Fact Check: Ex-Adviser To Ukraine's Presidential Office Arestovich Did NOT Promise To Expose Zelenskyy In Early 2024

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Ex-Adviser To Ukraine's Presidential Office Arestovich Did NOT Promise To Expose Zelenskyy In Early 2024 Didn´t Say It

Did the former adviser to Ukraine's president's office announce an "information bomb" at the beginning of 2024 that would reveal the truth about Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, while claiming the support of influential Ukrainian armed forces generals? No, that's not true: Oleksiy Arestovich announced he did not make these statements, and the video appears to be manipulated.

TikTok account @belvestnik.bel121 posted a video (archived here) on November 17, 2023. The video quickly spread on other Belarusian and Russian TikTok accounts (here, here and here). The text on the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff, reads:

I promised Zelenskyy I wouldn't stand in his way. But lately his actions have defied common sense. I have a plan to stop the bloodshed on Ukrainian soil.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Arestovich 22 11.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Nov 22 12:17:48 2023 UTC)

The former adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine allegedly says in the footage (as translated):

Smart people have figured out that I intend to run for president of Ukraine. I promised Zelenskyy I would not interfere. But lately his actions have defied common sense. I have a plan to stop the bloodshed on Ukrainian land. My goal is not to make money from the war, as the President's office is doing now. We will definitely succeed, I have received support from influential generals of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. A small spoiler: at the beginning of 2024 I will deliver an "information bomb" that will open your eyes and show you who Vladimir Alexandrovich [Zelenskyy] really is.

In the TikTok video, Arestovich's voice sounds a little distorted. His expressions are slightly sluggish and robotic. This clip can be compared to Arestovich's interview with the YouTube channel Khodorkovsky live (starting at the 3:05 mark) in November 2023, against the same background, where his expressions and the timbre of his voice are different.

The video was debunked on November 17, 2023, by Arestovich himself, who published the text below the clip post on his official Telegram account, saying (as translated):

The emergence of deepfakes in modern times is a sign of quality. It means that your address is considered an important socio-political factor. In my case, this is indeed the case, but everything I say should be found on my official pages.

A search of Arestovich's official accounts, done on December 5, 2023, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, did not reveal the existence of such a video or the statements of the claim.

A Google search (archived here) conducted on December 6, 2023, for Arestovich's statements in the video on TikTok resulted in several links to the same video or references to it. The Google search also led to information that he is planning to be a candidate for president.

Arestovich had previously announced that he would run in the upcoming presidential election. The election is scheduled for March 31, 2024, but according to Ukrainian law, it cannot be held during martial law, currently in effect in Ukraine.

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