Who Is Volodymyr Zelensky? Who is he? What Should You Know About Ukraine’s President?
How much do you know about Volodymir Zelensky? He’s the president of Ukraine. The West is drawing parallels between him and the Chinese student who stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
They claim to like him. Volodymir Zelensky has become the most admired person in the free world. His legos are being sold, there is Volodymir Zelensky merchandise, so much is being written about him, mostly by the west.
So far, we’ve seen Zelensky through a Western lens, in which Putin is portrayed as the villain and Zelensky as the hero. The man who tags polar bears and Zelensky, the president who dances to cha-cha-cha-cha, barely talks about his family.
Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian war, the West has portrayed Zelensky as the antithesis of Putin, essentially the good guy in this story, but this is the West’s story.
Who Is Volodymyr Zelensky
Let’s look at Zelensky independently of the story. Who is he? Some say he’s like Putin. Zelensky, too, has authoritarian traits.
- Zelensky is 44 years old.
- He grew up in the town of Kriviri.
- His father was a computer science professor.
- His mother was an engineer.
- He grew up in one of the better neighborhoods in town.
- While the young men of Kriviri wore track suits, Zelenski wore classy suits.
- He liked English rock.
- He played the guitar.
- He even had a pair of blue jeans with his friend, Alexander Pikalov.
The Soviet Union, however, collapsed when Zielenski was growing up, giving him the opportunity to mock politicians in public. A comedy show called KVN aired on Russian TV, pitting teams from former Soviet states against one another.
At 17, Zelensky became part of the team representing Kriviri. Soon after, he and his friends formed their own troop, which was named the 95th quarter, or quartal 95. I would say Zelensky’s comedy was quote unquote It is a vulgar and working-class burial.
It is said that Zelensky’s mother once visited the rehearsal. She was not happy with what she saw. The distressed woman would pull Zyensky’s friend aside and ask, “He’s going to be a lawyer, isn’t he?” Zelensky did go on to study law, but he built a career in comedy.
Back in those days, oligarchs would often invite comics and satirists to their parties. Zelensky was invited to perform at Viktor Yanukovych’s birthday party.
We are talking about the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in the Euro-Medan revolution of 2014.
Did Zelensky perform before Yanukovych?
Reports say he did when Crimea was annexed in 2014. At that point, Zelensky declared he did not want anything to do with Russia. He also donated one million Ukrainian hryvnia to the Ukrainian army.
Not only was he a successful comic, but he was also Ukraine’s most successful producer. He had a fancy office in Kiev with a panoramic view of the city. He bought a 15-room villa in Tuscany, one that he never declared during his presidential campaign.
By 2012, long before Crimea happened, Zelensky was sitting on some 15 million dollars. He did not lose much by cutting off ties with Russia, but he made immense gains in terms of his popularity. Soon, he started work on his most successful show.
He played a high school teacher named Goloborotko, who was caught on tape ranting about corruption, and this monologue went viral, and the teacher became president. Goloborotko sets out to chart his own path.
He surrounds himself with old friends instead of the old ruling class. He appoints inexperienced people to office. It turns out all of this could have been a campaign announcement spread over three seasons. In the final hours of 2018, Zelensky announced that he would run for office.
He had no experience but two big promises: one, he would fight corruption and confront Ukraine’s oligarchs; and two, he would end the war in Donbass.
Zenlesky declared that you don’t need experience to be president; you just need to be a decent human being.
Volodymir Zelensky is a native Russian speaker. His career as a comic was all about depicting past presidents in a bad light.
Zelensky promised to be nothing like Viktor Yushchenko, Viktor Yanukovych, or Petro Poroshenko.
He projected himself as the total alternative to these presidents. He received the support of at least 73% of Ukrainian voters, and he took office on May 2, 2019.
Like Golobarotko, Zelensky installed friends in high offices, such as the head of his production company or his lawyer, and they were all made part of the government, and here we are three years later.
The war in Donbass has not ended. More than fifteen hundred people have been injured, and at least three million people have fled Ukraine. On the sixth day of the war, Volodymir Zelensky spoke to the European Parliament via video link to demonstrate that you’re with us, and his interpreter appeared to choke on his tears, demonstrating that he would not let us go.
As Volodymir Zelensky went on, one observer later remarked that it was as if Charlie Chaplin had morphed into Winston Churchill.
You see, this man knows TV. He’s pulling off what Putin did during the Chechen War. All of this, including daily press appearances, videos from war zones, sharing meals with troops, addressing parliaments around the world, is working.
Volodymir Zelensky has become the most popular politician in the United States, more popular than even US President Joe Biden. How tough should that be, you ask?
He knows how to win people over. He knows the gimmicks. After he became president, he appointed his press secretary through an open competition. There were four thousand candidates, and each of them was tested on their sense of humor and tolerance for stress.
Zelensky also likes theatrics. He announced his election bid on live television on New Year’s Eve. He once held a 14-hour press conference at a food market. Here’s something he does not like: comedy at his expense. If comic Zelensky looked at President Volodymir Zelensky today, he’d have plenty of material for his scripts. One, the president has not been able to weed out corruption. Two, the Pandora papers have exposed Zelensky’s murky businesses.
Volodymyr Zelensky has offshore holdings through his own companies in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
Volodymir Zelensky’s team says he is like any other business person in Ukraine, but you don’t get to be both a businessman and a statesman.
Volodymir Zelensky has also displayed authoritarian traits. He has banned three TV stations in Ukraine. Just like Putin, Zelensky may be seizing power from the oligarchs only to strengthen his own personal authority and advance his interests in 2020.
Volodymir Zelensky dismissed a general prosecutor because he reportedly refused to pursue cases that helped the president’s cause. A governor of a national bank was removed too, because he was not loyal enough.
A deputy governor was removed too, because she had raised concerns about the bank’s independence. Four: Zelensky has failed to keep his most important campaign promise. There is no peace in the Donbass. The region has now been taken over by Russian forces. Five: Volodymir Zelensky may have underplayed warnings of war.
He first accused the west of hurting Ukraine’s morale, then he decided to spook the world. He said Russia would attack on the 16th of February. Later, he said he was only quoting media reports today.
Volodymir Zelensky occasionally spends his days in bunkers, cheering on his forces. He’s the only Ukrainian president to face a full-fledged invasion. He has the support of his voters. His approval ratings are at an all-time high.
There is obviously a threat to his life. Every time a parliament applauds Zelensky, he says “thank you, but we want you to do more.” There is no doubt he has risen to the occasion, but come to think of it, he did not have much of a choice. Fleeing Ukraine means losing the presidency and a lot more.
The western media is drawing parallels between him and the emergency team that responded to 911. They’ve already pronounced him a hero, but it may be too early to say how history will judge this president of Ukraine.
This is a transcript of Palki Sharma’s Padhyay video on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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