FACT CHECK: No, BBC News Did Not Publish This Video About Bellingcat Reporting On A Former Ukrainian Official

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X, formerly Twitter, claims BBC News published a video about Bellingcat researchers reporting that former Ukrainian official Alexey Arestovich spent $500,000 on private flights.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence for this claim. BBC News and Bellingcat both denied they made any such report.

Fact Check:

A top European Union official praised Ukraine’s efforts to combat corruption but said that more work needs to be done, Reuters reported. Ukraine has increasingly cracked down on Ukrainian oligarchs as it tries to join the European Union, according to the Financial Times.

Social media users have been sharing a video, claiming it shows a BBC News report how Bellingcat researchers found that Arestovich, a former adviser for Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, has been taking private flights on American tax dollars. One user claimed, “Bellingcat journalists found that over the past six months, Alexey Arestovich has spent more than $500,000 on private flights.”

This claim, however, is false. Check Your Fact reviewed Bellingcat’s website for any reporting matching the tweet. This search did not yield any results. A search of BBC’s website also did not yield any results for the alleged video.

Eliot Higgins, the founder and creative director of Bellingcat, denied that the investigative group ever published such a report in a Nov. 28 tweet.

“This story, which is completely false and has nothing to do with Bellingcat, appears to have originated from the ‘Alex Parker Returns’ Telegram channel. To be 100% clear, this has nothing to do with Bellingcat, just more fake news spread by a Twitter Blue account,” Higgins tweeted.

BBC Verify reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh also debunked the claim in a Nov. 28 tweet. (RELATED: Hamas Official Falsely Claims Group Did Not Kill Any Civilians)

“A fake video falsely attributed to BBC News and Bellingcat is spreading on pro-Kremlin Telegram, claiming that President Zelensky’s former adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has spent over half a million dollars on private flights in six months. The video is 100% fake,” Sardarizadeh tweeted.

Check Your Fact previously debunked a video claiming to show a BBC News report about Bellingcat discovering Hamas used weapons sent by Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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