In tears, on his knees, and with a victory sign: the most powerful photos of Valerii Zaluzhnyi that went viral
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who was dismissed from his post as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on February 8, was regularly in the camera lens. His photographs often conveyed the pain of the entire nation, less often they became memes and made people laugh, and sometimes even reminded Ukrainians of the past.
The "iron" general almost never refused to take a selfie, but the genuine emotions of the military could usually be read on his face in the most vulnerable moments: when he was alone, during the funerals of heroes, etc. OBOZ.UA decided to show the most powerful footage of Valerii that was seen not only in Ukraine but also around the world.
In the summer of 2023, General Zaluzhnyi posed for a portrait in his office in the building of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv. His penetrating gaze aroused a storm of emotions in the audience, and the picture was shared by many foreign media outlets without any unnecessary pathos.
One of the most tragic photos that the former chief of staff came across was taken at the funeral of the hero of Ukraine Dmytro Kotsyubaylo, known by his call sign "Da Vinci". The general knelt down in front of the coffin and the relatives of the fallen soldier.
Another emotional shot of the former commander-in-chief appeared after his speech during a press conference in Kyiv. The "iron" general rarely showed his emotions, but he never hid them either.
After he was dismissed from his post, a photo of Andriy Nesterenko, where the Hero of Ukraine looks up in the Verkhovna Rada, began to be more actively circulated online. Viacheslav Chornovil once had a similar photo.
However, the general did not always look pensive and sad. Often his photos inspired Ukrainians and gave them faith in victory. For example, a photo by Hanna Malyar, where he showed a "V" sign, which means, among other things, the word "Victory".
There were also days when the former head of the army unknowingly became a meme hero. For example, last June, he gave his subordinates a task to wear a patch in the form of a fantastic character, Grog.
The photo with the "heart" that the general addressed to the camera was taken back in 2021, but it became known during the news of mobilization.
"In the photo, the commander-in-chief, Valeriy Zaluzhny, when he was informed that the separatists' BC warehouse had exploded, and as a result, we have a bunch of stumps of Zaporizhzhia origin," the post read.
During the Independence Day celebrations on August 24, 2023, Zaluzhnyi showed his intention to defeat the occupiers with his whole appearance.