Photos of Zelenskyy taken 41 days apart show the dramatic toll of war on Ukraine's president
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on Monday, where photographs showed the toll Russia's invasion has taken on the Ukrainian leader.
Ukraine accused Russian forces of killing 300 civilians in Bucha during their occupation, prompting Zelenskyy to say, "Concentrated evil has come to our land."
"With my own eyes I saw Bucha, Irpin, Stoyanka after the occupation," Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegram post on Monday. "We will do our best to bring them back to life as soon as possible."
Zelenskyy's weathered appearance is in stark contrast to his look before Russia invaded the country on February 24.
On February 22, Zelenskyy wore a suit and tie to address the nation after Russia recognized two Ukrainian separatist regions as independent states and moved troops to the border.
Forty-one days later, dressed in a green army jacket, bulletproof vest, and sporting a beard, Zelenskyy appeared a changed man as he spoke of civilian deaths in Bucha.
Presidents often leave office with more gray hair than they had when they entered. Though some dermatologists maintain presidents experience an expedited aging process due to the stress of the office, others say it's more attributable to natural aging.
Other studies, including a comprehensive analysis of elections dating back to the 1700s, have suggested that heading a nation can take years off a leader's life. That analysis, from the Harvard Medical School, found that elected heads of government, on average, have lives almost three years shorter than those of the candidates they defeat.