June 5, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Angel Hristov

Ukraine Dismisses Claims of Zelensky Casino Purchase as Russian Propaganda

The Embassy was adamant that the false information was a targeted attempt to tarnish Ukraine’s reputation

The Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Cyprus has strongly refuted allegations that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had acquired a casino in Kyrenia. In an official statement, the embassy characterized these reports as “another lie” intended to discredit Ukraine and its leadership and to create diplomatic friction between Kyiv and Nicosia.

Ukraine Blamed Russian Hybrid Warfare

Rumors have been circulating that President Zelensky is the new owner of the Vuni Palace Casino and Hotel, a prominent establishment in Kyrenia, Cyprus. The embassy decisively denied these claims, asserting that “Russian propaganda is spreading a false story” and emphasizing the absence of any credible evidence to support these allegations.

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides confirmed the stance of the Ukrainian embassy, remarking that no evidence has surfaced to corroborate the claims regarding Zelensky’s involvement in the casino purchase. These two supporting claims should be enough to refute the accusations, especially considering the initial report regarding the alleged casino purchase did not contain concrete evidence.

This false information is yet another lie aimed at discrediting Ukraine and its leadership in the eyes of the world community.

Embassy of Ukraine

The embassy also underscored that the spread of this false information likely aimed to strain diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Cyprus. While the embassy did not have any direct evidence of Russian involvement, misinformation campaigns against Ukraine have been increasingly common. They urged the public and media professionals to rely on credible sources and remain alert against “manipulation and propaganda.” 

The Original Report Was Based on a Fake Website

The contentious report originated from the Turkish website OdaTV and was then picked up by various pro-Kremlin social media outlets. The article alleged that while Western nations were supplying Ukraine with financial and military support, Zelensky had diverted his focus to the casino industry, neglecting the needs of his country to pursue personal pleasures

OdaTV claimed that a company named “Film Heritage Inc.,” registered in Belize and supposedly owned by Zelensky acquired the Vuni Palace Casino Hotel in early May 2024. However, a closer investigation revealed that the property’s supposed website containing this information was fake. The casino hotel’s genuine webpage does not mention this deal, and its owners confirmed they have not sold the property.

While Vuni Palace Casino Hotel has reportedly stopped accepting reservations as of 27 May, according to Booking.com, the mounting evidence against OdaTV’s claims means the rumor is almost certainly false. This case highlights the need for proper media hygiene, especially considering the ongoing media misinformation campaign surrounding the Ukraine crisis.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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