There has been a number of posts on social media claiming The Pentagon had stated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the cousin of billionaire George Soros, purporting to show him as being linked to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. These posts are shared in the backdrop of growing conspiracy theories about Soros funding and controlling Ukraine's defense against Russia.
BOOM found these claims to be false and baseless, and akin to numerous other conspiracy theories about George Soros. Furthermore, we could not find any statement by The Pentagon on Soros being Zelensky's cousin.
Twitter user @OSINTUpdates shared the claim on the microblogging platform, gaining thousands of likes and retweets. You can view the tweet here.
Since the start of the Russia's 'special military operation' in Ukraine, there has been a number of conspiracy theories linking Zelensky to Soros. A senior advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had recently accused Zelensky and Soros of working together with Israel, to lead Ukrainians to their deaths.
BOOM checked the website of US Department of Defence, but failed to find any statement mentioning Soros and Zelensky.
Last month, we had seen similar claims suggesting that Soros had helped overthrow the previous Ukrainian president, to help Zelensky take office. USA Today fact-checked the claim, and found it to be false.
American media outlet NBC News had reported in 2019 that Soros was at the center of a conspiracy theory, to promote allegations of colluding with Zelensky's regime in Ukraine.
Furthermore, there are numerous anti-semetic conspiracy theories regarding Soros about Jewish money controlling the world by funding protests and regime change.
In 2020, Zelensky himself was confronted with some of these conspiracy theories regarding collusion with Soros in an interview, and he claimed to not know the person.
"I am not familiar with a person named Soros. I have never met him. I'm definitely not one of that 'followers of Soros'. There are probably people who studied at the expense of various donor funds and worked for companies that were founded by such funds. And one of these funds is Soros Foundation. I understand that in fact they received money from the fund of this person for which they studied abroad. The question of the influence of Mr. Soros on Ukraine – I do not feel it. I think this is all an exaggeration," he said.
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