Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Reading Time: 4 minutes


On June 3, a Facebook user, Eduard Jishkariani, shared information that, according to Turkish media outlet Odatv, Film Heritage, a company owned by Zelenskyy, purchased a hotel and casino in Cyprus in May 2024. On May 3, this information was published by the Russian propaganda publication Аргументы и Факты (Arguments and Facts), as well as by Russian-speaking Facebook users (1,2,3).

zelenski1 Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus

The information about the purchase of a hotel is disinformation. The President of Cyprus, the Ukrainian Embassy in Cyprus, and the company that owns the hotel have denied the allegation about the purchase of the hotel by Zelenskyy or a related company. Moreover, the website on which the allegation about Zelenskyy’s connection to the hotel appeared turned out to be a clone of the hotel’s website and a fake website that was created three days before the information was spread.

The Turkish media outlet Odatv spread information about the purchase of the hotel and casino in Cyprus by a company owned by Zelenskyy on June 1. By now, the article has been removed from the website, and only archived versions are available. The Odetv article did not provide any evidence.

zelenski2 Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus

The Embassy of Ukraine in Cyprus denied the information published on June 4. The Embassy stated that the purpose of this false information was to discredit Ukraine and create tension in diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Ukraine.

“We urge readers and representatives of the media to trust only reliable sources and be wary of manipulation and Russian propaganda,” the statements read.

In a comment to the Cyprus Mail, the spokesperson for the real owner of the hotel, the Oscar Group of Companies, also denied the information. He has confirmed that the hotel is still owned by the Oscar Group of Companies and that Zelenskyy has no ties to this company.

The President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, also commented on the disseminated information and said that there is no evidence that Zelensky has purchased property in Cyprus.

Christodoulides: “This matter is being investigated by agencies of the Republic of Cyprus. Let me reiterate that nothing of the sort has been discovered. When the investigation, launched in cooperation with other countries and services, has been completed, we will be able to say more, but as of five minutes ago, I was informed that nothing of the kind has emerged,” he said.

It should be noted that the Russian propaganda media outlets  Lenta, and Газета.ru reported on the story with an emphasis placed on the fact that the investigation was underway. Цариград hinted in its article that Zelenskyy was planning to flee Ukraine for Cyprus; Регнум wrote that the Western aid to Ukraine was being spent on purchasing expensive property. None of the media outlets note that Zelenskyy’s purchase of the hotel was denied by the company that owns the hotel itself.

Fake website of the hotel

The above-mentioned disinformation was actively disseminated by Greek sources as well. The Cyprus investigative journalism network noted that one of the pieces of evidence cited by Greek sources was the website for Vuni Palace casinohotelvunipalace.com, which says that the website belongs to Film Heritage Inc., a company that, according to the Pandora Papers, is associated with Zelenskyy and his wife. However, the website is fake and was set up a week ago, just days before the information was disseminated for the alleged purpose of spreading disinformation.

zelenski3 Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus zelenski4 Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus

Interestingly, the Internet archive site WayBack Machine has preserved several versions of the fake website; the first was archived on May 29, the first day the site was created, and this version made no mention of the company Film Heritage Inc. On the following days, June 3 and June 4, this information was listed on the archived pages of the site.

The real hotel website, https://www.vunipalacehotel.com/, does not contain any information about Film Heritage Inc.

zelenski5 Disinformation about Zelenskyy buying a £150 million villa in Cyprus

The circulated information was also verified and refuted by Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security, Spravdi, and the US fact-checking platform Snopes.

Various disinformation materials about his property have been repeatedly released to discredit the President of Ukraine. To learn more, read Myth Detector’s articles:

About the source:

The Facebook user “Eduard Jishkariani” often publishes anti-Western and anti-Ukrainian posts. The disinformation spread by this Facebook user has been verified by the Myth Detector in the past.

Archive links: Odatv, Lenta, Casinohotelvunipalace, Газета.ru, Регнум, Facebook posts (1, 2)

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Disinformation
Country: Ukraine

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