Fabricated Data About the Richest People in Ukraine in the Name of FORBES and the BBC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


On December 31st, 2022, Georgian-language Facebook users and Russian-language websites (1, 2, 3) started disseminating the claims that from February to December 2022, the wealth of high-ranking Ukrainian officials increased dramatically, specifically mentioning the president, the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of defence, the head of the president’s office and the mayor of Kyiv. According to the information, the net worth of all the above-mentioned individuals exceeds a billion USD, except for the mayor of Kyiv, whose net worth is currently estimated at 800 million USD. The authors of the post claim that high-ranking Ukrainian officials do not want to end the war, as they are getting rich from it. According to the authors, the data was published by the BBC based on Forbes.

The claim that the net worth of the above-mentioned high-ranking Ukrainian officials increased dramatically in 2022, and in many cases, reached billions of dollars, is false. The list of country’s 20 richest people published by Ukrainian Forbes by the end of 2022 does not include a single person mentioned in the post. The infographic distributed on behalf of Forbes Ukraine is fabricated, as the authentic version looks different both in content and visually.

In the comments of the post, one of the authors is asked for a source, where he answers that he found the information on the Ukrainian page of Forbes, but now he cannot view the material due to the cancellation of registration.

No material of similar content can be found on the official website of Forbes Ukraine. The infographic attached to the post and the Russian-language material, featuring the logos of the British BBC and Getty Images, are fabricated.

On December 27th, 2022, Forbes Ukraine did publish a list of the country’s 20 richest people, although none of the Ukrainian politicians mentioned in the post and Russian-language materials appear in it.

It is also worth noting that the Facebook page of Forbes Ukraine shows a completely different visual infographic, depicting completely different people.

The version available on the Facebook page of BBC News Ukrainian shows authentic data by Forbes Ukraine.

According to the authentic article of Forbes Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov leads the list with 4.4 billion dollars, while Oleksandr Konotopsky is in 20th place with 320 million. Neither Zelenskyy nor any other person mentioned in the post appears on the list. Therefore, it is impossible that their property varies from 800 million to 1.5 billion. Moreover, their current net worth is smaller than that of early 2022, as mentioned in the post.

Disinformation about the net worth of the President of Ukraine was disseminated a number of times in 2022. Among them, a story published in June claimed that Zelenskyy had become a billionaire. However, according to Forbes, by April 2022, Zelenskyy’s net worth ranged not from 650 million to 1.5 billion, but from 20 to 30 million, the main part of which is a 25% share of “Quarter 95”. This is a company that creates comedy shows, and one of its founders is the current president of Ukraine.

For more information on the topic, see the article of “Myth Detector:”

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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Violation: Disinformation
Country: Ukraine

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