Putin’s propaganda: No, Zelensky’s friends don’t have luxury chalets in Switzerland

Putin’s propaganda: No, Zelensky’s friends don’t have luxury chalets in Switzerland

Far from the fighting in Ukraine, the information war is raging. One of his most recent battlefields: was the Bernese Oberland. A blogger loyal to the Kremlin published purported excerpts from the land register last week and claims that these luxurious properties belong to friends of Volodymyr Zelensky.

The three properties are located in the municipality of Saanen and would be worth between nine and ten million francs. The excerpts this blogger presents indicate that the luxury chalets belong to politician Dmitro Rasumkov, former Minister of Social Affairs Lyudmila Denisova as well as former Ukrainian Minister of Finance Alexander Daniljuk – all close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. As a survey of the Berner Zeitung», however, these documents are not authentic. They have been tinkered with.

Luxury chalets do not exist

The blogger calls himself Yuri Gagarin, after the Soviet cosmonaut (1934-1968) who was the first man to go into space. In the meantime, his tweet has been deleted. For good reason: according to the newspaper, the plot numbers in the cantonal land register do not correspond to the addresses. The pitch size indications are also not correct.

Adrian Mühlematter is the Land Registry-Registrar of the Oberland Land Registry Office and notary public. When he examined the extracts, he recognized at first glance that they were forgeries. At the top of the pages, the documents indicated for example an IDE number. “We ended this practice about two years ago,” he told Berner Zeitung.

The deception is all the more obvious if one goes to the addresses indicated. On two sites, no luxury chalets, but buildings. On the third, the chalet of a Swiss couple.

“Propaganda must harm the image of Ukraine”

The objective of such actions is to undermine the integrity of Ukrainian politicians and “harm the country’s image”, explains Mykola Makhortykh to the newspaper. This Ukrainian researcher investigates manipulation on the Internet at the Institute of Communication and Media Sciences at the University of Bern and is an expert in Russian propaganda.

According to him, the corruption of the Ukrainian government is a charge frequently used in this context. “Russia is thus trying to weaken European support for Ukraine.” Moreover, it allows diverting the attention dedicated to the Russian oligarchs, whose assets are currently confiscated in many countries.

Zelensky would be a billionaire

This is not the first time that an attempt has been made to damage the reputation of Volodymyr Zelensky by spreading false information. In mid-April, rumors circulated that the Ukrainian president had a drug problem. As reported by “Last Standard”, however, this assertion has been refuted.

Zelensky has also been blamed for becoming a billionaire through corruption. According to estimates by the American business magazine “Forbes”, the Ukrainian president certainly has a fortune of 20 to 30 million francs, but he owes it above all to his television career.

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