Who is Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky?
Volodymyr Zelensky was born on the 25th January1978, in Ukraine, and speaks Russian, Ukrainian and English. He graduated from Kyiv National Economic University in 2000 with a law degree. In spite of the fact that he could now practice law, his career moved into theatre, comedy, movies and television.
In 2003 Zelensky cofounded a production company that went on to become one of Ukraine’s most successful entertainment companies. He was the artistic director, working also with Ukrainian television channel Inter TV, and his company went into joint production with the Ukrainian network 1+1.
In 2015 the very successful television series ‘Servant of the People’ was launched, in which Zelensky had a lead role. Its storyline is about a school teacher who rises up against official corruption and becomes the President of Ukraine.
With the real Ukraine suffering from endemic corruption, and in a case of real-life imitating art, Volodymyr Zelensky and his Servant of the People political party contested the 2019 election and won. Zelensky obtained 73% of the vote, with a campaign of short speeches and wide use of social media to convey his anticorruption message.
Russia, late in 2021 began a build-up of its military along the joint border with Ukraine. On the 21st February 2022, President Vladimir Putin of Russia announced that he would recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and move military forces that he called peacekeepers into both regions.
Early on the 24th February Zelensky made a plea for peace to the Russian people on television, which was soon followed at 6.00am by Putin declaring a ‘special military operation’ with Russian soldiers and armored vehicles, together with missiles, invading Ukraine.
Shortly afterwards world leaders made tough financial sanctions against Russia.