Call it the war with the best production value. A propaganda war is being fought between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin. From the slick production of videos about a fighter pilot that never existed to the tall tale about the brave soldiers at Snake Island who all perished, it is easy to see why so many in the West have a Ukrainian flag somewhere in their social media profile.
But it was all garbage wrapped around a sliver of truth at best. Then there was the parade of global dignitaries visiting the war zone, seemingly carefree. First Lady Jill Biden went instead of her husband. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went. So did U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Even Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) made a bipartisan trip to get their pictures taken with Zelenskyy. The photo ops that say you were there. Of course, Graham and Blumenthal left with plaques after making profoundly concerning statements about an ongoing conflict:
🇺🇦 appreciates support of 🇺🇸. Today, during the trip to Kyiv, US Senators @LindseyGrahamSC & @SenBlumenthal visited the exhibition of destroyed 🇷🇺 military equipment-war crimes evidence of 🇷🇺. In the result they stated: russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism! pic.twitter.com/XsJchlYRxz
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) July 7, 2022
Today we were treated to a glowing photo spread of Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska in Vogue. This spread follows glowing profiles in some lesser publications such as Today, People, and Parade. These outlets compiled their pieces from Zelenska’s public statements and career profile. Vogue sent an interview crew into a war zone.
Like her husband, Zalenska comes from the entertainment world. And it looks like their experience in staging and character playing came in handy during the photoshoot. One short video clip shows Zelenskyy directing the shoot and staging what looks like an airplane shot down by Russian pilots brought into a hangar just for effect. You have to wonder what the Ukrainian mothers who have watched their sons and husbands be retained in the country to fight the Russian Army think about Zelenska’s perfectly styled hair and make-up and dramatic poses:
Send more money to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/e0ftjcW4HZ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 27, 2022
Here she is putting on the face of the war in the cover shot:
“We have no doubt we will prevail.” As the war in Ukraine enters a critical new phase, the country’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, has become a key player—a frontline diplomat and the face of her nation’s emotional toll. https://t.co/DCXWYnzAsK pic.twitter.com/wcaY5IFGHf
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) July 26, 2022
America has sent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Ukraine with almost no oversight on how our money or equipment gets used. We do not need a glowing profile of the wife of the president of a corrupt oligarchy that happens to be fighting another corrupt oligarchy. What most Americans want is a plan to end this scuffle. The longer it continues, the more likely a more significant conflict between global powers becomes. That eventuality has almost no support within the United States.
If Vogue wanted to do a profile, they should have gone to the military hospital. Interview a wounded soldier retained by Zelenskyy whose wife and children wonder about his fate in a refugee camp in Poland. Or go to the refugee camp. They could have talked to a mother who lost her only son in the fight. None of these people would be difficult to find. By now, Ukraine is full of them. While many Americans have no taste for a conflict between left-wing globalists in the World Economic Forum and left-wing nationalists in Russia and its allies in China and Iran fought through a proxy, we certainly feel tremendous empathy for the regular Ukrainians caught in the middle.
It is not the first time Vogue exercised poor judgment. In 2011, the magazine produced a glowing profile of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asma a-Assad. Called “A Rose in the Desert,” it praised the couple as a “wildly democratic,” family-focused couple who vacation in Europe, foster Christianity, are at ease with American celebrities, made theirs the “safest country in the Middle East,” and want to give Syria a brand essence.” Assad’s army had killed 5,000 Syrians, including children, by early 2012, and Vogue memory-holed the article, but the internet is forever.
One has to wonder if this article will end up similarly ditched by the outlet depending on the outcome and what the world finds out after the fact. Because while this has been a wonderfully produced conflict by Zelenskyy so far, war is hell. And most often, neither side emerges looking wonderful no matter how much those who pick a side might want to see martyrs, not warlords.