Ukrainians see rebel colours in Elle magazine cover
Women's magazine Elle has angered patriotic Ukrainians by putting on its front page the US actress Michelle Williams dressed in the colours of the pro-Russian separatist movement that their government is fighting.
The May issue of the popular international title's Ukraine edition does not go on newsstands until Monday, but posters have gone up in the streets advertising it, showing Williams in an orange- and black-striped dress by Louis Vuitton.
The adverts were taken down after Ukrainians complained that those are the stripes of the Russian Order of Saint George, an insignia used by the separatists who have taken control of parts of eastern Ukraine.
The conflict between the separatists and Ukrainian government forces has killed more than 6,000 people in the past year and divided Ukrainian society.
The magazine's editors denied supporting the separatists, saying they had merely used the cover image from the April issue of the magazine's British edition.
"Readers have keenly commented on the cover on social media, drawing false conclusions," they wrote in a post on Facebook.
The magazine is published in Russian in Ukraine, where it has a circulation of 72,000.
Its editors told AFP they had already printed the upcoming issue but would now print an extra cover page to be placed over the offending picture, inside the magazine's plastic packaging, to cover up the image on newsstands.
They posted the new cover online, with a picture of Williams dressed this time in black and white.
"This is to avoid acts of vandalism at places where it is sold," the magazine said.
AFP journalists saw that posters of the offending picture had been removed from various poster boards in the capital Kiev on Thursday.
© 2015 AFP