• The broadcast claimed Zelensky was placed in intensive care
  • The broadcast also claimed Ruslan Stefanchuk temporarily took over the role of Ukraine's president 
  • Zelensky accused Russia of being behind the cyberattack

A Ukrainian media company on Thursday announced a cyberattack on its network of radio stations led to broadcasts alleging President Volodymyr Zelensky was suffering from a serious illness.

The broadcasts, one of which was shared by Ukrainska Pravda on Twitter, claimed that Zelensky was seriously ill and was placed in intensive care. The broadcast added that Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, had temporarily taken over the post.

“Attention! Urgent message: Volodymyr Zelensky is in intensive care in a serious condition. His duties are being performed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament),” the broadcast said.

TAVR Media, the media company that owns nine radio stations in Ukraine, took to their official Facebook account to dismiss reports about Zelensky’s health condition, adding that the broadcast was the result of a cyberattack on their servers and networks.

“At the moment, the relevant services are working to fix this problem,” the company added.

Zelensky, 44, also posted a video on his Instagram account where he accused Russia of launching a fake news campaign against him.

“Today, Russia launched more fake news that the (Ukrainian) state is not controlled by President Zelensky as he is in hospital, or rather, in intensive care because of a ‘serious health condition.’ So, here I am in my office, and I have never felt as good as now,” Zelensky said.

He concluded the video by saying: “And with all due respect to old age, 44 is not (almost) 70.”

Zelensky, 44, was likely referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin, 69, who has been the subject of multiple reports claiming he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Rumors about Putin’s health have swirled for years. However, these intensified when he launched the invasion of Ukraine in February. A footage released earlier this week showing Putin struggling to go down the stairs of his jet further fueled the speculations.

The Kremlin has dismissed rumors about Putin’s health as false. CIA Director William Burns on Wednesday also waved off rumors that Putin is suffering from a serious illness, adding that he is “entirely too healthy.”

Analysts suspect western support for Zelensky depends on success on the battlefield
Analysts suspect western support for Zelensky depends on success on the battlefield AFP / Sergei SUPINSKY