I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying At These Tweets About The Ukrainian Ambassador At The SOTU
This moment was so much.
When President Joe Biden began his very first State of the Union address on March 1, 2022, viewers were curious as to how he would address the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it wasn’t only Biden who addressed the conflict — first lady Jill Biden also sent a message of Ukrainian support by inviting Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, as her guest to the speech. After the appearance, these tweets about seeing the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States at the 2022 State of the Union show that people are deep in their feels about this tribute to the ambassador during the president’s speech.
Prior to the live speech, the White House announced in a press release that Ukrainian Ambassador Markarova would be among the first lady’s invited guests in her viewing box. Also in attendance were second gentleman Doug Emhoff, and President Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens, among others others. Jill Biden has been supportive of Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24 — and even wore a subtle tribute to Ukraine as part of her outfit to the event on March 1 — so it was a welcome show of solidarity.
But it was a mention in the speech itself that had people feeling a whole lot. “In this struggle, as [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy said in his speech to the European Parliament, ‘light will win over darkness,’” Biden said in his speech. “The Ukrainian ambassador to the United States is here tonight. Let each of us here tonight in this chamber send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world. Please rise if you are able and show that, yes — we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people.”
As the crowd stood and cheered, Markarova was visibly emotional, putting her hand over her heard and mouthing “thank you” in English before hugging first lady Jill Biden. And across the internet, people were emotional along with her.
On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, an aggressive military move that has been met with widespread condemnation from the international community. As of March 1, hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been reported killed, and thousands have fled the country even as Ukraine put up a stiff resistance to Russian troops. However, Russia’s superior military force means it remains wildly uncertain what will happen next.
Markarova, who was appointed as the country’s ambassador by Zelenskyy in February 2021, has voiced her strong opposition of the war on social media — in fact, Markarova has tweeted her support for her country every day since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. On Feb. 24, she retweeted a video of the invasion with the hashtag “#StopRussianAggression,” and on Feb. 26, she shared an inspiring message with her 10,6000 followers that read, “We defend our homes, families, freedom and sovereignty of our peaceful country. We will not surrender.”
On Feb. 27, the first lady shared her thoughts and some words of encouragement in a five-tweet long thread. In the final tweet of the thread, she wrote, “Joe and I continue to pray for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.” She also echoed the statement in a post shared to her Instagram account the same day.
Given how vocal Dr. Biden and Markarova have been on Twitter recently, it’s pretty fitting that the first lady and ambassador set Twitter ablaze with messages of support during the State of the Union address.