The Ukrainian leader was blasted online for posing for the magazine with his wife amid the ongoing military conflict. In the midst of the military war with Russia, the most recent issue of Vogue, which featured a glossy photoshoot with Ukrainian President Zelensky and his wife Olena, had a mixed response online.
Despite the fact that the story mostly focused on Zelenska, the couple was photographed together for the article by renowned photographer Annie Leibowitz.
It’s titled: ‘Portrait of Bravery: Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska.’
Following the article’s release, conservative lawmakers and commentators used the picture session as justification for why the US should not have given Ukraine $40 billion in aid to support its war against Russia.
Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert tweeted: ‘While we send Ukraine $60 billion in aid Zelensky is doing photoshoots for Vogue Magazine. These people think we are nothing but a bunch of suckers.’
The article was written by Paris-based journalist Rachel Donadio. On Twitter, Donadio referred to the piece as: ‘One of the most moving and memorable assignments of my career.’
Zelenska told Vogue: ‘These have been the most horrible months of my life, and the lives of every Ukrainian.’
She went on: ‘Frankly I don’t think anyone is aware of how we have managed emotionally. We’re looking forward to victory. We have no doubt we will prevail. And this is what keeps us going.’
The former comedy writer added: ‘I like being backstage—it suited me. Moving into the limelight was quite difficult for me.’
Conservative activist Scott Presler tweeted: ‘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?’
Texas Congresswoman Mayra Flores tweeted: ‘Biden: Let’s continue to send billions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine, they need it!’ She added: ‘Reality: The Zelensky family graces us with a photo shoot to be on the cover of Vogue magazine.’
Erwin said: ‘An outstanding profile. Olena Zelenska has done an incredible job representing her people, ensuring the world knows the story of women and children of Ukraine – and continuing to give voice to the many in need.’
Pro Ukrainian activist Val Voschevska posted an analysis of the photoshoot on an Instagram Post writing in part: ‘She is who she is and I love it. She looks like any of us after a long day at the office – the only difference is that her job is protecting her country from war.’
A Ukrainian citizen wrote in the comments section on Vogue’s official Instagram: ‘Thank you Vogue for bringing awareness about Ukraine from the voices of actual Ukrainians.’
Zelensky has also appeared on the cover of Wired magazine for their September/October release.
Zelensky said: ‘We are all in a social network. It is no longer about whether it is good or not; most of our lives are already online. People study online, get information; people read, and people use it. This is our world now. It is divided.
‘The internet is a reality. It is not another world, but rather a modern reality. So if you want people to perceive you as you are, you must use what people use.’
‘The value of life has changed. So let’s say that my attitude has changed, as I do not pay attention to trivialities anymore, and there are clear aspects on which I am focused.
‘The question of the price of freedom, which we learned from books in school, has now become a reality. You know this price. You have seen the number of people who died.’
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 12,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the invasion. Millions more have been displaced.
Just last week, Zelenska flew to Washington DC to meet with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
When asked what it was like to know that her family’s movement is being watched by Russia, Zelenska said: ‘I can’t think about it too seriously, because otherwise, I would become paranoid.’
She said of the dystopian novel ‘1984’ by George Orwell: ‘It’s a horrible coincidence. It’s a picture of what is happening in Russia these days.’
Speaking about his wife in the interview, the Ukrainian president said: ‘Of course, she is my love. But she is my greatest friend. She is also a patriot and she deeply loves Ukraine. It’s true. And she is an excellent mother.’
The couple also recently appeared for an interview with Piers Morgan.
The Ukrainian president told his wife: ‘When you are talking, your opinion has priority. What I would say is I don’t have any other experience. I’ve got only one wife and I am happy. I have one wife, one love and one family. I never got any feeling there was anything wrong with us in or in our relationship. Or maybe do you feel unhappy with me sometimes?,’ according to the Daily Telegraph.
Zelensky continued: ‘The war is making our relationship stronger, that’s for sure.’