Miss Universe viewers notice awkward moment between Miss Russia and Miss Ukraine in line-up
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Viewers of this year's Miss Universe beauty pageant noticed a rather awkward moment between two contestants representing their respective countries of Ukraine and Russia.
Outside of the annual contest, Vladimir Putin's attack on the country continues, the latest involving a missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro which is suspected to have killed dozens.
Though Miss Universe 2023 is meant to be a lighthearted event, viewers have been busy picking apart the entries for the warring countries.
Viktoria Apanasenko represented Ukraine at the pageant, held in New Orleans last week, while Anna Linnikova stood in for Russia.
One crowd member filmed an interaction between the pair, showing what appears to be Miss Russia attempting to enter the line-up right near Miss Ukraine.
Just moments later, Viktoria appears to ask Miss Colombia contestant Maria Fernanda Aristizábal to switch places, and she's more than happy to oblige.
Twitter user Ukrainian Babushka shared the clip online, writing: "Miss Russia tries to intimidate Miss Ukraine by wanting to stand besides her.
"Miss Ukraine was disgusted and she requested Miss Colombia to switch places."
Dozens of people have shared their thoughts on the clip, with one accusing Miss Russia of 'pure harassment on an international platform'.
Another said: "I think she wants to invade Miss Ukraine for her superior beauty, but Seychelles and Colombia wont let her."
A third asked: "How is she even allowed to compete? This world is really messed up."
"She probably has a Z on her underwear," quipped a fourth, while a fifth added, "Well done to Miss Ukraine for spotting it and dealing with it."
Others were full of praise for Miss Colombia, including this person who said: "Kudos to Miss Colombia. I hope she wins."
And a second chimed in: "Props to Miss Colombia!"
Surprisingly, none of the above won the competition - the crown was instead handed to Miss USA, R’Bonney Gabriel.
Earlier on in the pageant, Miss Ukraine garnered praise once more from the online community for her 'Warrior of Light' outfit in the costume contest.
In an Instagram post shared on her professional page, it said: "'Warrior of Light' costume symbolises our nation's fight against darkness.
"Like Archangel Michael, who defends Ukraine with a sword, it protects us.
"Viktoriia has a weapon in her hands, her body is covered in armour, and at the same time, she carries light through the darkness that came to our peaceful lands with the aggressor."
The description goes on to say the costume was created in Ukraine in 'extreme conditions, to the sound of sirens, without electricity, and by candlelight'.
People flocked to the comments section to commend the contestant and Ukraine's resilience, with one writing: "Absolutely beautiful. The people of Ukraine are incredible.
"This costume symbolises freedom, and the resilience to protect it at any cost. It is a symbol for Ukraines collective bravery. Blessings and prayers to everyone."
"Amazing and most beautiful! Embodies strength and resilience of the Ukrainians," said another. "We stand with you!"
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.