‘The new meme and symbol of Ukrainian firmness’: Viral footage shows Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Zelenskyy holding ceramic cocks


Over the weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Ukraine. A portion of a viral video of Johnson walking around Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has the internet scratching its collective head. The seemingly strange video shows the pair holding an item that has become an unlikely symbol of Ukrainian resolve.

The footage shows Johnson and Zelenskyy holding matching ceramic chickens that the woman standing between them had just given them. An image of the moment was featured by a Twitter account dedicated to “insane moments in British politics.”

As bizarre as the moment appears, it actually makes sense.

Ceramic roosters—or cocks, if you prefer—have come to signify Ukrainian resistance and resilience as the nation defends itself from the Russian invasion.

Ukraine recently regained control of Borodyanka, a small town northwest of Kyiv, the capital. Russians left the town in ruins. Zelenskyy has said that the civilian casualties there are worse than in Bucha, where more then 300 people were tortured and killed, leading to international condemnation and calls to prosecute Russians for war crimes.

One image from the destruction in Borodyanka swiftly became a surprising symbol of hope. The photo shows a decimated apartment building. Part of the structure is blown away, exposing the interior wall of what was once someone’s kitchen. A perfectly intact ceramic rooster sits atop a cabinet on that wall.

The woman mentioned this when she gave Johnson and Zelenskyy the roosters. “I’ve bought them for my Polish friends. Those roosters are the same as on the kitchen cabinet in Borodyanka. And I want to give you them as a present,” she reportedly said.

The unlikeliness of the cabinet and the rooster surviving a blast that took down a large portion of a brick building inspired people around the world.

The image is now a meme that signifies Ukrainian strength.

The ceramic rooster was originally designed by famed Ukrainian artist and sculptor Prokop Bidasiuk. The already famous image of the replica that survived the bombing has introduced citizens of the internet to Bidasiuk’s art.

In the midst of a brutal war that produces fresh horrors every day, that photo and the rooster itself are inspiring hope and resolve. “The symbol that was left standing on kitchen cabinet in a bombed building now represents Ukraine holding on,” @arthuryatsenko tweeted.

“Beautiful symbol,” another person wrote. “Like this cockerel, Ukraine will also rise from the ashes.”

People were also moved by the woman giving Johnson and Zelenskyy the roosters.

“My artist/maker heart belongs to the woman from Kharkiv gifting them her two ceramic chicken tea/coffee pots at the end. Bless her & #SlavaUkraini,” tweeted @Kambrieldesign.

User @Mutslaven called it “the new meme and symbol of Ukrainian firmness.”

Many people said they want a Bidasiuk rooster or a copy of the image in various formats ranging from T-shirts to posters.

“One day I will travel to Ukraine and get myself one too!” one Twitter user vowed.

Source: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/ulraine-zelenskyy-boris-johnson-ceramic-cocks-memes/