Guterres shakes hands with Lavrov, social media storm

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the Glass Palace. And in front of the photographers, he offers a handshake that suggests a smile. A gesture that does not go unnoticed on social media and beyond, sparking controversy and strong criticism of the head of the United Nations.

In New York, Lavrov attended Security Council meetings on Ukraine and the Middle East. And on the sidelines, he held a separate meeting with Guterres where “various aspects of cooperation between Russia and the United Nations and the main issues of the international agenda” were discussed. On previous occasions – and long after the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the UN secretary and the Russian minister have seen each other and shaken hands, as evidenced by the shots published by the media.
But this time the meeting turned into a social storm for the UN secretary, who was accused by users of having “bloody hands” for the gesture towards the head of Russian diplomacy.

“The worst thing that is wrong with the United Nations and many other international institutions in a single photo,” is Russian chess grandmaster and opponent Garry Kasparov’s comment to X. “How can this be accepted at the highest level of nations?” Unite the representative of a murderous terrorist state?” asks Ukrainian politician Anton Gerashchenko.
“The United Nations was founded to stop wars. Can someone remind Antonio Guterres of this?” asks polemically the social channel Visegrad 24. While the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Lansbergis uses a play on words with the acronym UN: “UNbelievable”, unbelievable.
The photomontages are now multiplying, with one of the edited videos circulating on social media showing a handshake standing out among the rubble of the Russian bombings in Ukraine. “The UN is finished,” writes another user. The words of another profile are even harsher: “António Guterres welcomes Lavrov to the UN… and would also welcome Hitler or Goebbels if they were still alive.”

Read the full article on