No, Ukraine President Zelenskyy did not buy two mega-yachts worth $75 million

By: Emmi Kivi
December 1 2023

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No, Ukraine President Zelenskyy did not buy two mega-yachts worth $75 million

Screenshots of claims made online (Source: X/Facebook/Tiktok/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The two exclusive listing companies for the two yachts confirmed that they have not been sold. There is no credible evidence to support the claim.

Claim ID 2c17d38b

What is the claim?

Social media users are circulating a video claiming that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently purchased two yachts, ‘Lucky Me’ and ‘My Legacy,’ worth $75 million, allegedly funded by U.S. and EU financial aid. This claim, based on a NewsBreak article, gained traction after pro-Kremlin conspiracists Clayton and Natali Morris featured it on their YouTube show "Redacted."

However, the two exclusive listing companies for the two yachts — Burgess Yachts and BehneMar — have confirmed to Logically Facts that the yachts have not been sold and are currently on sale.

What did we find?

BehneMar, which has listed 'Lucky Me,' told Logically Facts, “Statements that BehneMar sold the motor yacht 'Lucky Me' are totally wrong and false. We can confirm that the yacht has not been sold and is still for sale with BehneMar as the exclusive listing company.”

Similarly, a representative from Burgess Yachts told Logically Facts, “Burgess can confirm that 'My Legacy' is currently for sale with Burgess as the exclusive listing brokerage house. We can confirm that the yacht has not been sold and, therefore, remains for sale.” The yachts are also on sale on the Burgess Yachts and BehneMar websites. 

The NewsBreak article that claims President Zelenskyy purchased the two yachts through close associates, Boris and Serhiy Shefir, is based on data collected from an 'independent journalistic investigation.' It states that the Shefir brothers bought the yachts a few days apart in Abu Dhabi and the French city of Antibes in October 2023.

The evidence provided in the article is in the form of purchase documents with dates, prices of the yachts, and the names of the two Shefir brothers. The rest of the document is blackened out and provides no further information on the claimed purchase.

The screenshots show the fabricated purchase papers of the two yachts, 'Lucky Me' on the left and 
'My Legacy' on the right. Most parts of the documents have been blacked out. Source: NewsBreak

The documents are not authentic contracts of sale of the two yachts in question, as they are yet to be sold. 

Media Bias Fact Check website MBFC lists NewsBreak as a questionable source with low credibility. We found no credible coverage of Zelenskyy’s alleged purchase from reliable sources or reports to support this claim. 

Ukraine has received an unprecedented amount of financial aid from the EU and the U.S. since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022. These transactions are closely monitored and audited, making any misspending by Ukraine severely strenuous or the result of significant oversight. There is no such expenditure on yachts reported anywhere.

The U.S. Department of Defence, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development provide oversight under the Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Ukraine Response. The State Audit Service of Ukraine signed an administrative cooperation arrangement with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in March 2023, continuing their collaboration. The agreement obliges Ukraine to facilitate OLAF’s access to relevant financial management documents and information financed partly or in whole by the EU. 

Logically Facts has previously debunked similar false claims about President Zelenskyy, his net worth, and the use of Western aid in Ukraine that have been circulating online since Russia's invasion.

The verdict

There is no evidence to support the claim that President Zelenskyy bought two yachts called ‘Lucky Me’ and ‘My Legacy’ via proxies. The document cited in the News Break article is fabricated, as the two yachts in question are still listed for sale, as confirmed to Logically Facts by the listing companies. Therefore, we marked the claim as false.

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