Search interest in Russian President Vladimir Putin was almost five times higher, on average, than search interest in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the last year in Brazil.
The only moments in which Zelensky was searched for more than Putin by Brazilians were related to the possibility of a meeting between him and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), according to data from Google Trends.
The two peaks of search interest in the Ukrainian president – the only moments in which he exceeds interest in Vladimir Putin in searches carried out in Brazil – occurred in the week of May 21st and the week of September 17th.
According to Google Trends, the numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the graph for a given region in a given period.
A value of 100 represents the peak popularity of a term. A value of 50 means the term was half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data on the term.
Tense relationship between Lula and Zelensky
The relationship between the two leaders has always been shrouded in tension, as Zelensky criticizes Lula for adopting a less than incisive stance against Russia during the conflict between the two countries.
The Brazilian president supports the idea of creating a group of neutral countries that could negotiate a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine and even insinuated that Zelensky should give up part of the territories dominated by Russia, so that the war – which is on its way to completion two years since the Russian invasion in February 2022 – had an end.
It is no coincidence that the main search related to Zelensky in Brazil is Lula’s name, according to Google Trends.
On May 21, the biggest spike in searches for Zelensky’s name in Brazil in the last year, the presidents of Brazil and Ukraine were supposed to have a bilateral meeting for the first time during the G7 summit, in Hiroshima, Japan. However, Due to an incompatibility of agendas, according to the two governments, the two did not meet.
Government sources assured at the time that the offer of a time was made to the Ukrainians, but Lula said that Zelesnky did not show up for the meeting.
“We had an interview [sic] bilateral with Ukraine at 3 p.m. [horário local]. We had information that they had been delayed, in the meantime, I attended to the president of Vietnam. When the president of Vietnam left, Ukraine did not appear. Of course, he had another commitment and couldn’t come here. That’s simply what happened,” Lula claimed at the time.
After missing the meeting with Lula during the G7 summit in May, Zelensky went on to say that it was Lula who was disappointed by his absence.
The Ukrainian president signaled that, in fact, there was an incompatibility of agendas, but he made a point of saying that, even if each leader had his own agenda, he still met with almost everyone.
The second peak of searches for Zelensky’s name – considerably lower than the first – occurred on September 20, when Lula and Zelensky met, in New York, in the United States, in the midst of the General Assembly of the United Nations ( UN).
As found out by the CNN, The initiative for the meeting came from the Ukrainian side and this was the first bilateral meeting between them held in person.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, said that the meeting was very important: “There was a mutual understanding, very good. Both presidents gave instructions to their foreign ministers to continue working on bilateral and multilateral issues and to continue discussing the issue of peace.”
Both presidents spoke on social media after the meeting.
Zelensky called the conversation between the two “honest and constructive” and said they both instructed “diplomatic teams to work on the next steps in our bilateral relations and peace efforts.”
Lula also published: “We had a good conversation about the importance of paths to building peace and always maintaining open dialogue between our countries.”
Source: CNN Brasil
Bruce Belcher is a seasoned author with over 5 years of experience in world news. He writes for online news websites and provides in-depth analysis on the world stock market. Bruce is known for his insightful perspectives and commitment to keeping the public informed.