An unconfirmed report in a regional news site appears to be enough for British tabloids to remind readers how ‘Big Bad Vlad’ secretly wants to nuke them. The allegation is based on a claim that Russian officials were ordered to fly home from the West their families. Based on anonymous sources, it has since been denied by the Kremlin. Still some British media outlets jumped at a chance for a little Russia-bashing exercise.

“Russia ‘urgently recalls officials’ families living abroad’ as WW3 threat looms,” said the headline of the Daily Star, which apparently was the first British newspaper to report the story. The publication has a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin glancing angrily with an explosion in the background. Another picture shows Putin and a map of Europe, with Russia painted red with the sickle and hammer symbol of the Soviet Union apparently bombarding European nations with nuclear missiles. READ MORE