LONDON — President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has landed in the U.K. in his signature green army sweater from U.S. clothing brand M-Tac.
He was greeted with a big hug by Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Stansted Airport in Essex, a county in the east of England. Meanwhile at 10 Downing Street, a red carpet was being rolled out awaiting Zelensky’s visit, where he posed with Sunak for a photo-op.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Zelensky has stripped off his politician uniform of sleek navy suits and dark jewel-tone ties for a utilitarian wardrobe of padded puffers; hooded fleece jackets; cargo pants, and Saucony dad trainers.
Zelensky’s new look has mass appeal with the general public, world leaders and celebrities becoming disciples of his mission for peace for Ukraine. At a fundraising event hosted in May 2022 by the Ukraine Embassy at the Tate Modern in London, Zelensky’s khaki green sweater sold for 90,000 pounds.
Sunak was business as usual in his slim-fitted tailored suit. The prime minister has previously worn Henry Herbert, a young, low-key tailor who doesn’t sit on Savile Row.
Both men have approached the idea of power dressing from different angles. Zelensky’s uniform is about resilience and power, whereas Sunak’s is about British sense and sensibilities, an image that’s completely off-tune with his predecessor Boris Johnson.
“The United Kingdom was one of the first to come to Ukraine’s aid. And today I’m in London to personally thank the British people for their support and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for his leadership,” said Zelensky via his Telegram channel.
At Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons, Sunak said, “It is a testament to the unbreakable friendship between our two countries and I am proud that we are expanding the training for Ukrainian forces to include jet pilots and marines, and ensure that Ukraine has a military able to defend its interests today and into the future.”
Zelensky will be meeting with his Ukrainian troops who are being trained in Britain, which Sunak has promised to further endorse by aiding extra military support and training the fighters in flying NATO-standard jets as a request of Zelensky.
Sunak wants to “ensure decisive military victory on the battlefield, this year,” for Ukraine.
Zelensky addressed parliament in a speech that was attended by former British prime minister Boris Johnson.
The Ukrainian president praised Johnson’s efforts for helping Ukraine while he was in office.
“I have come here and stand before you on behalf of the brave, on behalf of our war heroes who are now in the trenches under enemy artillery fire, on behalf of our air gunners, and every defender of the sky who protects Ukraine against enemy aircraft and missiles, on behalf of our tank men who fight to restore our Ukrainian borders, on behalf of our conscripts who are being trained now including here in Britain. Thank you, Britain,” said Zelensky in his speech.