Volodymyr Zelensky Is Not a Meme


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s family photo keeps appearing in my social media feeds. Perhaps you’ve seen it, too. The picture shows the politician alongside his wife and daughter, holding his son in his lap. Father and son grin, wearing superhero facepaint. It is a happy moment. This photo is captioned with a snippet of Zelensky’s inauguration speech from 2019: “I do not want my picture in your offices. The president is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.”

As Ukraine continues to fight against Russia’s invasion, its 44-year-old president has transformed into a beloved wartime leader. As such, this isn’t the only Zelensky imagery going viral right now. There’s also a front-facing video he made with his cabinet members as they hunkered down in Kyiv, as well as photos of him…

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