Ukraine, who is the girl with the rifle and the lollipop of the viral photo

Of Irene Soave

She is 9 years old, her father photographed her and the rifle she holds in her unloaded hand: who is the little girl at the center of the photo released by the former Polish President of the European Council Donald Tusk

From the little girl Kim Phuc hit by napalm to the rebel in Tiananmen Square, to Mariana, the pregnant blogger from Mariupol: every war has its symbolic photos, and in the era of social media he has a symbolic photo of him almost every day of the war. Today is the day of the 9-year-old daughter of amateur photographer Oleksii Kyrychenko: a rifle in her arms, a lollipop in her mouth, sitting on the windowsill of a house with smoke-blackened walls. The title of the photo Girl with Candy is very much taken up on social media in these hours; tweeted it also the former president of the European Council, the Polish Donald Tusk, writing: Now tell her that heavier sanctions would be too expensive for Europe.

Little Kyrychenko, with her lollipop and (unloaded) rifle in her arms, has become a symbol of the most unacceptable side of war, that against children. From the bombing of the children’s hospital in Mariupol, to the first blows on a kindergarten in Donbass, to the arrest of five children in Moscow, the war has hit the youngest people several times: moreover, one of the two million refugees who they have already left Ukraine since the start of the conflict.

The girl’s father, Oleksii Kyrychenko, explains the story of the photo on his Facebook page. The girl is 9 years old and was posed by her father; the rifle in her hand, naturally unloaded, mine, explains Kyrychenko in her comments, where requests to share the photo multiply. Take it as well, it serves to draw attention to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Not the only shot in this series: another photo of the little girl, this time standing, shares the same title, Girl with Candy, in front of a mural that reads Putin khuylo, more or less fucked up Putin. Below, an anonymous account writes: this fake photo, from 2018. The author replies: Russians always lie. War too.

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