Russia stages anti-Ukrainian provocation in Cyprus media space: explained

On June 4, the SIGMALIVE outlet posted an article with the scandalous headline “Turkish media: Zelensky buys casino in occupied Kyrenia.” The hotel complex management spoke with Cypriot media denying ownership change but this latest bit ofdisinformation served as a provocation and part of a wider malign campaign to compromise Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally andUkraine in general in the eyes of the international community ahead of the inaugural Global Peace Summit.

In short, the article referring to the Turkish portal states that Film Heritage Inc, incorporated in Belize and allegedly owned by Zelensky, bought a hotel in Kyrenia on the territory of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The deal, estimated at £150 million according to some sources, was allegedly sealed this May.

The very emergence of such a peculiar piece in the Cypriot media is part of a global media campaign Russia unleashed against Ukraine, aiming to generate doubts and skepticism as to further support for Ukrainians and manifestation of international solidarity with an independent and sovereign state that is repelling Russia’s unprovoked aggression. The Kremlin is also seeking to sow tension between allies and partners on the eve of the Peace Summit in Switzerland. The Republic of Cyprus plans to participate in the event, among more than a hundred other nations.

As for the said Turkish-based left-wing media platform,, it has been repeatedly spotted “legalizing” in the country’s media bits of Russian disinformation, posing as its “original source”, practically serving as a solid mouthpiece for “Russian propaganda” in Turkey. One of the outlet’s founders, SonerYalcin, is one of the authors particularly noted for spreading such pieces.

Pro-Russian outlets and social media accounts have immediately picked up the story, primarily targeting average Cypriots, as well as officials, because the topic of property, business, and other activities in the territory of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus remains extremely sensitive for the public in Cyprus. Cypriots perceive any foreign activity in the north just like Ukrainians do in regards to the temporarily occupied areas of their country.

At the same time, Russian media’s blitz efforts to highlight the article looked so clumsy that it remained impossible not to expose themselves.

Literally a few hours since the piece was posted by SIGMALIVE, its content was shared in two different versions on nearly a dozenCypriot platforms, including sports media… Attempts were also recorded to launch a broad anti-Ukrainian discussion in local outlets and across social media, aimed at discrediting Zelenskyand Ukraine as a whole, but the attack yielded no result due clumsy execution.

Despite the fruitless attempt, Russia will further pursue this disinformation piece. And as the Global Peace Summit approaches, the number of media attacks of various scales, including such ridiculous one, will only increase.