Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT Buy A $20 Million Mansion In Vero Beach, Florida

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT Buy A $20 Million Mansion In Vero Beach, Florida Still For Sale

Did Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy buy a $20 million mansion in Vero Beach, Florida? No, that's not true: A post making the claim includes photographs of a house for sale in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, which is more than 200 miles from Vero Beach. The property's listing agents told Lead Stories the claim isn't true and confirmed that the house is still on the market.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on December 13, 2023. The post included photographs of a mansion and a purported U.S. certificate of naturalization in Zelenskyy's name. The post read:

Zelensky reportedly buys $20 Million Dollar Mansion in Vero Beach, Florida.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Dec 15 16:08:38 2023 UTC)

The photographs in the post show a house for sale in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Lead Stories contacted the property's listing agents to ask about the claim. Kim Bright, one of the agents, wrote in a text message on December 15, 2023:

The house is still on the market. That is totally a rumor!

Laura Bishop, another agent, similarly responded in a text message on December 15, 2023:

The story is not true and the house is still for sale.

Ponte Vedra Beach is more than 200 miles north of Vero Beach, which is located in Indian River County, Florida. An online search of public records in Indian River County did not turn up any properties owned by Zelenskyy.

In addition to the photos of the mansion, the post on X included an image of a supposed U.S. certificate of naturalization in Zelenskyy's name. The certificate did not include his middle name (Zelenskyy has a patronymic, Oleksandrovych, which can be used), nor his signature, as would be required. Lead Stories contacted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to ask about the post. We will update this story, as appropriate, if we receive a response.

Both the photos of the Florida property and the image of Zelenskyy's alleged certificate appear to have come from an article published by DCWeekly, on November 29, 2023. The story cites an unnamed Secret Service agent as its source. The author of the article is identified as "Jessica Devlin." DCWeekly published what it said was a photo of Devlin.

But, in fact, the photo shows another author, Judy Batalion, who told Lead Stories she had nothing to do with the story. "I did NOT write this article," she said in an email, dated December 15, 2023. "Someone is using my image."

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims involving President Zelenskyy can be read here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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