FACT CHECK: Image Makes False Claims About Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Wealth
An image shared on Facebook claims Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a $35 million villa in Florida, $1.2 billion in net worth, 15 homes, three private planes and $11 million in monthly income.
The image overstates Zelenskyy’s wealth and assets. There is no evidence that Zelenskyy is a billionaire or has a monthly income of $11 million.
The Facebook image claims that Zelenskyy has a $35 million Florida home, $1.2 billion in an overseas bank account, owns 15 homes, three private planes and a monthly income of $11 million.
Check Your Fact could not find any evidence for any of the claims. Forbes estimated in April 2022 that Zelenskyy was worth between $20 and $30 million. It found no evidence that Zelenskyy owned private jets, and his real estate portfolio is valued at $4 million. He did own a $4.6 million villa in Italy but later sold it in 2020, the outlet reported.
“Forbes estimates Zelensky’s entire real estate portfolio is worth $4 million, including two more wholly owned apartments, two that he co-owns, a single commercial property and five parking spaces,” the outlet stated.
Volodymyr Landa, deputy editor-in-chief for Forbes Ukraine, told AFP Fact Check in March that they have seen “no significant changes since this article was published.” (RELATED: Video Is From Movie Set, Not Russian-Ukrainian War)
Sergiy Nykyforov, a spokesperson for Zelenskyy, told AFP Fact Check in a written statement that “[n]one of the above statements is true.”
The Kyiv Post reported that Zelenskyy disclosed in his 2020 financial disclosure to the National Agency on Corruption Prevention he and his wife owned seven apartments, several luxury watches, $700,000 in a bank account and $650,000 in cash. He also received $470,000 from selling two homes, $165,000 in royalties from his Kvartal 95 and Kinostolytsia production studios and $12,218 in his presidential salary, according to the Kyiv Post.
Zelenskyy’s wife declared a $35,000 salary from Kvartal 95, according to AFP Fact Check. AFP Fact Check calculated that Zelenskyy’s annual income was $220,000, which is significantly less than $11 million in monthly income as claimed in the Facebook image.
The Pandora Papers released in 2021 showed that Zelenskyy and associates of his created off-shore companies in 2012, according to Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Drew Sullivan, co-founder and publisher of the OCCRP, told Check Your Fact the claim was “known Russian disinformation.
Check Your Fact debunked the claim that Zelenskyy owns a $35 million Florida home in May 2022. A recent search of Florida property records on the Florida Department of Revenue’s website also did not yield any results for any homes owned by Zelenskyy.