Zelenskyy did not buy a casino in Cyprus

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It is disinformation that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy bought a casino and a hotel in Cyprus through his offshore company. High political representatives from Cyprus confirm the lack of evidence, while the site that initially published the “news”, deleted it afterward 


We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook claiming the following: 

The war to some is a mother, while to others a stepmother. Zelenskyy bought a casino resort in Cyprus through his offshore company Casino Herritage Inc. for 200 million dollars in bitcoins. Front line, beaches and all that. 

The claim in the post we are fact-checking is connected with a Telegram channel. However, the information is disinformation. 

The Ukrainian Embassy in Cyprus denied the information, calling it Russian propaganda intended to create and incite diplomatic tensions. The Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Cyprus strongly denies the claim that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, purchased a casino in Kyrenia. In a recent announcement, the Embassy described these claims as yet another lie created to discredit Ukraine and its leadership as well as to incite diplomatic tensions between Kyiv and Nicosia. 

The speculations circulating on social networks, including the post we are fact-checking, suggest that Zelenskyy is the new proprietor of Vuni Palace Casino and Hotel, one of the largest casinos in Europe located in Kyrenia, Cyprus. Ukrainian Embassy staff claim that this Russian propaganda aims at spreading fake news with no evidence whatsoever to support their claims. This fake information is yet another lie aimed at discrediting Ukraine and its leadership in the eyes of the world, elaborated the Embassy. According to the fake story, a company allegedly owned by Zelenskyy purchased the hotel and the casino, but the publication is not substantiated by any evidence in support of such a claim. The Ukrainian Embassy in Cyprus stresses that the media should consult reliable sources and be fully aware of the manipulations and Russian propaganda. The President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, commented on the allegations by saying that no evidence can support the claim that Zelenskyy had anything to do with the purchase of the casino. 


“So far, the relevant services of the Republic of Cyprus have investigated the matter. I repeat, so far, there is no such evidence. When the investigation is completed, in cooperation with other countries and other services, we will be able to say more. But at this moment, I can tell you, up until five minutes before I came here, I have been informed that there is no such evidence,” he said. 

The controversial disinformation originated from the Turkish website OdaTV, which published an article with the headline ”Zelenskyy Gambles Away”. The article specifies that while the Western countries provide Ukraine with financial and military assistance, Zelenskyy directs his attention towards the casino industry. The site also specifies that the company Film Heritage Inc., registered in Belize is allegedly owned by Zelenskyy. According to the Pandora Papers, he purchased Vuni Palace Casino in 2021 and bought the hotel at the beginning of May 2024. 

As Snopes fact-checkers elaborate, the story released on OdaTV was deleted, but its impact started growing on social network channels before that, especially through the Aussie Cossack account of the social network that describes itself as “registered foreign agent of Sputnik” – a Russian state-controlled media agency. Snopes fact-checkers add that the information is not true because it is based on a fake website on the casino. The fake website on the casino, as specified by Snopes, was registered on 29 May 2024, only one day before OdaTV broadcasted the disinformation narrative about Zelenskyy’s alleged ownership of the casino. As the fact-checkers from Snopes explain, the owners of the casino themselves denied that the casino was sold at all. Due to all of the above-noted facts, the post fact-checked is assessed as untrue.