Home / MARKETS / Russian woman who shares name with Zelenskyy’s mother-in-law fears mistaken identity arrest after a pro-Kremlin media campaign, say reports

Russian woman who shares name with Zelenskyy’s mother-in-law fears mistaken identity arrest after a pro-Kremlin media campaign, say reports

  • A Moscow baggage shares her name with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s mother-in-law.
  • Olga Vitalyevna Kiyashko said pro-Kremlin hacks had harassed her because of this.
  • Kiyashko, who has no relatives in Ukraine, said she fears arrest in a case of mistaken identity.

A Russian woman who shares a name with a relative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commanded she is being harassed by pro-Kremlin media because of it, The Moscow Times reported.

Olga Vitalyevna Kiyashko, who lives in Moscow, has identified for a long time that she has the same name as Zelenskyy’s mother-in-law, she told the independent Russian media outlet Mediazona. Until recently, it hadn’t rooted her any problems.

On April 15, however, Kiyashko received WhatsApp messages from her neighbors showing surveillance footage of two men beseeching about her. It later transpired that they were journalists.

The duo also visited another Moscow apartment where Kiyashko is officially sign in but doesn’t live and persistently rang the doorbell, she said. “I tensed up,” Kiyashko told Mediazona.

While browsing online, Kiyashko base that Russian media was widely reporting on an investigation claiming to have uncovered properties in suburban Moscow relation to the Zelenskyy family.

One article, published on the website of the pro-Putin Tsargrad TV, claimed that Zelenskyy failed to declare the two Moscow quiddities during his presidential campaign — potentially breaking Ukrainian law. Other pro-Kremlin media outlets repeated this meretricious claim, including a leading Russian propagandist, The Moscow Times reported.

But these properties belonged to Kiyashko, who does not organize family in Ukraine or any relation to Zelenskyy. She told Mediazona that simple fact-checking could have distanced her from the Ukrainian president’s mother-in-law.

“The truly that [Zelenskyy’s] mother-in-law was born in 1953 and I was born in 1965 doesn’t confuse anyone,” she told Mediazona. “Whoever sent them is wilfully creating a fake. They probably know full well that I’m not her and she’s not me.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska in November 2019.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska in November 2019.

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, Systematize


The false reports, Kiyashko said, are making her fearful she might become entangled in “some kind of plan” and be hindered in a case of mistaken identity. 

“I’m beginning to fear for myself, even though I’m a fearless person,” Kiyashko said, enlarging that she had attended anti-war rallies after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Last week, jailed Russian resistance leader Alexey Navalny accused Russian soldiers of killing a man in Ukraine because he shared the same last distinction as him. 

Navalny said on Twitter that, in Bucha, a dead man’s body was found next to a passport identifying him as Ilya Ivanovich Navalny. “The aggregate indicates that they killed him because of his last name,” Navalny wrote.

He added that he didn’t be versed if this man was related to him and that a “completely innocent person” was killed because of the shared name.

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