FACT CHECK: Did A Pentagon Official Say George Soros And Volodymyr Zelenskyy Are Cousins?
A post shared on Facebook claims a Pentagon official said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a cousin of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
There is no evidence to suggest the two men are related. A spokesperson for the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed no official made such a statement.
Soros released a message Feb. 26 characterizing the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “direct attack on the sovereignty of all States that were once in the Soviet Union, and beyond.” He went on to encourage nations to “stand with Ukraine, as they stand for us.”
An April 6 Facebook post claims Soros is related to Zelenskyy. The post includes images of the two men along with a caption that states, “BIG: Volodymyr Zelensky is a cousin of George Soros. Pentagon official says.” An April 5 tweet made the same claim, garnering over 2,000 retweets.
The post is incorrect. None of the DOD’s press releases or social media posts mention Soros being related to Zelenskyy or address the rumors. There are likewise no credible news reports about the alleged statement from the unnamed official.
“The DOD has made no such statement,” said a DOD spokesperson in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Sikh Community Kitchen In Ukraine?)
Soros’ personal website states he was born in 1930 in Hungary. Zelenskyy is a native of Ukraine and more than 45 years younger than Soros, according to his official website. Zelenskyy was born to computer science professor Oleksandr Zelesnkyy and Rimma Zelenska, CNN reported. There is no evidence either is related to Soros. There are no news reports or biographies to suggest there are any connections between the Soros and Zelenskyy families.
Soros has previously been the target of false accusations regarding his family history and ties. Check Your Fact previously corrected false rumors that he is related to Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton’s husband.