Last Saturday, the head of state used a Soviet multipurpose MiG-29 fighter jet to fly to a military airfield in the Vinnytsia region in order to congratulate military pilots on the Ukrainian Air Force Day, a move that was perceived by some people as "cheap PR."
"The Ukrainian president flying with an old MiG-29 — is a miserable counterfeit and a ridiculous attempt to show off," military observer Viktor Baranets said in an exclusive interview with Zvezda TV channel.
"Petro Poroshenko wants to be like all dignified presidents. Of course, this is a PR campaign, of course, it's an attempt to show off. Look, Ukrainian aviation as such does not exist, especially after a huge number of aircrafts were destroyed in the southeast of Ukraine…. Poroshenko wanted people to be proud of him, but prompted lots of jokes instead," he continued.
Social media users reacted to Poroshenko's move with irony. Many of them made fun of the Ukrainian leader's flight.
A Twitter user nicknamed Russian Code wrote:
5 августа ко Дню ВВС Украины Порошенко, сделал вид, что на Украине есть ВВС, и прокатился на истребителе МиГ-29 pic.twitter.com/Vz949nl7eq— Russian Code (@RussiaInHeart) 5 августа 2017 г.
"On August 5, on the Ukrainian Air Force Day, Poroshenko pretended that there is actually an air force in Ukraine, and flew with the MiG-29 fighter jet."
Another Twitter user nicknamed gaewmaxim ironically wondered if the law on decommunization adopted in Ukraine does not apply to the Soviet technology.
Декоммунизация советской техники не касается что ли?…хитрецы— gaewmaxim (@gaewmaxim) 5 августа 2017 г.
"The president is the lucky one. Using his official position, he flew a modern fighter like a taxi with his own driver — the colonel general," another social media user wrote on Facebook.
"It's unpatriotic to fly a MiG-29," another commentator said, implying the fact that the fighter jet was manufactured by the Soviet Union.
Now users of social networks are waiting for Poroshenko to "take a trip on board of a submarine."
Жду, когда Порошенко на подлодке прокатится!— Баба-Ехидна (@valerushka74) 5 августа 2017 г.