Economist criticized for complaining about Zelensky wearing a t-shirt during Congress speech

Economist criticized for complaining about Zelensky wearing a t-shirt during Congress speech
Ukraine's Zelenskyy addresses US Congress

On Wednesday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky virtually addressed US Congress to implore the US to provide more aid to Ukraine as Russia continues to bombard cities and one economist didn't find Zelensky's clothing professional enough.

It is day 19 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than two million Ukrainians have fled the country, and major cities are crumbling from Russian bombs.

In an effort to obtain more aid from across the globe, Zelensky has held video call meetings with several organizations and governments. Earlier in March the Ukrainian President virtually addressed the EU and Members of Parliament in the UK.

Each time Zelensky virtually addresses a group, the president wears casual clothing and calls from a secret location in Ukraine.

But Peter Schiff, an American economist and financial commentator, did not find Zelensky's outfit endearing. Schiff tweeted on Wednesday criticizing Zelensky's lack of professional attire following his virtual meeting with Congress.

Sign up for our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Schiff's tweet was met with immediate backlash by other Twitter users urging Schiff to be more empathetic with the Ukrainian President.

"Dude, not only is he in a war-zone, where I'm sure it's hard to get a suit press and dry clean, but even if it was possible, it's favorable for people to see him as one of them sharing the struggle," Jonathan replied to Schiff.

Schiff defended his stance, saying "He would not have had to press a suit. I'm sure he had a clean suit hanging in the same closet as his t-shirts. Plus even if there were not suits available, maybe a long-sleeved shirt with a collar."

Zelensky had made it abundantly clear to the people of Ukraine that he stands with them in the fight against Russia. When offered to fly out of Ukraine for his own safety, Zelensky denied it.

The Ukrainian president famously asked citizens to not hang his photo in their homes upon his election, instead "hang photos of your children there, and before every decision, look them in the eye.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.

To sign the petition click here.

If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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)