The information about this purchase was denied by both the Cypriot authorities and the company that owns the hotel, which is mentioned in the «news» being spread. The article that became the primary source for the fake news has now been removed from the website.

Russian media reported that the President of Ukraine, «having fulfilled his part of the agreement with the United States, began to invest money.» Citing Turkish media, Russian propaganda writes that «the leader of the Kyiv regime has purchased a casino in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.»

«The Ukrainians caught by the drafting officers will certainly be pleased to realize that their lives are being sacrificed for a reason, and the welfare of the Kyiv elite is steadily increasing,» Argumenty i Fakty writes.

The spread of this fake news is part of a systematic Russian propaganda campaign to discredit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and an attempt to undermine the trust of Ukraine’s international partners.

Initially, information about the Ukrainian president’s purchase of a casino in Cyprus appeared on the Turkish news site Odatv. This article has now been removed from the site. The media itself is called a «mouthpiece of Russian propaganda» in Turkey, and it has repeatedly served as a primary source for spreading disinformation in the region. Soon after the article appeared, the narrative that the Ukrainian government was enriching itself with international aid was picked up by Russian media and Telegram channels.

First of all, the information about the purchase of the hotel-casino was denied by the Vuni Palace Hotel in Kyrenia, which was mentioned in the article published on Odatv. A representative of the hotel confirmed in a comment to the Cyprus Mail that the hotel is still owned by the Oscar Group of Companies, founded by Turkish Cypriot Erdem Oscar, and that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not one of the group’s shareholders. The company also confirmed that it has no intention of selling the hotel-casino, and that rooms can still be booked on the website, although Russian media and the Turkish Odatv website claimed that the booking had been stopped.

Moreover, it was found that the website allegedly owned by the casino hotel, which mentions Film Heritage Inc. with the President’s wife, Olena Zelenska, as one of its beneficiaries, is a fake. This was reported by representatives of the hotel. The fake website itself was created on May 29, just before the article appeared on Odatv.

President of Cyprus NiKos Christodoulides also commented on the information about the Ukrainian president’s purchase of the hotel-casino, noting that nothing of the kind has been found so far. 

The Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Cyprus also commented on the news, stating that this information is «yet another lie aimed at discrediting Ukraine and its leadership in the eyes of the world community.» The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation also denied the news.

Fact-checkers from other countries, including Snopes, Newsweek, MythDetector, Delfi, and others, also drew attention to the spread of this fake.
Earlier, StopFake also refuted similar fakes aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian president, including Fake: Zelenskyy Embezzled $400 Million Allocated by US, Fake: President Zelenskyy Said He «Does Not Understand What Ukrainians Are Fighting For», Fake: Zelenskyy in Czech Republic Adjusted Ukrainian Symbols with His Shoe and others.