Pictures of Zelensky Taken 41 Days Apart Show Effects of War

Journalist Katya Gorchinskaya took to Twitter on Monday to share two powerful images of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to Gorchinskaya, the images were taken 41 days apart. The first photo was taken during a meeting in Kyiv on February 23, the day before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The second was taken in Bucha on April 4, 40 days into the Russia-Ukraine War.

The photos have amassed more than 430,000 likes and over 78,000 retweets while highlighting the "heartbreaking" toll the war has had on Zelensky's appearance.

In the first image, Zelensky dons a tight-lipped smile as he awaits the arrival of Andrzej Duda and Gitanas Nausėda, the presidents of Poland and Lithuania, respectively.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
A recent side-by-side photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky 41 days apart has garnered the attention of Twitter. Here, Zelensky speaks to the press in the town of Bucha on April 4. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / Contributor/Getty

According to the official government website for the President of Ukraine, the three men discussed "cooperation between the three countries within international organizations," including Ukraine's EU status.

A gallery of images taken on that day shows Zelensky looking happy and hopeful—a rather stark contrast to how Zelenksy appears in the second image shared by Gorchinskaya.

Taken a day following reports that Russian forces had massacred Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha, Zelensky—who is seen wearing body armor—looks weathered as he speaks to members of the press.

"These are war crimes and will be recognized by the world as genocide," Zelensky said during his appearance in Bucha. "It's very difficult to talk when you see what they've done here."

Though the images were taken only 41 days apart, Twitter users felt that Zelensky looked markedly different in both photos. Of course, stress has been known to affect peoples' appearances.

Speaking to the American Institute of Stress, Dr. Janice Lima-Maribona said stress can cause acne and "exacerbate conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and atopic dermatitis." Dr. Julie Russak added that stress can also lead to dull skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.

Other physical manifestations of stress include hair loss and joint pain, said the institute.

Commenters were moved by the now-viral photos of Zelensky and tweeted their support for Ukraine.

"He carries the whole of Ukraine on his shoulders. He stands with you all, as we stand with you too," said Betty Boo.

"This wears on everyone. He may look a little worse than in the beginning but his resolve and resolve of the world that he has united is stronger than any atrocities Russia can commit," wrote Brian Roland.

"His is the face of a man who feels the pain of the Ukrainian people, who mourns for the loss of their lives. He is a true leader and hero for all of us," commented Marco.

Stacey C added: "The heartbreak in his face is palpable. My heart breaks for every single Ukrainian."

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