Ukraine's Ambassador Demands Apology from French Presenters for Joke about "Zelenskyy's Circus"

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

The French TV channel RTL has been caught in a scandal over a bad joke about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the Ukrainian side is demanding an apology.

Vadym Omelchenko, Ukraine’s Ambassador to France, posted on Twitter an excerpt from one of the programmes on RTL. The presenter begins the broadcast with a reminder that the day before (15 May), President Zelenskyy was in the Élysée Palace "with his big top".

Later in the programme, "Zelenskyy's circus tour of Europe" and his meetings with European politicians is announced like an advertisement for a circus performance "to help Ukraine".

"What cynicism and tactlessness, not characteristic of the friendly French people. No empathy, no [sense of – ed.] responsibility. I demand you apologise to my president and the people of Ukraine, who are suffering and fighting for their freedom, but also your freedom and your opportunity to enjoy a carefree life," Omelchenko captioned the video.

Earlier, the France 24 TV channel became caught up in a scandal when one of its film crews visited a camp where Russian occupation forces participating in the aggressive war against Ukraine are being trained.

As a result, the TV channel filmed the story without mentioning that the Russian military is carrying out illegal aggression against Ukraine. Instead, the Russian military boasted that their weapons are better than Western ones, in particular, than Leopard tanks. One of the heroes of the story also said that he was "protecting the history" of his country "with dignity". Another Russian soldier said that he was not afraid of a counteroffensive by Ukrainian troops.

After the publicity, France 24 TV withdrew the controversial story (Ukr), and Vadym Omelchenko, Ukraine's Ambassador to France, has responded to the TV channel's story containing elements of Russian propaganda.

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