Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska’s photo shoot for Vogue magazine has caused a stir on social media. The magazine captured in its cover story how the couple who… country ravaged by war managing their relationship, family life and the emotional toll the invasion has taken.
Vogue called Zelenska “a face of her nation — a woman’s face, a mother’s face, an empathetic human face.” Zelenska, dressed in an off-white satin top and black trousers, sits on marble steps and looks at the camera.
In another exclusive photo, taken by Vogue photographer Annie Leibovitz, the couple pose together.
As the photos took the internet by storm, they provoked mixed reactions online. While some users referred to them as a “power couple” and the first lady as a “brave woman,” others were annoyed.
Many criticized the pair for a “publicity stunt” and “wasting money contributed to Ukraine” as the Ukrainians struggle to survive. Some even mocked the fashion and lifestyle magazine for “romanticizing” the war.
Nice of them to take a break from the war and show how that American money is being spent!
— Mike (@Mike_n_Indy) July 27, 2022
How disrespectful to the people at home in the war zone
— Henry_Rachel_Archie_Lili🙏🏾 (@jozzzaphen) July 26, 2022
With these photos for the magazine, President Zelensky and his wife want to show the world that unity is strength and that psychological “war” is another weapon against the enemy. I applaud you for this fact. Malicious criticism abounds.
— Adina Raceanu 👁️ (@AdinaRaceanu) July 27, 2022
I don’t understand all the snarky comments about this cover story. Vogue did *exactly* what the magazine was made for, it’s incredible.
They smuggled Annie Leibovitz into a war zone to do a cover shoot with an attractive, high-profile woman.
World War 3? Make it fashion. https://t.co/MfIQajMqKj
— Scott Cheloha (@skotchandsoda) July 27, 2022
wartime vogue photoshoot.. strange. https://t.co/v9rcmvA0O1
— ptrkbrdy (@xpxrxbx) July 27, 2022
Vogue Photoshoot with the Ukrainian President and First Lady: pic.twitter.com/8qFC4F6SYB
— Tetyana Denford (Тетяна сик) 🇺🇦 (@TetyanaWrites) July 28, 2022
Huge amount of Ukrainian soldiers dying every day, Zelensky: Let’s have a fashion shooting pic.twitter.com/BrNPYKZYR6
— Levi (@Levi_godman) July 26, 2022
That’s amusing. The sandbags are a nice touch, by the way. →🤣ret
— Claude Zachary (@leftist101) July 27, 2022
Why did we send $54 billion to Ukraine so Zelensky and his wife could pose for Vogue?
You are at war and you have time for photo shoots? pic.twitter.com/XV5rz0meME
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) July 27, 2022
Dude, they’re just doing their job the best they can. And their job is to gain sympathy for the Ukrainian cause.
— Viktor Janis (@Viktor_Janis) July 27, 2022
Great job, great cover, thanks for raising awareness!
— mary furtas (@maryfurtas) July 27, 2022
Well done Vogue Magazine for highlighting Ukraine’s mother!
— Sandy Wagar (@SandySandywagar) July 27, 2022
Zelenska also shared some photos against the backdrop of war-torn Ukraine. “Being on the cover of @voguemagazine is a great honor and dream of many successful and prominent people of the world. All I wish for them all is that it is not because of the war in their country,” she wrote on Instagram.
Speaking to Vogue about how the war affected their family lives, Zelenskyy said, “Like any ordinary man, I worry about them, about their safety. I didn’t want them to be endangered.”
“It’s not about romance. It’s about the horrors that happened here in the outskirts of Kiev and about all those horrors that are happening now in our country, in the occupied territories,” he added. ‘But of course I missed them. I wanted so badly to hug them. I wanted to be able to touch them.”