Our report on the main narratives of Russian propaganda of Winter-Spring 2023 shows that one of the main ones among them is discrediting the President of Ukraine. There’s also the “Middle” level narrative propagandists are pushing, “Ukrainian government is profiting from war.” Olena Zelenska often becomes a target of both “by association”, and this time, they have fabricated another fake about her. 

What happened? 

Propagandist channels shared the news that Olena Zelenska seems to have bought jewelry worth more than $1 million from a Cartier shop in New York. 

The authors note that foreign media, The Nation and Leadership, wrote about that. 

According to these media, the First Lady’s shopping has ended with an argument with a boutique sales employee. 

“Zelenska’s visit to the luxury boutique ended up in a very unexpected manner as she snapped at the employee who was trying to assist her with a “Who said I need your opinion?” rant. After that, according to the boutique ex-worker, Zelenska had a talk with the manager. The ex-worker has no idea what the discussion was about but the next day she got fired from the boutique”, The Nation writes. 

From these media, we’re finding out that the employee who was fired not only recorded an Instagram video exposing Olena Zelenska but also shared Zelenska’s receipt from Cartier. We’ve found out that this information was shared in more than 15 telegram channels, including Sygnal, Sheih Tamir, Bloknot Rossiya, Mria, and so on. Our calculations show that these posts on pro-Russian Telegram channels got over 400 thousand views. 


First and foremost, we’ve looked through the video from a supposedly fired employee. According to her, when she was packing her things, she managed to take Zelenska’s receipt for a sum of $1,110,525. 

The receipt published by her seems to be issued to Olena Zelenska. It’s dated September 22, 2023. Note that the receipt is issued from a Cartier shop located specifically in New York. 

On September 18, 2023, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Olena Zelenska arrived in New York to visit the UN General Assembly. Zelenska wrote about it on her Telegram channel. 

But, on September 21, the Ukrainian delegation flew off to Washington. Both Zelenskyi and Zelenska informed about it on their X (Twitter) profiles. 

On September 22, when the receipt “purchase” happened, Olena Zelenska, along with the President, participated in an array of public events. They run a meetup with US officials and business representatives in the US National Archive. 

Later, Olena Zelenska met with Jill Biden, and the latter wrote about it on her page. 

On September 22, in the evening, the Ukrainian delegation arrived in Canada. 

So, Olena Zelenska couldn’t purchase anything in a New York shop on September 22, as the delegation she was a part of left for Washington the day before that. 

We also noted that item numbers on the original Cartier website differ from the ones on the receipt. 

As such, the bracelet allegedly bought by Zelenska has an H6035616 number on the Cartier website. But the receipt shows it having the CRH6035616 number. It’s the same with the other product: earrings and necklace Zelenska “purchased” have item numbers H8000460 and H7000743, respectively. The receipt shows these numbers starting with CRH instead. That can also be due to the specifics of the offline sales, though. 

The Instagram account that published the video didn’t have any followers or any other posts. The profile photo was also deleted. 

The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation has debunked this fake as well. 

Conclusion: Fake 

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Author: Aliesia Yashchenko 

Gwara Media has a fact-checking department and fact-checking bot Perevirka, which people use to send us news/posts for verification. We debunk fakes and manipulations spread by Russian propaganda — and expose how it’s constructed and distributed. Buy us a coffee to support and cheer up our fact-checkers