William And Kate's Post On Ukraine Has Social Media In A Tizzy

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its fifth day as of February 28, 2022. Calling it a "special military operation," purportedly to protect a separatist-backed section of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces across the border and launched missiles at Ukrainian military bases and other sites (via CNN). The aggressive action has horrified much of the world and flooded social media with messages of support for Ukraine. 

Many have come from significant figures such as President Biden, who declared on Twitter, "Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war." Former President Barack Obama tweeted an official statement, calling the attack "brazen" and adding, "Michelle and I will be praying for the courageous people of Ukraine, for Russian citizens who have bravely declared their opposition to these attacks, and for all those who will bear the cost of a senseless war." After calling Putin "very savvy," former president Donald Trump added on his website, "If I were in Office, this deadly Ukraine situation would never have happened!" 

However, one of the most surprising statements came from Prince William and Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge. On their official Twitter and Instagram accounts, the royal couple spoke out: "In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine's future. Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine's people as they bravely fight for that future." They closed the message with an icon of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag and their initials: "W & C."

Both Prince William and Prince Harry publicly support Ukraine

Prince William and Kate Middleton's public support for Ukraine is a surprising move. The British royal family is expected to keep silent on such matters, particularly Queen Elizabeth, who, "as Head of State ... has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters," per the palace website. This explains why the queen hasn't commented on the Russian invasion — that, and her current recovery from COVID-19. Other members of the family, such as Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne, have similarly stayed mum.  

Prince Harry, on the other hand, has no such restrictions. Though he is still in the line of succession, as a non-working royal he is free to speak his mind on any topic (much to the dismay of some). He and his wife, Meghan Markle, posted a statement on their Archewell website: "Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same."

William and Kate's followers are applauding their break from royal protocol. One wrote, "I thought the British Royal Family was not supposed to get involved in politics. Well, I am really happy to see this message. Ukraine needs all the support they can get. The support of the future King and Queen is very significant and welcome."

Celebrities have rushed to share their support for Ukraine

As the situation in Ukraine escalates, celebrities from all corners of Hollywood have rushed to social media to share their support. Legendary writer Stephen King opined, "What most of us learned as kids on the playground: You don't stand by while a big kid beats up a little kid. You might take a punch or two making the big kid stop, but that's the right thing to do."

Rapper Cardi B, meanwhile, responded to a fan wondering what she thought about the crisis by stating, "Wish these world leaders [would] stop tripping about power and really think about who's really getting affected (citizens) besides the whole world is in a crisis. War, sanctions, invasions should be the last thing these leaders should worry about."

Even Piers Morgan stood in solidarity with Ukraine, writing simply, "This is an act of war by a bully-boy thug who doesn't think the rest of the world has the guts or will to stop him. Shameful." Morgan later added, "If he gets away with it again in Ukraine, he'll keep invading other countries until he restores the Soviet Union."

Elsewhere, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively put their money where their mouths are by pledging to match donations for Ukrainian refugees up to $1 million. "In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection. When you donate, we'll match it up to $1,000,000, creating double the support," Reynolds tweeted. 

Certain responses didn't go down too well on social media

However, plenty of celebrity responses left social media reeling. Wrestler turned actor John Cena drew intense backlash when he seemed to use the crisis to promote his new show, "Peacemaker." Cena wrote, "If I could somehow summon the powers of a real life #Peacemaker, I think this would be a great time to do so." In response, one user argued, "There is never an appropriate moment to say this, especially now" while another wrote, "Now is not the time to make this about your CW-tier show."

Actor AnnaLynne McCord fared even worse social media backlash, after posting a bizarre spoken word poem directed to Vladimir Putin himself. In the video, the "90210" star earnestly stated, "I'm so sorry that I was not your mother. If I was your mother, you would have been so loved, held in the arms of joyous light." The clip has been viewed more than 30 million times as of this writing. McCord's confusing move was unfavorably compared to Gal Gadot's infamous "Imagine" video, which the "Wonder Woman" star only recently acknowledged wasn't the right way to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. 

McCord, though, doubled down in an interview with Buzzfeed, explaining, "I know how I could easily have moved in the direction of becoming a dictator myself. If certain circumstances of my life were different, were I a little less bent toward healing and more toward vindication, I could have been a darkly powerful person."