An awkward picture of Macron and Zelenskyy has become an instant internet meme

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron following a press conference in Kiev on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Social media users were quick with their jokes about a seemingly awkward moment between Zelenskyy and Macron.Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP

  • French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met in Kiev.

  • An awkward picture of Macron and Zelenskyy from the visit has become an instant internet meme.

  • The picture shows Zelenskyy, who does not seem to reciprocate Macron’s seemingly enthusiastic hugs.

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a warm hug, but his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy seems less than enthusiastic.

This is what it looks like in a picture of the two leaders, which has since become an instant internet meme.

AFP photographer Ludovic Marin, who took the photo in Kiev last week, said Macron said something in Zelensky’s ear at the time. The two had just concluded a joint press conference with other EU leaders.

“Why is Zelensky looking at us? I do not know,” Marin commented on the photo, according to AFP. “It’s true that there is a difference in the way they look, which is very striking.”

Social media was quick with their jokes about the seemingly awkward moment.

imagines the words of Macron, Tanya Kozyreva, a Ukraine-based journalist, tweeted: “Me talking to him does not mean anything, I have always loved you.” Her joke referred to how Macron has held regular phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Find yourself someone looking at you like Macron looks at Zelenskyy,” another Twitter user said wrote.

“Now I understand why President Putin has so far a table,” tweeted another person, referring to photos of Putin and Macron sitting at opposite ends of a 13-foot-long table during a February meeting in Moscow.

The photo incident was not the first time the internet has been fascinated by Macron’s interactions with other foreign leaders.

In 2017, the Internet went wild over a white-knuckle handshake that Macron shared with then-President Donald Trump. The following year, Macron reportedly shook hands with Trump so firmly that it left an imprint on the latter’s hand.

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