“Ukraine: It’s official, Volodymyr Zelensky has embezzled more than 400 million dollars in Western aid to acquire real estate all over the world. This message has been shared several thousand times on social networks in recent days. Internet users rely on a video which is none other than a program from the French channel LCI, presented by David Pujadas.
In this video, we hear the presenter detailing the news: “Volodymyr Zelensky would have quite simply embezzled colossal sums of Western aid and he would have built up a gleaming real estate heritage. Let’s see what it’s all about, do the counter-investigation. »
Following which, a journalist intervenes on the television set to summarize the facts. The President of Ukraine is said to have bought several properties during the war in Ukraine: “All while diverting 400 million dollars of aid from the United States. A sum which was initially to be used by Ukraine to buy fuel for its combat vehicles,” explains the journalist.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky has been the subject of numerous rumours, particularly with regard to the embezzlement of money. Already last January, Ukraine was wrongly accused of diverting international aid.
The video widely circulated on social networks contains only an excerpt from the broadcast on LCI. We can also hear the two journalists use the conditional to present the case, and they attribute this information to a video published on TikTok. It was only a question there of summarizing the facts which were reproached to Volodymyr Zelensky by the Net surfers.
In the replay of this program “24H Pujadas” of Thursday, May 25, we realize that, on the contrary, the objective of the journalists was to deny the information. Each of the three residences the President of Ukraine allegedly purchased after Russia invaded his country has come under scrutiny.
Purchases that even precede his election
To begin with, Internet users point to a residence in Crimea. “After verification, Volodymyr Zelensky does not own it. In reality, he owns an apartment in this residence. (…) Value of the property: 163,000 dollars, so we are far, very far from the 25 million dollars indicated in the video. Above all, the property was purchased in 2013. Eight years before the war! “, announces the journalist on LCI.
The latest asset declaration to date, published in 2021 and relating to the year 2020, does indeed indicate the acquisition of this apartment on April 24, 2013. At the time, Volodymyr Zelensky was not, moreover, at the head of the country. And it was not he who bought this property, but his wife, Olena Zelenska.
Then there is a question of a property in Italy. In 2019, an article from the Ukrainian media Slidstvo revealed that the “showman and candidate for the presidency of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky owns a 15-room villa on the coast of the Italian resort of Forte dei Marmi”. An acquisition of 3.8 million euros, still in the name of the wife of the current president.
Asset declarations not available
Finally, Internet users also point to a villa in England. The latter had already been mentioned by the Russian press in September 2022. Local media claimed that this luxurious house was a gift from Volodymyr Zelensky to his wife, for the modest sum of 14 million euros and dust. This was yet another misinformation campaign by Russia since the mansion was actually still for sale.
The program broadcast on LCI, provided you watch from beginning to end the passage in which the heritage of Volodymyr Zelensky is discussed, concludes on the contrary that the accusations are false. In addition, Internet users could not affirm with certainty the acquisition of property by the Ukrainian president since the start of the war, since the declarations of assets for 2022 and 2023 are not available.