Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a daring visit to Washington, DC, on Wednesday.He met with US President Joe Biden and delivered a speech to applause from Congress.
During Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the US Congress — his first-known foray out of war-torn Ukraine — the Ukrainian leader gave a roiling speech in a casual, olive-green crewneck.
Since the start of the war, whether at his palace, in a bunker, or near the action, Zelenskyy’s attire has been toned down a notch from the typical black suit and clean-shaven getup that he sported in his pre-war years. The Ukrainian president’s more rugged look — complete with a beard — was on display Wednesday as he addressed lawmakers to raucous applause and compliments on his quotidian look.
Early on Wednesday, Zelenskyy met with Biden, asking his counterpart for more military and humanitarian aid. The Ukrainian president also shared a special message of praise with Biden from a Ukrainian soldier and requested further aid from Congress.
Zelenskyy’s defiant speech drew out multiple minutes-long standing ovations from across the aisle. And as he delivered the speech, he was sporting another M-TAC sweater, the US clothing company that makes Zelenskyy’s signature olive-green fleece sweaters.
And in fact, in May the sweater became so popular that the vendor went out of stock, promising only to restock upon a Ukrainian “victory.” One of Zelenskyy’s own M-TAC sweaters was auctioned off in London for $11,000.
In early December, the Ukrainian president told the Financial Times in an interview that he would keep on wearing his new outfit, ditching the suit until after the war is over. He added that he would keep his beard for now, too.
During the war, the Ukrainian leader has also worn a T-shirt with a meme mocking Russian troops from a brand started by a former local Ukrainian journalist.
Members of Congress took note of Zelenskyy’s fashion choices as well. Rep. Matt Gaetz, of Florida, who has opposed additional aid for Ukraine and remained seated during standing ovations, complimented the wartime leader’s fit.
“I loved the fashion choices,” Gaetz said, according to The Dispatch, which added that his position on Ukraine aid was not swayed.