Ukrainians Poke Fun at Defence Minister Spotted Wearing ‘Armoured Bra’
18:30 GMT 02.01.2022 (Updated: 19:04 GMT 19.10.2022)
© Photo : Office of the President of UkraineCropped image of a photo put out by the Ukrainian President's Office showing President Zelensky with a general and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov wearing an ill-fitting suit.
© Photo : Office of the President of Ukraine
The minister’s strange outfit was spotted in a group photo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other defence officials.
Ukrainian Facebook users have enjoyed a laugh at Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov’s expense over an ill-fitting suit which made it appear as though he has breasts.
Reznikov and President Zelensky took a group photo on Saturday after the president appointed General Yuri Galushkin as commander of the army’s territorial defence forces. An official statement on the appointment listed Galushkin’s many accomplishments, and pointed to Ukraine’s advances in the creation of an effective territorial fighting force.
However, all that Facebook users seemed able to focus on was Reznikov’s outfit.
“Who’s this guy with the barely buttonable jacket on the right? Is he wearing an armoured bra?” one joker asked.
“Who gave Reznikov this suit? This is an imperative question of defence! War is on our doorstep, and here he is wearing such a suit!” one user complained.
“Would it be possible at all for the defence minister to put on a normal suit before taking the photo? Because I am embarrassed,” another wrote.
Others tried to focus on more substantive issues, such as the alleged overstaffing of Ukraine’s military command. “All this endless growth of the staff of officials in the ministries and state structures comes at the expense of the people’s money. In the apparatus of the Ministry of Defence alone there are over 37,000 personnel; there’s no end in sight and everyone is enjoying their cozy positions,” one person grumbled.
Some commentators even took a more conspiratorial tone, suggesting that apparently not everyone in the military was happy about Reznikov’s appointment to the defence ministry. “Such horrible photos are surely not a coincidence, but a direct hint by someone to the staff of the press office?” one user suggested.
Reznikov assumed office as Ukraine’s defence minister in November, previously serving as deputy prime minister, and minister ‘for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories’ – a position created in 2016, ostensibly to brainstorm ways to try to restore Ukraine’s control over Crimea and the militia-controlled areas of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Reznikov got into a spat with German officials last month after accusing Berlin of vetoing a NATO delivery of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems.
The laughter over Reznikov’s ‘armoured bra’ comes as a much-needed break from rising regional tensions amid months of claims by Kiev and its western allies that Russia has concentrated tens of thousands of troops on the border in preparation to “invade” Ukraine. Moscow has grown weary of denying these claims, accusing the West of artificially pumping up tensions as a pretext for new sanctions, and a distraction from internal problems.