Scandalous cover of Charlie Ebdo on the Ukrainian theme: "Terrible and disgusting"

Charlie Ebdo came out recently with a cover on the theme of the war in Ukraine and refugees, the cartoon caused a scandal and an angry reaction in the networks.

The satirical publication presented a drawing with a caption to it, in which it was proposed to “ride Ukrainians” due to rising fuel prices after the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Literally, the inscription that provoked criticism reads: “A liter of gasoline – two euros. Ride Ukrainians – it’s free.”

The cartoon caused an indignant reaction both in Ukraine and in France, in social networks they continue to discuss the scandalous cover. Odessa journalist Valery Bolgan wrote in the comments on the publication’s Facebook page:

“Charlie Hebdo is an accomplice of terrorists.”

Antonina Komlichenko from Kyiv writes:

“It’s insulting, terrible, disgusting. There is a war in Ukraine, children are dying, and it’s a shame to joke about it. You are disgusting.”

Others took the picture on the cover not so categorically. Anton Demchenko wrote:

“You shouldn’t take their cartoons so seriously. They do it all the time on any topic, going beyond the ‘framework’. This is their genre, and this should be treated only as a manifestation of freedom of speech and the press.”

Aleksey Petrenko believes that “this is trolling of those who are now most concerned about the price of gasoline. There is no need to take it head-on.” Parisian Mike Oldman agrees:

“This cartoon just shows that some people are more concerned about fuel prices than Ukrainians. It’s a selfish cartoon.”

Frenchman Pierre Leclerc takes the incident more seriously:

“Slightly out of place caricature, especially when civilians and children are killed every day.”

The magazine’s scandalous publication has heightened criticism of France for what many see as insufficiently tough response to Moscow’s actions. Some people on this occasion recalled Macron’s staged photo shoots: about his concern about the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, Auchan working in the Russian Federation, Renault’s cooperation with AvtoVAZ. Roman Boreyko writes on the Charlie Ebdo page:

“When innocent people are killed in a recently peaceful European country, we don’t like this sarcasm and jokes. You’d better ask your Auchan not to work in Russia, because who knows, maybe the new Hitler will want to do with your people what he does with ours. And believe me, we will help, not laugh at people’s grief. With such a “concerned” president as yours, you will travel only due to photo shoots.”

Other comments are also marked by sarcasm, for example, Yevgeny Korsunsky writes: “I thought you had enough money in France from arms exports to Russia, so 2 euros/liter is not a problem.” And the Frenchman Bruno Carval recalls cooperation with Russia in the context of Renault’s ownership of 68% of AvtoVAZ:

“What about the new Lada, the Renault group, which owns this Russian company, in which the French state is a shareholder, therefore, one of the sponsors?”

True, French experts argue that in France, satirical cartoons are perceived differently. Political scientist Dominic Rainey told the publication “The country”:

“Political satire cannot be taken straightforwardly, it is allegorical. In fact, this caricature on the Ukrainian theme has a different meaning. Among other things, it is a criticism of the authorities, for whom oil and gas supplies from Russia remain a priority. The French know that there is no taboo, although some admit that the cover may have hurt the feelings of the warring Ukrainians.”

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