The Kremlin media and pro-Russian accounts on the social network X spread a “request” by the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, to Spain's King Felipe VI, which allegedly asks that Spanish citizenship be granted to the children of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, ex-Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, current Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, MP of Ukraine Davyd Arakhamia and other well-known Ukrainian politicians.
This is a fake. There is no such "request" on the official websites of the European Council, the European Commission or the office of King Felipe VI. It is faked with the help of graphic editors. The basis for this was the original letter of the European Council members to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, which was published on the website of the European Council on September 9, 2023 and on the account of Charles Michel on the social network X.
The propagandists simply changed the date in the header of the letter from the eighth to the ninth of September, removed the words "press" and "press release" and added the necessary text and signatures of the leaders of the European Council and the European Commission from other documents that are publicly available.
In addition, the forged letter in English does not even refer to Spanish citizenship, but to a "residence permit”.
As of August 31, 2023, according to Eurostat, more than four million Ukrainians who fled the war are living in the EU, including almost 185,000 in Spain. There is European Council Directive 2001/55/EC of July 20, 2001, according to which a "residence permit" is any permit that, in accordance with its national law, can be granted by an EU member state. In particular, in Spain, a temporary residence permit to Ukrainians who fled the war is granted under a simplified procedure and without obtaining a Spanish visa. This does not require a special "letter" to the King of Spain. To obtain Spanish citizenship, one must live in the country for at least five years.
It should also be added that the names and surnames given in the fake letter are transliterated from Russian (Alexander, Alexey, etc.), not from Ukrainian.
This is not the first fake by Russian propaganda about representatives of the Ukrainian government who allegedly "constantly flee" abroad or have citizenship of other countries. For example, at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian media spread a fake that President Volodymyr Zelensky had allegedly fled Ukraine.
They also spread a fake about the Israeli citizenship of the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
Earlier, a Nigerian publication created a fake claiming that Olena Zelenska “purchased” over a million dollars worth of jewellery in New York.