Fact Check

Is This a Real Photograph of Zelenskyy's Home?

The United States announced new aid packages for Ukraine in July 2023.

Published July 19, 2023

 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image Via Screenshot via Twitter
Claim:
A photograph authentically shows a multistory white mansion with a swimming pool and rooftop gym that is the home of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Context

The photograph in question appears in a number of real estate listings showing a villa in France.

On July 18, 2023, Twitter user and self-proclaimed "conspiracy theorist" Liz Churchill shared a photograph of a large white mansion, complete with a pool and gym, claiming it was the house of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. She shared the image just as the United States announced a number of agricultural and humanitarian aid packages for Ukraine as it continued to fight against a Russian invasion. 

Churchill wrote, "The U.S. just announced another $1.3 BILLION aid package to Ukraine. Reminder…here's a picture of Zelensky's home. Lol."

The above photograph does not show Zelenskyy's home. Using Google's reverse-image search tool, we found the same photograph on a number of real estate websites showing luxury properties in France and Monaco.  

According to Residences Immobilier, a luxury real estate website that operates in the region, the house is located in Beausoleil, France, which adjoins the principality of Monaco. It cost close to 5 million euros, which amounts to around 5,487,000 U.S. dollars. According to the listing on that website, it had been sold.

Green-Acres, another real estate website in France, described the property in the following way:

Luxurious Belle Epoque style villa located just a few minutes from Monaco. The villa was beautifully renovated with the use of high quality materials such as natural stone and marble.

The villa comprises a gorgeous double living room and 4 bedrooms with their private bathrooms. There is also a garage for a few cars.

The property boasts splendid exterior spaces with a beautiful infinity swimming pool enjoying fantastic views of the sea and Monaco. A rare offer of superior quality, to see without delay!

The property is no longer available on that particular site, as well. We are currently unable to confirm who the property was sold to. We reached out to a number of real estate agencies that listed the property and will update this story if we get more information. 

The property was listed in April 2022 on James Edition, a global luxury marketplace. That post had numerous photographs of the property on its website, along with more details:

Overlooking the principality, it benefits [from] a panoramic sea view, a large terrace of approximately 50m², a swimming pool and a roof terrace.
It is built on three levels:
- On the ground floor, an outdoor parking space, a closed garage, technical room, at this level an elevator serves the main level.
- On the ground floor, an entrance with a large double living room, an independent kitchen, an office/bedroom with bathroom, all opening onto a terrace.
- Upstairs, a master bedroom with bathroom and dressing room, two children's bedrooms with shower room and their common living room.
The architecture of this villa as well as an extraordinary interior decoration will seduce you.

This is not the first time Zelenskyy has been dogged by rumors of luxurious property holdings, including, supposedly, a lavish Florida mansion (we found no evidence that he owned one). According to a May 2023 report, Zelenskyy owned a luxury penthouse in Crimea, which Russian state media claimed was being sold off by Russia to fund the war effort. 

A 2022 TIME profile described how Zelenskyy lived and worked in a presidential compound in wartime. The profile noted how all inhabitants of the presidential compound bunker had a pledge of secrecy to not disclose any information about its amenities, design, or location. 

Given that the author of the original tweet pulled the photo from real estate profiles of a house in France, without providing any evidence of its ownership, we rate this photograph as "Miscaptioned." 
 

Sources

"Beausoleil 'Near Monaco' Villa 5 P 200 M² | Swimming Pool | Sea View | Garage." James Edition, https://www.jamesedition.com/real_estate/beausoleil-france/beausoleil-near-monaco-villa-5p-200m-swimming-pool-sea-view-garage-11931018. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Evon, Dan. "Snopes Tips: A Guide To Performing Reverse Image Searches." Snopes, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/articles/400681/how-to-perform-reverse-image-searches/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"House for Sale Beausoleil - 5 Main Rooms 200m²." Residences-Immobilier. https://www.residences-immobilier.com/en/06/annonce-vente-maison-beausoleil-2172719.html. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"Inside Zelensky's World." Time, 28 Apr. 2022, https://time.com/6171277/volodymyr-zelensky-interview-ukraine-war/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"Luxury Villa With Panoramic Sea Views." Green-Acres, https://www.green-acres.fr/en/properties/house/beausoleil/81782a-8787348.htm. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Palma, Bethania. "Zelenskyy 'Florida Villa' Rumor Goes Viral During War with Russia." Snopes, 7 Apr. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/04/07/zelenskyy-florida-villa-rumor-goes-viral-during-war-with-russia/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Panella, Chris. "Russia Is Selling Zelenskyy's Penthouse Apartment in Crimea to Fund Its War in Ukraine." Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-selling-zelenskyy-penthouse-apartment-crimea-fund-ukraine-war-2023-5. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Pessoa, Gabriela Sá. "The U.S. Announces $750 Million in Humanitarian and Agricultural Aid for Ukraine." The New York Times, 18 July 2023. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/18/world/europe/us-ukraine-aid.html. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.