Many Ukrainians refuse to buy Russian goods and services, but not members of the president’s family, it seems. The 16-year-old son of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, Mykhailo, the youngest of the president’s four children, has been seen wearing a Russian-made sweatshirt, with the word “Russia” printed on it, in a photograph posted on his Russian friend Sergey Kiziev’s Instagram account.

The photograph, first spotted and reposted on May 5 by Tabloid, a section of Ukrainian news website Ukrainska Pravda, shows Poroshenko posing with his friends wearing the sweatshirt. Although Poroshenko’s face is obscured, he can be identified by his sneakers, which he can be seen wearing in another photo where his face is clearly visible. Another photograph shows Kiziev wearing the sweatshirt himself.

Another photograph shows Sergey Kiziev wearing the “Russia” sweatshirt himself. (Instagram / kyzzya) (Instagram / kyzzya)

The “Russia” sweatshirt was later identified as part of the official 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games merchandise collection, made by Russian brand Bosco. It sells for 5,550 rubles ($95).

Poroshenko attends Concord College, an independent co-educational boarding school in Shropshire in the United Kingdom with his two older sisters, Oleksandra and Ievhenia. His friend and supposedly classmate Kuziev has made his Instagram profile private since the photographs were reposted by Ukrainian media and angered many Ukrainians, due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent war against Ukraine.

Radio Svoboda journalist Levko Stek said in a Facebook post that the younger Poroshenko would probably “get a scolding” from his father. But some Facebook users also suggest that since the photograph was posted on Nov. 6, it could have been a part of Poroshenko’s Halloween costume or a costume for a theatrical play. Two of Poroshenko’s friends, who are also present in the photograph, appear to be wearing skeleton make up and a skeleton face scarf.

The foreign media coordinator at Ukraine’s Presidential Administration, Yarema Dukh, told the Kyiv Post that he cannot comment on the report.


“We need to wait for the official comment from the press secretary of President Poroshenko,” Dukh said, “because such personal stories are handled by them. If there is any comment, it will be published soon. But I don’t know anything further.”


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