FACT CHECK: Post Claims To Show Former Ukrainian Official Celebrating On Yacht After Dismissal

September 15th, 2023
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov speaks to the media after a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base on April 21, 2023 in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. He resigned September 3, 2023 after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's announcement of his replacement. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

A post shared on Facebook claims to show former Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov celebrating on a yacht after being dismissed by Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy.

Verdict: Misleading

The image predates the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Fact Check:

Reznikov was dismissed from his position as Ukraine’s Defense Minister on Sept. 4, according to BBC News. He was replaced by businessman Rustem Umerov, who runs Ukraine’s State Property Fund and is a Crimean Tartar, the outlet reported.

Social media users are sharing an image of Reznikov on a boat, claiming that it shows him after his resignation and implying that he bought it. The Facebook post reads, “Former Minister of Defense of Ukraine Reznikov, after his resignation, is already in Europe on a yacht. Apparently marks successful earnings. But remember, to the last Ukrainian.”

This claim, however, is highly misleading. The image predates the Russian-Ukrainian war and Reznikov’s dismissal by three years. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image is from February 14, 2020, and shows Reznikov with his now-wife.

AFP Fact Check geolocated the image to Istanbul, Turkey, and also found that the yacht Reznikov and his wife were on is likely from a private rental service. AFP Fact Check also debunked this image. (RELATED: No, The CDC Did Not Say The New COVID-19 Variant Is More Contagious Among Vaccinated People)

Reznikov recently wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian calling for Ukraine’s allies to continue to support the country. Check Your Fact could not find any recent reporting that Reznikov was spotted on a yacht after his dismissal.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter