A TikTok video showing hundreds of Ukrainians partying at the pool bar at Kyiv’s Fifty Beach Club went viral last week with many users criticizing the optics given the ongoing war, Newsweek reported.
Many commenters questioned why the US and the West are continuing to so much aid to Ukraine if the Ukrainian people can party as if there isn’t a war. Others suggested that the partiers could afford to spend time at a beach club since American taxpayers are footing the bill.
But some TikTok users defended the video, arguing that even during a war, life goes on.
The user who uploaded the video responded to the viral outrage which he blamed on “hate from foreigners.”
The user, known as Edward, suggested that he was disheartened to see “so much hate from foreigners” just because the Ukrainians in the video were “enjoying their time.” He explained that it is “crucial for maintaining high morale” during a war for the people to have “moments of joy” and “leisure.”
He added that war brings with it “anxiety,” “fear,” and “stress,” and said that being able to engage in “recreational activities” helps to “alleviate some of these emotional burdens.”
Edward reminded his followers that the people in the videos he posts are the same ones who are still taking cover in underground shelters during air raids. Some of them are also soldiers on a rotating deployment, he explained.
Edward said he posted the video as a way to give a different perspective of what life is like in Ukraine.
But in the United States, where political divisions over US support for Ukraine have grown even deeper, it doesn’t take much to set off a firestorm of anger and resentment.
According to a Pew Research survey in June, the percentage of Americans who believe the US is providing too much assistance to Ukraine has continued to increase since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.