A BBC infographic showing Zelensky’s wartime enrichment? This is an edit

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 6:04 pm.

A fake BBC infographic circulating on social media purports to show the evolution of the wealth of President Volodymyr Zelensky and other leading Ukrainian politicians between February and December 2022. According to him, after Russia began to occupy the country, all of them would be enriched by several millions. at the end of February. As the British channel told AFP, which devoted an infographic to the financial losses suffered by some Ukrainian oligarchs between February and December 2022, it is a montage that captures the BBC logo. In addition, a Ukrainian anti-corruption NGO explained to AFP that “no official source” allows Volodymyr Zelensky and other political figures to know their 2022 incomes, which mandatory declarations are not submitted by Ukrainian officials until early next year.Did you donate to Ukraine??? The pockets of these robbers are full in 2022… See how their wealth has increased this year! This government is the most corrupt government on the planet!!!“, “We are getting rich quick in Ukraine …. It is magical or Machiavellian“We condemn Facebook (1, 2) and Twitter (3, 4) publishers of infographics that they have to show internet users in English.luck“different”Ukrainian politicians“.

Published in English, Italian, Polish or even Japanese, this visual, bearing the logo of the British channel BBC, claims to show the dollar value of the respective assets of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksyn. Reznikov, Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba, Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Vladimir Klitschko, and Mykhailo Podoliak, one of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s advisers.

According to this comparison, all these political figures would have seen their capital increase significantly between February and December 2022, that is, from the start of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine (February 24) until the end of the year. According to this infographic, which refers to the American economic magazine Forbes, for example, Volodymyr Zelensky’s personal wealth would increase from 650 million to 1.5 billion dollars.

Screenshot taken on Facebook on January 10, 2023. Screenshot taken on Twitter on January 10, 2023.

However, as the British channel told AFP on January 9, 2022, this is the montage that captures the BBC’s graphic identity: This infographic is incorrect. He takes it back [l’apparence] An infographic used in a BBC News Ukraine article showing the financial losses of Ukrainian billionaires.

We find the original visual in the Ukrainian version, the Facebook post on the BBC News Ukraine page dated 23 December 2022, and the BBC article in English.

It recalled the legacy of Ukrainian billionaires, not politicians from Ukraine: Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, Vadim Novinsky, Igor Kolomoysky, and former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

The amounts presented in this document (also published in French) were based on estimates provided by Forbes on December 27, 2022 in the “” category.The 20 richest Ukrainians of 2022“.

The Ukrainian version of the BBC’s fake infographic about Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian political figures appeared as recently as December 31, 2022 in a Russian media article titled “Reporter.ru”.Zelensky and other prominent Ukrainian politicians became billionaires in 2022“. The English version of the image, as you can see from this comparison, was automatically translated from it by Google Lens visual recognition software.

Screenshot taken on January 10, 2023 Screenshot taken on January 10, 2023

Ukrainian civil servants are forced to declare their income every yearThis infographic shows that these figures were illegally and immorally enriched during the war. These are Ukrainian public figures whose respective careers have made them earn more or less significant incomes, but the figures given are unsubstantiated, as no source allows us to know the value of their inheritance. [au cours de l’année 2022]”, emphasized to AFP Ioulia Shukan, lecturer in Slavic studies at the University of Paris Nanterre on January 10, 2023.

After anti-corruption reforms in 2016, public officials of Ukraine – politicians, judges, other civil servants – must submit their tax returns to Nazk, the National Anti-Corruption Agency. […] The aim is to submit a declaration every year to prevent corruption in the higher spheres of politics and to prevent these public officials from enriching themselves while performing their functions.“, the expert continued, Ukraine was ranked 122 out of 180 countries in the 2021 corruption report of the NGO Transparency International.

As a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption Center, a Ukrainian anti-corruption NGO, further explained to AFP on January 10, 2023 that if these officials are required to submit tax returns, “every year or after leaving office“, these are no longer available on the Nazk website after the invasion of Ukraine: “On February 24, 2022, due to the war, Ukraine had to restrict public servants’ access to the online register of tax returns, because this information could be used by the Russians to put pressure on civil servants, especially local ones.

First of all, the information about the 2022 wealth of the political figures featured in the false image is not publicly known, because these declarations must be made by officials at the beginning of the following year. Therefore, no official source can provide specific information for February and December 2022.“, the spokesman of the Anti-Corruption Center told AFP.

Tax returns for 2021Reporting obligation for 2021 to be done”Between January and March 2022“, was suspended exceptionally after the invasion of Ukraine”the number of unaffiliated civil servants who have joined the army or are in the occupied territories [à internet] made it impossible to send the declaration“.

Four of the five Ukrainian political figures listed in the visual — presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak is not subject to this obligation because he is not a civil servant — had their most recent income statements filed in 2021 and for 2020.

Various media outlets in Ukraine devoted articles to the income declared by these political figures to Nazkla: thus, Vladimir Zelensky’s income amounted to 19 million hryvnias (UAH) or about 670 thousand dollars at the conversion rate effective on December 31, 2020. Oleksii Reznikov’s is about UAH 10.5 million (about $368,000), Dmitry Kuleba’s is UAH 913,714 (about $32,000), and Vitali Volodymyr Klitschko’s is UAH 1.1 million (about $38,60).

According to information obtained by AFP on January 10, 2023, Maria Popova, a political science professor and corruption expert at McGill University in Montreal, points out that “much information is known“On the heritage of Ukrainian politicians”The level of transparency in this regard is equal to that in Western countries.

Since 2014, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has been investigating corruption in the public sphere and can take legal action. In the last few days alone, a deputy and a judge from Zelenskiy’s party have been singled out by NABU for irregularities in their 2021 tax returns and will be prosecuted.“, – adds the expert.

Yuliya Shukan notes that “In the fall of 2021, the Ukrainian Parliament created a register of oligarchs, who are considered as such according to various criteria: ownership of a certain number of assets in the mass media, monopoly in the sector of activity, earning income of at least 2.2. billion hryvnias, participation in the country’s political life.”

Persons registered by the decision of the National Defense and Security Council should be prohibited from financing political parties or participating in the future sale of state property organized by the government. The war stopped the application of this register and significantly changed the situation and fate of Ukrainian businessmen: for example, Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in the country until 2022, lost many assets in the steel industry, especially in Mariupol. and had to give up all media aspects of his economic empire. Igor Kolomoisky also lost money as a result of the war, but was also deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.“he continues.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Lviv, Ukraine on January 11, 2023 (AFP / YURIY DYACHYSHYN)Vladimir Zelensky is named in the Pandora PapersAlready in the summer of 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was accused by some Internet users of being a “fraud” based on the cover of a fake magazine, based his image on the fight against corruption. Pandora Papers, an extensive investigation published in 2021 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on approximately 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies.

The investigation later accused him of creating a network of offshore companies to be used to buy three wealthy properties, particularly in London, from 2012. According to the same source, before he was elected president of Ukraine in 2019, Mr. Zelenskiy sold his shares in one of these offshore companies, Maltex Multicapital, to his then partner, Sergui Chefir, who later became his first adviser. .

The Ukrainian presidential administration claimed at the time that then-famous comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and his associates “protect“against”aggressive actionsThe regime of former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

According to estimates published by Forbes in April 2022 based on known investments and other assets of Volodymyr Zelensky, his net worth is between 20 and 29 million dollars.

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