Pauto, who said she had worked at the cantina for two and a half years, learned of her suspension from the news. “Tamara, the waitress, was just filmed in the feature. I was the one to make the campaign,” Pauto said.

Confronted with Kovalev’s findings, RT said they had “no reason to doubt the authenticity of the story” and quoted an interview by the state-run news agency TASS with “Lucy bar manager Ted Bryan” as proof.

On Oct. 10, TASS published an audio clip of an interview with a man who gave his name as “Ted Bryan” and claimed to be a manager at Lucy’s Cantina. The man described in detail the recipe for the “Putin Burger,” which he called “a crazy idea.”

Ryan, the spokesperson, said there had never been any manager by that name, calling the incident “a hoax involving Vladimir Putin’s birthday.”

Ruptly subsequently removed the burger story from its website, saying it “did not meet editorial standards” but copies remain on other channels.