FAKE: Volodymyr Zelenskyi is preparing to flee to the USA at the direction of Washington – The DC Weekly article

FAKE: Volodymyr Zelenskyi is preparing to flee to the USA at the direction of Washington – The DC Weekly article

31 January 2024
FacebookTwitterTelegram
748

Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

Information is being spread online claiming that Volodymyr Zelenskyi is preparing to flee to the USA at the behest of Washington because his presidential term ends on March 31, 2024. Allegedly, a house in Florida has already been prepared for him and his family. The source of this information is an article allegedly by American journalist Jessica Devlin on The DC Weekly portal. She claims to have received the data from an “anonymous informant from American intelligence services.” A video with similar accusations was also posted on YouTube by a user named “John Doe,” who claims to be a US Secret Service employee.

It is emphasized that the date for applying for citizenship and interviews was set for September 20 — the day Zelenskyi spoke at the NATO summit during his visit to the USA. This is supposed to indicate that the Biden administration had planned President Zelenskyi’s relocation in advance.

However, this is fake news. The “evidence” provided in the article does not correspond to reality.

Screenshot of the article

So, the article features allegedly a photo of a naturalization certificate in the name of Volodymyr Zelenskyi. This certificate confirms a person’s right to obtain US citizenship. The following indicates that the document is forged:

  • It lacks the stamp of the US Department of Homeland Security and the signature of the certificate holder.
  • Zelenskyi’s photograph is taken from publicly available sources. A sample of a similar document is also publicly accessible. Interestingly, the found sample indicates the name John Doe — the same name as the “informant” who later posted a video with a “confession” on YouTube. Overall, John Doe is a so-called “placeholder name” used to fill out documentation when the person is unidentified.
  • There is a note stating that copying this sample is prohibited. Real certificates do not have such a note in their photos. It is only placed on document templates.
  • Zelenskyi’s height is about 170 cm, while the certificate states “5 feet 6 inches,” which equals 167 cm.

On the left — a fragment of “Zelenskyi’s certificate”. Source: DCWeekly. On the right — a fragment of a real certificate of naturalization in the USA. Source: GettyImages

Original photo of Zelenskyi. Source: Radio Svoboda

Furthermore, as propagandists claim in the fake post, Zelenskyi allegedly submitted his application on September 20, 2023, while he was in the USA to speak at the NATO summit. However, on September 20, the president actually spoke at a special session of the UN Security Council. The last NATO summit took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12, 2023.

Moreover, the primary requirement for obtaining a naturalization certificate is the possession of an immigration visa (Green Card) and permanent residency in the USA for at least 5 years, or 3 years if the candidate is married to a US citizen. Only active-duty members of the US military can apply for citizenship before these terms. Zelenskyi does not belong to any of these categories.

The conduct of presidential elections in 2024 is also not planned. “We must determine that now is the time for defense, the time for a battle on which the fate of the state and the people depends, and not the time for provocations that only Russia expects from Ukraine. I believe that elections are not timely now,” Zelenskyi said during his evening video address on November 6.

The article also includes images of a villa where Zelenskyi allegedly plans to move with his family. It is described as a luxurious mansion located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, worth $20 million. However, a reverse search on Google shows that this villa is still available for purchase and the actual price of the building is nearly $11 million.

“Zelenskyi’s Villa” for sale. Source: Homes for Sale in Jacksonville, FL

The author of the article is supposedly the “renowned journalist” Jessica Devlin. However, there is no information about her journalistic activity on Google. A photo search from her biography shows that it actually belongs to the writer Judy Batalion. Therefore, it is likely that a journalist named Jessica Devlin does not exist.

The DC Weekly is not new to spreading fake news. For example, we have previously debunked the fake about Olena Zelenska spending $1.1 million on jewelry from the “Cartier” jewelry house in the USA.

Researchers Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren from Clemson University suggest that The DC Weekly was founded by John Mark Dugan, a former US Marine Corps officer and Florida police officer who moved to Russia in 2016 to evade accusations of alleged hacking. Since 2009, he has systematically spread defamation against his former employers through a website he created for this purpose. Dugan spreads fake news about Ukraine as well, including claims about “secret American biolabs” on Ukrainian territory. Dugan denies all accusations of involvement with The DC Weekly website.

Attention

The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations