Fact Check-Altered BBC graphic circulates purporting to show soaring wealth of Ukrainian political figures since Russian invasion

An image purporting to show a BBC graphic detailing the wealth of Ukrainian political figures, including the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is altered. The original graphic published online via the BBC’s Ukrainian website showed how the war has impacted the wealth of Ukrainian billionaire businessmen.

The BBC logo is visible at the bottom right of the screenshot with the image titled: “Fortunes of Ukrainian politicians.”

The graphic then lists a series of Ukrainian political figures, including Zelenskiy, with claims that their respective wealth dramatically increased between February 2022, when Russia invaded the country, to December 2022.

Examples of the altered graphic can be viewed (here) and (here).

A spokesperson for the BBC told Reuters that the graphic was altered and this version was not published by the outlet.

Instead, the BBC News Ukraine published a graphic indicating the losses incurred by Ukrainian billionaire businessmen since the Russian invasion, including the owner of the Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk, Rinat Akhmetov (here), archived (

The BBC reported that Akhmetov’s wealth dropped from $13.2 billion in February 2022 to $4.3 billion 10 months later.

The graphic did not show any increases in wealth for the billionaires listed, nor did the graphic feature the country’s president.

Reuters previously found no evidence to support the claim that Zelenskiy is a billionaire (here).


Altered. The graphic was altered to make it appear that the BBC published a visual showing rapid increases in wealth accumulated by Ukrainian politicians. Instead, the BBC published a graphic detailing the monetary losses incurred by Ukrainian billionaires since the Russian invasion.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.