Fact Check: Olena Zelenska Did NOT Spend $1.1 Million At Cartier On September 23, 2023, During Visit To New York

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Olena Zelenska Did NOT Spend $1.1 Million At Cartier On September 23, 2023, During Visit To New York Was Not In NYC

Did the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, spend $1.1 million at Cartier in New York in September 2023? No, that's not true: On the date of the Cartier receipt that allegedly proved her jewelry spending in New York Zelenska was in Ottawa, Ontario, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for their visit to the Canadian Parliament and meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on October 5, 2023, with the caption (translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff):

While Zelenskyy was begging for money, his wife spent over $1 million on Cartier jewelry in New York. While Elena was spending European and American taxpayers' money, Zelenskyy was speaking at the UN, asking for more money. The visit to Cartier's store could not have gone unnoticed, because one of the employees was fired for publishing the receipt from Elena Zelenska's purchase for million dollars.

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

Screenshot 2023-10-06 233009.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Oct 6 20:30:11 2023 UTC)

Social media in Bulgaria has shared the claim that Zelenska spent over $1 million on Cartier jewelry during her trip to New York. According to these posts, Zelenska was observed on September 22, 2023, in a Cartier jewelry boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York. The claim originated from a video posted by a private Instagram account, gorgeous.bb.jeanette on YouTube (archived here). In the video, the person claims to be a former employee at Cartier and that a dispute with Zelenska led to her termination. She shared a copy of the "receipt" for Zelenska's purported purchase.

Russian media also reported the details of the supposed incident, citing an article that published the "receipt" for Zelenska's purchase of a bracelet, earrings and necklace at the total cost of $1,110,125.00:

Screenshot 2023-10-07 000927.png

(Source: The Nation screenshot taken on Fri Oct 6 21:09:29 2023 UTC)

The document shows the purchase was made on September 22, 2023. But by that time, the Zelenskyy family had flown into Canada's capital late on September 21, 2023, after meetings with President Joe Biden and lawmakers in Washington. Zelenskyy spoke at the United Nations' annual meeting on September 20, 2023.

Screenshot 2023-10-07 121210.png

(Source: The Globe and Mail screenshot taken on Sat Oct 7 09:12:12 2023 UTC).

On September 22, 2023, Zelenskyy addressed the Parliament in Ottawa, and verified recordings of the event corroborate Zelenska's continuous presence in the chamber throughout the proceedings, which included meetings with prominent Canadian officials and members of the Ukrainian Canadian community. Wearing a black suit, Zelenska was sitting next to the Canadian prime minister during her husband's address in Parliament.

Zelenska in Parliament.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Sun Oct 8 16:46:16 2023 UTC)

This claim is likely a component of a disinformation effort targeting Ukraine by individuals with pro-Russian affiliations. It resembles another disproven story from 2022 about Zelenska's shopping expenditures.

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the Zelenskyy family can be found here.

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