“We regret…,” Ukraine apologises for Goddess Kali tweet after India fumes over insult

3 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Ukrainian World

Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzhaparova, stated that the government "regrets" the defence ministry's "distorted depiction" of Goddess Kali

Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova expressed “regret” on Tuesday after the nation’s defence ministry tweeted an image of a female atop blast smoke, causing controversy with social media users pointing out the image’s similarities to a representation of Goddess Kali.

Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzhaparova, stated that the government “regrets” the defence ministry’s “distorted depiction” of Goddess Kali and that the European country “respects unique Indian culture and highly appreciates support from India.” She also stated that the depiction had been removed.

“We regret @DefenceU depicting #Hindu goddess #Kali in distorted manner. #Ukraine &its people respect unique #Indian culture&highly appreciate support.The depiction has already been removed. is determined to further increase cooperation in spirit of mutual respect& friendship,” Dzhaparova tweeted.

On April 30, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry tweeted with the title “Work of art,” and released a picture of a blast accompanied by an impromptu drawing by Ukrainian artist Maksym Palenko.

The artist created the explosion in a creative yet insulting blend of legendary American actress Marilyn Monroe in her ‘flying skirt’ posture with the face and features resembling Hindu Goddess ‘Maa Kali’.

Following the posting of the image, the tweet sparked a massive backlash, forcing the Defence Ministry of Defence to delete the tweet.

One Twitter user posted, “Shocking! Official handle of Ukraine Defense Ministry is portraying Maa Kali in a demeaning pose. This is not a work of art. Our faith is not a matter of joke. Take it down and apologise @DefenceU”

Meanwhile, another Twitter user said, “Hurting sentiments of 1.4 billion Indians is not Okay @DefenceU. This is a blatant display of Hinduphobia by Ukraine’s defence ministry. Please remove this.”

Dzhaporava recently visited India, the first visit by a Ukrainian minister since the beginning of the Ukraine war in February last year. During his visit, the Ukrainian minister met with Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs.