Zelensky's face after meeting Macron becomes instant meme

Zelensky's face after meeting Macron becomes instant meme
Zelensky welcomes European leaders to Kyiv

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky met with EU leaders in Kyiv on Thursday and became an instant meme after he appeared to look unimpressed with French president Emmanuel Macron.

The 44-year-old met with Macron as well as the Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Romanian president Klaus Iohannis for lengthy talks after the trio travelled on an overnight train together.

All of them visited the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, where Russian forces were closest to the country's capital city.

At a joint news conference later on that day, Zelensky sported his classic olive green T-shirt, his European counterparts all turned up in suits as they discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine with Russia.

Altogether, the four EU nations of France, Italy, Germany and Romania backed Ukraine to be given "immediate" candidacy to join the EU after the country has previously expressed an interest in membership.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Macron slammed Russia for the "war, destruction and chaos" committed in the region and told Zelensky: "Europe is at your side and will stay there for as long as it takes," Financial Times reported.

But it was a photograph taken of Zelensky and Macron that was the talk of the internet as Macron embraced the Ukrainian leader while Zelensky looked uncomfortable and stared straight at the camera in an image that looks like a still straight from TV comedy The Office.

The moment Ukrainian President Zelensky looks straight at the camera as he is awkwardly hugged by French President Emmanuel MacronPhoto by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The pair have previously had a difference in opinion where Macron had said it was important not to "humiliate" Moscow to which Zelensky commented in response: "We are not going to humiliate anyone, we are going to respond in kind," Reuters reported.

Whatever the reason behind the expression, the internet certainly had a field day with the photo as Zelenskyy's expression and Macron's awkward hug became an instant meme as people came up with their best captions on Twitter.

For some, it reminded them of a particular meme of the past where a man was photographed talking to a woman who had an unimpressed expression on her face inside Milk, a nightclub in Edinburgh in 2018.

Patrick Richie and Lucia Gorman were identified as the man and woman in the picture, as Gorman told BBC Newsbeat she was ready to go home as she caught up with the fellow student.

Perhaps, Zelensky felt the same way given the meme comparison...

Meanwhile, the Ukraine forum on Reddit also posted the photo with the caption: "Your face when you persuaded Macron stop bothering Putin with the phone calls."

This has received over 26,000 upvotes as people were amused at Zelensky's stare at the camera.

One person said: “Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation."

"In another world, this would be a rom-com I would definitely watch," another person wrote.

Someone else added: "Zelensky has perfected that 'Mr. Steal Your Girl' look. Total boss move."

"Zelensky looks straight into the camera like he's on The Office," a fourth person commented.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)