Does Bill Gates hate the Ukrainian president so much? In recent days, several Internet users share a video in which the American billionaire seems to criticize Volodymyr Zelensky. On it the first man affirms, in front of the camera, that "the Ukrainian government is one of the worst in the world, corrupt, controlled by a few rich".

Bill Gates: "The Ukrainian government is one of the most corrupt in the World".#BillGates #UkraineRussiaWar️ #Zelensky #Russia

— Digital Update India 🇮🇳 (@DigitalUpdateIN) March 2, 2023

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For some Internet users, these remarks in the middle of the war in Ukraine are considered a bias for Russia by Bill Gates. "He no longer hides his game and is clearly in Putin's camp," some say. What is really happening with this video? 20 Minutes takes stock.


This video shared on social media is an excerpt from an interview given by Bill Gates at the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, in late January 2023. But it was truncated. In the 27th minute, he was asked about the Ukrainian president and his management of the country. "It's very impressive that he was able to bring the country together. No one expected Ukraine to succeed in resisting Russia," he said.

"It turned out that Russia was much weaker and less intelligent than expected and Ukraine was much stronger. Before the war, the government was one of the worst in the world, corrupt, controlled by a few rich people, unfortunately for the Ukrainians. »

Bill Gates pronounces this sentence well but he also says "before the war". It does not directly target Volodymyr Zelensky and his government, but evokes the political power in Ukraine before the conflict with Russia, probably before the annexation of Crimea in early 2014, and in power then held by Viktor Yanukovych, a close friend of the Kremlin.

An improvement in the fight against corruption

And what Bill Gates says is nothing new. Ukraine has been plagued by corruption, notably through former President Viktor Yanukovych, to whom Bill Gates is probably referring. The arrival of Volodymyr Zelensky at the head of the country has not made it possible to completely eradicate this scourge, but efforts are being made. In its 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, the NGO Transparency International notes that before the invasion, Ukraine scored low (33 out of 100). The country has gained 7 points in ten years, which has pushed the organization to note "a good and regular dynamic allowed by important reforms and improving regularly".

Volodymyr Zelensky has not been all white in the face of corruption since he was pinned himself in the Pandora Papers affair in 2021. But he had no choice but to make efforts, since the United States conditions its aid to the fight against corruption.

Fake news to check? Go through WhatsApp

As for this truncated excerpt widely shared on social media, it was published by an account "Australians vs. The Agenda". An account created in December 2020, in the midst of the global pandemic, and which spreads several conspiracy theories about Covid-19, including the widespread theory that Bill Gates manufactured the epidemic to then sell vaccines.

  • World
  • War in Ukraine
  • Volodymyr Zelensky
  • Bill gates
  • Russia
  • Fake Off