Ukraine's president and first lady divide opinion over new Vogue cover shoot amid war

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By Asiya Ali

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President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska have sparked a debate online after posing for a Vogue photoshoot in the midst of Ukraine's war against Russia.

The U.S edition of the fashion magazine's cover story was taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz and captured how the couple is leading their war-ravaged nation.

More than 150 days have passed since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion. Zelensky and Zelenska, both 44, spoke to Vogue about their family life, relationship, and the emotional toll that the war has taken.

One of the shots shows the president and first lady embracing one another while seated at a table, with Zelenska donning a black turtleneck and pants, and Zelensky sporting a dark green t-shirt.

Check out the photoshoot below:

Another image shows Zelenska sitting on marble steps, looking at the camera, and wearing a white satin top and black pants, while Zelensky stands guard behind her, clad in a vest.

A further picture illustrates the first lady in a dress under a navy coat as she stands before the bombed remains of aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya - in front of armed soldiers.

The war-themed photo was shared on Vogue's Instagram account, alongside a caption: "In Ukraine, tens of thousands of women have been on the front lines, including in combat, and First Lady Olena Zelenska's role has increasingly turned toward frontline diplomacy."

"She recently traveled to Washington, albeit on an unofficial, unannounced visit, and met with President Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken," the caption continued. "There, she also addressed Congress, telling a bipartisan group of lawmakers that she was speaking as a mother and daughter, not just a first lady."

"'I'm asking for something I would never want to ask for: I am asking for weapons - weapons that would not be used to wage a war on somebody else's land but to protect one's home and the right to wake up alive in that home,'" Vogue quoted.

Soon after the photo shoot was uploaded on the magazine's Instagram, a debate was sparked across social media over whether it was appropriate for the political couple to have a photoshoot at an unfortunate time for their country.

One user criticized the fashion bible, saying: "Romanticizing war isn’t it, Vogue."

Another person said: "Something about them posing in the war zone doesn’t sit right with me…"

A third commented: "So strange, they have people dying, and they are photographed on the cover."

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Credit: Instagram.
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Credit: Instagram.
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Conservative political activist Scott Presler commented on pictures on Twitter, saying: "Why did we send $54 billion to Ukraine, so Zelensky & his wife could pose for Vogue? You're at war & you've got time for photo shoots?"

Another user said: "Massive amount of Ukrainian soldiers dying every day, Zelensky: Let's have a vogue shooting"

Author Tim Young questioned the pictures, writing: "Did taxpayer money fund Zelensky's Vogue cover shoot? Not a dime more for Ukraine."

[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/ScottPresler/status/1552282866192629761]]
[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/Levi_godman/status/1552031687365861376]]
[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/TimRunsHisMouth/status/1552276876483239936]]

Despite the backlash,  Zelenska shared the pictures on her Instagram saying that being on Vogue's cover is a "great honor" and a "dream of many successful and prominent people of the world".

She continued by saying she would like readers to see "every Ukrainian woman" who "fights, volunteers, settles in a refugee camp, does her job under the sound of a siren, holds on under the occupation" in her place.

"She has the right and deserves to be on the covers of the whole world. Each of you, fellow Ukrainian women, is now the face and cover of our country," Zelenka concluded in her caption.

Featured image credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy

Ukraine's president and first lady divide opinion over new Vogue cover shoot amid war

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska have sparked a debate online after posing for a Vogue photoshoot in the midst of Ukraine's war against Russia.

The U.S edition of the fashion magazine's cover story was taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz and captured how the couple is leading their war-ravaged nation.

More than 150 days have passed since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion. Zelensky and Zelenska, both 44, spoke to Vogue about their family life, relationship, and the emotional toll that the war has taken.

One of the shots shows the president and first lady embracing one another while seated at a table, with Zelenska donning a black turtleneck and pants, and Zelensky sporting a dark green t-shirt.

Check out the photoshoot below:

Another image shows Zelenska sitting on marble steps, looking at the camera, and wearing a white satin top and black pants, while Zelensky stands guard behind her, clad in a vest.

A further picture illustrates the first lady in a dress under a navy coat as she stands before the bombed remains of aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya - in front of armed soldiers.

The war-themed photo was shared on Vogue's Instagram account, alongside a caption: "In Ukraine, tens of thousands of women have been on the front lines, including in combat, and First Lady Olena Zelenska's role has increasingly turned toward frontline diplomacy."

"She recently traveled to Washington, albeit on an unofficial, unannounced visit, and met with President Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken," the caption continued. "There, she also addressed Congress, telling a bipartisan group of lawmakers that she was speaking as a mother and daughter, not just a first lady."

"'I'm asking for something I would never want to ask for: I am asking for weapons - weapons that would not be used to wage a war on somebody else's land but to protect one's home and the right to wake up alive in that home,'" Vogue quoted.

Soon after the photo shoot was uploaded on the magazine's Instagram, a debate was sparked across social media over whether it was appropriate for the political couple to have a photoshoot at an unfortunate time for their country.

One user criticized the fashion bible, saying: "Romanticizing war isn’t it, Vogue."

Another person said: "Something about them posing in the war zone doesn’t sit right with me…"

A third commented: "So strange, they have people dying, and they are photographed on the cover."

wp-image-1263163165 size-full
Credit: Instagram.
wp-image-1263163167 size-full
Credit: Instagram.
aligncenter wp-image-1263163166 size-full

Conservative political activist Scott Presler commented on pictures on Twitter, saying: "Why did we send $54 billion to Ukraine, so Zelensky & his wife could pose for Vogue? You're at war & you've got time for photo shoots?"

Another user said: "Massive amount of Ukrainian soldiers dying every day, Zelensky: Let's have a vogue shooting"

Author Tim Young questioned the pictures, writing: "Did taxpayer money fund Zelensky's Vogue cover shoot? Not a dime more for Ukraine."

[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/ScottPresler/status/1552282866192629761]]
[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/Levi_godman/status/1552031687365861376]]
[[twitterwidger||https://twitter.com/TimRunsHisMouth/status/1552276876483239936]]

Despite the backlash,  Zelenska shared the pictures on her Instagram saying that being on Vogue's cover is a "great honor" and a "dream of many successful and prominent people of the world".

She continued by saying she would like readers to see "every Ukrainian woman" who "fights, volunteers, settles in a refugee camp, does her job under the sound of a siren, holds on under the occupation" in her place.

"She has the right and deserves to be on the covers of the whole world. Each of you, fellow Ukrainian women, is now the face and cover of our country," Zelenka concluded in her caption.

Featured image credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy