Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his illegal invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, the internet has been full of heated debates on everything from how Ukraine's allies should intervene to the most likely outcomes of the war.
But another, seemingly frivolous topic has sharply divided social media too: internet thirst over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The President has emerged as an inspirational figure since the invasion as he has rallied his citizens and delivered defiant messages to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And his choice to rebuff efforts by the U.S. and other allies to whisk him to safety, opting instead to stay and fight alongside his countrymen, has been nothing short of heroic.
But for many online, his heroism seems to have lapped over into something else entirely--a crush, to put it politely. And not everyone is seeing the humor.
Since the invasion began, several thirst tweets about the President have gone wildly viral, like the one below which has racked up more than 200,000 likes and nearly 21,000 retweets.
The tweet, from user @salisbot, reads:
"BREAKING: every woman in your life now has at least a small crush on Volodymyr Zelenskyy and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it."
Zelenskyy is in some ways a figure tailor-made for such adulation, a young, handsome, charismatic former comedian and television star who has risen admirably to the task of leading his country through a moment of profound crisis. The adulation is so intense that Etsy and other online platforms are even full of t-shirts and coffee mugs bearing his likeness.
And there has been no shortage of people on Twitter sharing similar sentiments to @salisbot's.
But for many, the adulation strikes an inappropriate note.
Zelenskyy's rocketing to a household name and face, after all, comes thanks to a disturbing time of violence, terror and danger for Ukraine the likes of which are unimaginable to much of the world.
And some feel that zany tweets from people lusting after Zelenskyy make light of a grim and terrifying situation in which 536 civilians have been killed so far and treat a President in mortal danger like a mere crush-worthy Hollywood celebrity.
Whether the thirst tweets are simply light-hearted banter or wildly tone-deaf fetishizing, what is certain is that the Ukrainian leader at the center of the debate is in grave peril.
Russia has hired 400 mercenaries and sent them to Kyiv to track down and kill President Zelenskyy and his family. One active assassination operation was thankfully foiled today after Russian agents who do not support Putin's war tipped off Ukrainian officials. Here's hoping he remains able to stay out of harm's way.