Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedy star and leading candidate in Ukrainian presidential election campaign, failed to declare a posh villa in Italy that he owns, according to investigating journalism agency Slidstvo.Info.

The journalists revealed on March 28, just three days before the election, a 15-room mansion located in the luxury resort town of Forte dei Marmi on the Mediterranean coast in northwestern Italy some 90 kilometers from Florence. As reported by the project, the house was purchased in 2017 for 3.8 million euros by Italian company San Tommaso S.R.L. mentioned by Zelenskiy in his declaration for the financial year 2017.

“The building is located just 600 meters away from the sea, just eight minutes walk from the beach,” the journalists noted.

The Slidstvo.Info provided screenshots of documents affirming the purchase.


“He is a rather well-to-do man, he has been in show business throughout his life and has millions-worth of income from the production of comedy shows and movies,” the journalists wrote.

“In his 2017 declaration, Zelenskiy said he (owned) four apartments in Kyiv, a suburban house, as well as flats in Yalta (in Russian-occupied Crimea) and in the United Kingdom. All of them are fully or partly owned or leased by him. However, the 15-room villa by the Italian coast, which Zelenskiy owns along with his wife Olena, is not mentioned by him in the declaration.”

According to the Slidstvo.Info, Zelenskiy’s press service responded to the journalists’ requests regarding the issue by only stating that “the candidate’s declaration was filled in in full compliance with the current legislation of Ukraine.”

Later in the day, the candidate’s press service issued a statement decrying Slidstvo.Info’s report as “fake” and a “cynical aspersion.”

“Three days to the presidential elections, there are attempts to discredit Volodymyr Zelenskiy,” the politician’s campaign stated on its Facebook page.


“The groundlessness of the accusations is obvious again! The law on preventing corruption unequivocally states that beneficial ownership (or simpler words, the assets an applicant controls via a legal entity) must be mentioned only by persons holding responsible and sensitive positions, as well as persons holding positions related to a high level of corruption risks, in accordance with the list of positions constituted by legislation.”

As Zelenskiy does not hold any civil service posts, he was never obliged to declare assets owned by the company founded by him. Instead of that, the mentioned entity was displayed in his declaration in full compliance with current legislation, the press service added.

Slidstvo.Info said it was not known whether Zelenskiy had visited the villa.

However, an Instagram post by Zelenskiy dated Aug. 9, 2017, shows the comedian as he walking on a narrow street by the sea in an unknown Italian town, where he was having a vacation then. “The Zelenskiy family most probably already possessed the villa in Forte dei Marmi” at that time, the Slidstvo.Info journalists said.

Screenshot of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Instagram post showing him taking a stroll in an unknown Italian city on Aug. 9, 2017.

As Slidstvo.Info reported, the town of Forte dei Marmi is known as luxury resort very popular with the Russian elite, mainly top-notch oligarchs. Among those possessing real estate in the town or spending vacations there are billionaires Oleh Deripaska, Roman Abramovich, and Mikail Prokhorov. Tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also stayed there.


Meanwhile, according to the latest polls published on March 28, Volodymyr Zelenskiy is maintaining his strong lead in the presidential race just days before Election Day on March 31.

According to a survey by the Rating Group, 26.6 percent of decided voters would support Zelenskiy, while the country’s current President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are in second place, both on 17 percent.

Another polling agency,  the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, in poll results released later on March 28 also put Zelenskiy in the lead. Some 27.6 percent of decided voters said they would vote for him on March 31, while Poroshenko gets 18.2 percent and Tymoshenko trails with 12.8 percent, the agency reported on March 28.

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