Updated: Apr 22
The White House Gift Shop is selling a coin series centered around the Ukrainian invasion, and Russia is offended.
The First Coin Announcement
On March 18th the White House Gift Shop tweeted an announcement regarding a new Challenge Coin featuring President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Coin is titled “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine” Honoring President Volodymyr Zelenskyy . This is the 31st coin presented in the Historic Moments of the American Presidency Coin Collection.
The front of the coin portrays an image of Zelenskyy with the title of war hero. The caption 'The World Has Rallied Behind Ukraine' is displayed across the top of the coin. It includes both the Ukraine flag, and the U.S. Flag.
The back of the coin contains 3 slogans "We Will Not Surrender", "We will not give up" and "Ukrainians are fighting to save their country" along with the date of the Russian Invasion of Ukrainian, February 24th 2022.
The Second Coin Announcement
On April 5th, the White House Gift Shop released another tweet about a second Zelenskyy coin. This coin commemorates the U.S. Congressional address on March 16th 2022.
The front of the coin depicts images of both President Biden and President Zelenskyy over the United States and Ukrainian flags. The back of the coin displays the iconic image of Zelenskyy on the screen at the Congressional address. It contains the statements 'The Courage of the Ukrainians', 'Leader of the World', 'Leader of Peace'.
The inscription on the bottom reads President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Address to Congress on March 16th 2022.
President Zelenskyy Challenge Coins Go Crazy on the World Stage
On April 17th, tweets about the coins were picked up by the pro Ukraine Twitter accounts @NewvoiceUkraine with 194.7K Followers and @EuromaidanPress with 199.1K Followers, causing the coin to gain notoriety on Twitter.
Two tweets went out from the popular twitter accounts within 24 hours, receiving hundreds of likes per tweet and gaining global attention. The coin was discussed by over 200 tweets.
All of the attention overwhelmed the White House Gift Shops website.
Russia has an Tantrum
The coin also gained traction on some popular Russian Twitter accounts. One such account by @anatoliisharii ironically likened Zelenskyy to a dictator.
Shortly after the Russians became aware of the Zelenskyy coins, the White House Gift Shop started experiencing website problems.
A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is an attack meant to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic, or sending it information that triggers a crash. Anyone able to penetrate Russia's War Propaganda must anticipate cyber retaliation.
White House Gift Shop Association Confusion. Again
As usual, every time the White House Gift Shop gains attention, someone has to put out a release clarifying that the gift shop is not owned by the White House. At this point, the fact checkers probably have a boiler plate statement clarifying the difference. Challenge Coin insiders already know.
More Drama to Come.
The White House Gift Shop has issued a decree about the next coin design.
We will be on the edge of our seats waiting for the global drama to unfold over a Putin "War Criminal Coin.'