- During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President was an Internet star.
- Her quick and easy selfie videos have garnered reactions from across Ukraine.
- Fans started creating memes and fancams for him, causing disagreements over the tone.
A video begins with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, walking down a hallway. He moves from side to side, looking at himself and nodding. He is expressionless.
Tyler, the Creator’s camera is flashing. “NEW MAGIC WAND” plays. The bass suddenly drops in a flash. The shot changes to slow-motion footage of Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, smiling as he walks along a bright road flanked by cheering fans.
This video, which was uploaded to TikTok on Saturday, is just one in a growing micro-genre. “Zelensky edits.” Flashy photographs of the Ukrainian leader show him as an affable and strong protagonist against a cold and angry Putin.
Often referred to as “fancams”, these are a very popular type of tribute content on the internet, especially among K-pop fans, who are the original creators of the genre. Now it is used for Zelensky Despite Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The posts come as the Ukrainian leader has leveraged his own social media presence – in a way that seems quite contrary to the Russian president – to drum up support for his under attack country.
The head of state assured the Ukrainian people in a video that he would not flee the country despite the rumors he had.
“We are all here. Our soldiers are there. The citizens of our country are here,” Zelensky said in the video Since being posted on Telegram last week, the video has had almost 5 million views. Zelensky appeared to speak with unflinching confidence while surrounded by advisers in the capital of Kiev.
Insider received these videos from Dr. Paul Booth of DePaul University as a professor of digital communication media arts. “an ordinary person, not a global elite, not as ‘President of Ukraine’.”
“It’s very comfortable, like we can talk to him,” Booth said, adding that he “uses a lot of the same ‘aesthetic’ techniques that “fans themselves use on social media.”
Zelensky, an actor and comedian, was elected President of Ukraine with 73% of the vote in 2019. The ability to make statements from a podium has been replaced by the ability to check in on a single device that appears to be devoid of professional equipment.
Putin, however, does not post any of his social media posts. His solemn public announcements, although taped, would have been pre-recorded and broadcast live. Noted slate.
Zelensky “speaks directly not just to people in Ukraine, but to people around the world,” Insider spoke with Xavier University’s Dr. Ashley Hinck. She is an assistant professor in communication.
“It’s in line with internet practices,” Hinck said. “These selfie videos were well done.”
Posts about Zelensky raise concerns about tone during war
Tweets about the Ukrainian president have been liked by hundreds of thousands of people.
“Impossible to describe how amazing President Zelensky is,” AA Londoner with over 100,000 likes. Tweet from a UK Parliament staff memberRead more “every woman in your life now has at least one small crush”Zelensky has arranged for a double engagement.
The sentiment quickly drew backlash. Jezebel published an op-ed calling for an end to “Zelensky’s thirst”, BuzzFeed News reported that the internet’s response was called “the internet’s response”. “Peak Cringe.”
The Zelensky hashtags have received over 350 million combined views on TikTok. The best videos feature quick, punchy zooms that show the politician smiling or in military gear.
Zelensky is the subject of one of the most popular TikTok videos. The fictional depiction of Zelensky and Putin’s breakup is called “The Breakup”. It has over 3 million views and over 500,000 likes. “best buddies” Clips of fires and incinerated buildings are intercut throughout the video. Music by Olivia Rodrigo plays throughout the video. “traitor.”
You can also see videos of TikTokers in other posts Declaring their attractionZelensky’s official Ukrainian Twitter accountHe has also gone viral for his own social media posts. MemesInformation about the conflict
In A message from February 24, 2009Ukraine’s official Twitter account invited followers to tweet “@Russia and tell them what you think of them”. The post elicited a variety of responses – memes, like Putin sporting a drawn mustacheGenuine and sincere expressions of support for Ukraine, including for a Auschwitz Memorial Statement.
Hinck claimed that the war on Ukraine was more serious than most cases of digital fandom. “political candidates in the Iowa Caucus in the United States” or “pop idols raising money for charity”.
“The tragedy of war seems so, so overwhelming in this case, and I think the tone matters,” she said. “It’s an important conversation that citizens can have with each other.”
Fans always come to “push the envelope,” Booth said Booth thought a lot of people were involved in the project. “dealing with emotional issues through humor” or by “highlighting what stresses them out”.
Booth indicated that some people or consumers might even like it. “cathartic or helpful.”
“In any kind of fan engagement, there will always be disagreements about the levels of emotion, the levels of affect, and how that translates into different media creations,” he said. “It can be seen as shedding light on a situation itself, but at the same time there are a lot of people who are taking this situation very seriously.”