Fact Check: A Provocative Photo Does NOT Show The Ukrainian Ambassador To Bulgaria

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: A Provocative Photo Does NOT Show The Ukrainian Ambassador To Bulgaria Another Person

Is the Ukrainian ambassador to Bulgaria, Olesya Ilashchuk, in a photo which shows a woman in a swimming pool, wearing a skimpy bikini and holding a champagne glass in her hand? No, that's not true: The woman in the picture is not Olesya Ilashchuk. It was placed next to a real photo of Ilashchuk to insinuate that it is the ambassador.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @nicolaynicolov on September 9, 2023.

The Bulgarian text overlay reads, translated by Lead Stories staff:

Ambassador of Ukraine to Bulgaria, Olesya! It is not clear if she is a sexologist or if she is the official face of the state!

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

Screenshot 2023-09-19 at 8.30.27.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Sep 19 05:36:07 2023 UTC)

Although the woman from the provocative photo visually resembles Ilashchuk, she is a Russian woman. Her name is Natalia Kobilkina, and she has nothing to do with the Ukrainian embassy. The image of Kobilkina shown in the video can be traced back to publications from summer 2018 in various Bulgarian online media, which conclusively prove that the shot does not show the current Ukrainian ambassador to Bulgaria, Olesya Ilashchuk.

The appointment of Ilashchuk as ambassador caused a lot of comments in both Bulgaria and Ukraine after it became known that she practiced as a sexologist in the past. This was also mentioned in the text of the claim in combination with the photo of Kobilkina. Ambassador Ilashchuk has been attacked repeatedly since her appointment, with numerous Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian press publications questioning her competence and education. Commenting on the allegations against Ilashchuk, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine defended the appointment in Sofia, saying that she had graduated in International Relations and possesses all necessary qualifications.

An article dated of December 27, 2022, quotes Ilashchuk as saying:

I see a lot of misinformation and negativity towards me.

According to her, a negative campaign against her aims to discredit her.

За Нас

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