A viral Facebook post falsely says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and billionaire philanthropist George Soros are related by birth — one in a series of baseless claims about links between the two.
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a cousin of George Soros, Pentagon official says,” reads the April 6 post, which is a screenshot of a tweet. The caption says, “Get out! Any other sources anyone knows of confirming this? Ohhhhh this is getting goooooooooooooood!”
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The claim is “entirely false,” said a spokesperson for Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
In a 2020 interview, Zelenskyy was asked about Soros, and he answered, “I am not familiar with a person named Soros. I have never met him.” Zelenskyy was responding to the interviewer’s inquiry about how “some people from your own faction call your government the ‘Soros installed government.'”
Soros has been at the center of many debunked claims about his connections to Ukraine, including that he wanted to run the country and that he was using the Ukraine “as a playing field to undermine (former President Donald) Trump’s campaign,” NBC News reported in 2019.
More recently, false claims have said that Soros admitted on television that he helped overthrow the former Ukrainian president in order to help Zelenskyy take office.
The NBC News story noted that Soros “has long been the target of conspiracy theorists about Jews controlling the world.” Soros and Zelenskyy are both Jewish.
We rate the claim that Zelenskyy is a cousin of Soros Pants on Fire!
This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.