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11th Apr 2022

This is why Boris Johnson was gifted a ceramic cockerel in Ukraine

Danny Jones

Boris Johnson cockerel Ukraine

And Boris responded to the gesture in a very Boris way

Boris Johnson was gifted a ceramic cockerel during his visit to Ukraine to meet with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, leaving people somewhat confused.

Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, many regions have been attacked by shelling and Putin’s forces on the ground, but among some of the worst-hit is the town of Borodianka, about 30 miles northwest of the capital, Kyiv.

Following the bombardment of Borodianka – which is said to have left countless buried in basements and underneath the debris of their own demolished homes –  a single ceramic cockerel stood on top of a kitchen cabinet and somewhat came away unscathed. It has since become a symbol of hope and inviolability across the country.

While the ornament may have started out as a meme, it has gone on to become a national symbol for Ukraine, and versions of it were gifted to Johnson by a woman from Kharkiv, and Zelenskyy.

The PM replied, “it is for water or wine?”.

The ceramic pot is just one example of many different variations now being created across the country; you can see this particular example, created by potter Prokop Bidasiuk in more detail below:

While the atrocities of Bucha have been widely reported, Zelenskyy himself argued that what has happened in Borodianka is, arguably, “even worse“, with reports of at least 650 dead bodies found (40 confirmed as children) and an untold number still yet to be rescued or recovered.

Nevertheless, symbols like the stoic cockerel remain just one example of the amazing things Ukrainians are doing to keep going and keep their spirits up.

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