By: Annet Preethi Furtado
July 28 2023
The Cannes property in the video is still up for sale and has not been bought by either the Ukraine defense minister or his daughter.
A video circulating on social media falsely claims that the Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov purchased a mansion for his daughter, suggesting that he used foreign donations for the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
One tweet sharing the video reads, "Ukraine Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov just purchased this 7 million euro mansion in Cannes, France for his daughter's wedding present… Oleksii Reznikov is said to have a net worth of 1 million… just in case you wondered where all the money was going." This tweet garnered over 2 million views, 32k likes, and 17k retweets.
The video opens with two pictures of Ukraine's Defense Minister, Reznikov, one featuring his daughter Anastasiya Shteyngauz in wedding attire and another with his wife, Yulia Zoriy. The images were accompanied by Ukrainian audio and transcription. The video displayed glimpses of a villa in Cannes, allegedly bought as a wedding gift for his daughter.
The translated transcript of the video criticized Shteyngauz for her alleged extravagant lifestyle. According to the transcript, she allegedly acquired a lavish house in Valoris, near Cannes, in early June. The property was said to have impressive amenities such as a swimming pool, an elevator, and seven bedrooms, all at an exorbitant cost of seven million euros. The transcript accused the defense minister of neglecting the country's well-being and its soldiers while seemingly prioritizing a life of luxury for his family. The archived posts can be found here and here.
However, these claims are false, and the property shown in the viral video is still for sale.
Upon conducting a reverse image search of the villa, we found photographs of the villa, located in Cannes, France, on various real estate websites, including Christie's International Real Estate. According to the listing, the property is still available, priced at €11,750,000 (approximately $13,202,247).
Michaël Zingraf, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate and the agency responsible for selling the property, refuted the claim that the villa had been sold to the Ukrainian defense minister. In a statement to French newspaper Nice-Matin, Jessica Macconi, the agent managing the sale, clarified, "This property has not been sold to this gentleman. It is still for sale. We do not know where this rumor comes from."
By performing a reverse image search on a picture of Reznikov and his daughter Shteyngauz in wedding attire shown in the video, we found that Reznikov had originally posted this image himself on September 13, 2013, and tagged Shteyngauz. In 2021, Channel 24, a Ukrainian 24/7 TV channel, published the same image in an article on Reznikov. The article stated that the photograph was taken during Shteyngauz’s wedding, which clearly took place well in the past, and not recently, as the social media posts claim.
In a Facebook post, Shteyngauz humorously responded to the viral TikTok video, originally uploaded by "vladyslavyashchenko1". The post, originally in Ukrainian, when translated, said: I 'scored again,' in just one TikTok day, I have a villa near Madrid and, thank God, with an elevator under Cannes." Shteyngauz further used a popular meme to comment on the nature of the viral video and insinuated that it was a fake intended to discredit Ukraine.
No evidence supports the claim that Ukraine's Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, used Western aid to acquire a Cannes mansion for his daughter's wedding. The wedding photo is from 2013, and the Cannes property in question is still for sale. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.