received more than 10,000 likes and more than 6,000 shares as of Friday.

Real Raw News, a site that frequently publishes fabricated stories, made this claim in an article published on Monday. The site includes a disclaimer stating that it “contains humor, parody, and satire.” It did not return a request for comment.

The article did not provide any credible evidence for its claim, citing only anonymous sources.

“This is false,” the State Department told the AP in a statement. “The United States Ambassador to Ukraine was not arrested.”

The article falsely claimed that Brink was arrested in Ferndale, California, on Saturday, but photos show she was in Ukraine this week.

On Monday, Brink tweeted photos of herself at a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Zelenskyy’s office also posted photos of the meeting. The pair spoke about recent Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, which occurred the same day.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.