Ukrainian President, First Lady Criticized For 'Tone Deaf' Photo Shoot

Ukrainian President, First Lady Criticized For 'Tone Deaf' Photo Shoot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska are being criticized over some recent magazine coverage.

The backlash began on Tuesday, July 26 with the unveiling of Vogue's October digital cover about Zelenska and her leadership amidst Russia's unprovoked invasion of her country, which was accompanied by an editorial photoshoot by Annie Leibovitz. And though the publication's Instagram positioned it as a spotlight on the First Lady's strength as "a key player, a frontline diplomat and the face of her nation's emotional toll," the piece actually ended up garnering a large amount of pushback for its "tone deaf" glamour shots of Zelenska amidst the ongoing conflict, including photos of her posing inside a bunker and standing in front of a bombed-out plane, as well as couple's portraits shot in what appeared to be Kyiv's Mariinsky Palace.

"something about them posing in the war zone doesn’t sit right with me…," as one user opined beneath Vogue's post, while multiple others accused everyone involved with the article of "romanticizing war" by "using war scenes as background for vogue editorial."

Elsewhere online, many more echoed these sentiments by commenting things like "massive amount of ukrainian soldiers dying every day, Zelensky : lets have a vogue shooting" and asking why Zelensky and Zelenska would focus on this kind of publicity while Ukraine is experiencing "a complete loss of sovereignty, a poor country, currency devaluation, a third of agricultural land sold to US corporations [and] the last grain is exported."

"When your people are dying in a #NATO proxy war and you pose for Vogue you are not a leader," as another said. "you are a morally bankrupt NATO-controlled parasite who sends his own people to death while dressing up & prostituting himself to Western warlords."

Neither Zelenska nor Zelensky have responded to the backlash.

Photo via Getty / Brendan Hoffman