Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Володимир Зеленський
Владимир Зеленский (51939489510).jpg
Zelenskyy in 2022
6th President of Ukraine
Assumed office
20 May 2019
Prime MinisterVolodymyr Groysman
Oleksiy Honcharuk
Denys Shmyhal
Preceded byPetro Poroshenko
Personal details
Born
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy

(1978-01-25) 25 January 1978 (age 44)
Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine)
Political partyIndependent
Other political
affiliations
Servant of the People (2018–present)
Spouse(s)
Olena Kiyashko (m. 2003)
Children2
EducationKyiv National Economic University
Occupation
  • Politician
  • actor
  • comedian
Signature

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy (Ukrainian: Володимир Олександрович Зеленський; born 25 January 1978) is a Ukrainian politician, screenwriter, actor, comedian and director. He is the President of Ukraine since 2019.

Zelenskyy played the role of President of Ukraine in the hugely popular 2015 television series Servant of the People.[1] The political party Servant of the People was created in March 2018 by people from the TV production company Kvartal 95 who also created the TV series of the same name.[2][3]

Zelenskyy ran for president as a populist and anti-corruption candidate in the 2019 election. He defeated incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in a landslide victory, winning 73.2% of the vote.[4][5]

Early life[change | change source]

Zelenskyy was born 25 January 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR in a secular Ukrainian Jewish family.[6] His father, Oleksandr Zelenskyy, is a professor at the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics. His mother, Rymma Zelenska, worked as an engineer.[7] Before going to school Volodymyr lived for four years in Mongolia where his father worked at that time.[8]

Zelenskyy earned a law degree from the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics. He fluently speaks Ukrainian and Russian.[9]

Acting career[change | change source]

In 2008, he starred in the feature film Love in the Big City, and its sequel, Love in the Big City 2. Zelenskyy also played the main role in the movie Office Romance, Our Time, Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon, Love in the Big City 3, 8 First Dates, etc.

In 2015, Zelenskyy became the main actor of the popular Ukrainian television series Servant of the People, where he played the role of the President of Ukraine.[10]

Zelenskyyy also voice dubbed Paddington Bear in the Ukrainian language settings of Paddington and Paddington 2.[11][12][13]

Presidency[change | change source]

Zelenskyy was the front-runner in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election. Six months before he announced his candidacy on 31 December 2018, he was already one of the frontrunners in opinion polls for the election.[14]

In September 2019 it was reported that U.S. President Donald Trump had pressured Zelenskyy during a July phone call between the two Presidents to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.[15][16] This led to the Trump–Ukraine scandal and the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump which would result in Trump's impeachment.

During 2021–2022, Zelenskyy's administration faced intense tensions with Russia and President Vladimir Putin. This led to the launch of an ongoing full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. Zelenskyy's strategy during the Russian military buildup was to calm the Ukrainian population and work with the international community that Ukraine was not going to fight back.[17] At first, he distanced himself from warnings of a future war, while also wanting security guarantees and military support from NATO.[18] After the start of the invasion, Zelenskyy declared martial law across Ukraine.

Zelenskyy became well known around the world during the invasion as the wartime leader of Ukraine. He has been compared to Winston Churchill.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25] He is seen as a national hero or a "global hero" by many political commentators and newspapers.[26][27][28][29]

In December 2022, Zelenskyy along with the Spirit of Ukraine were named Time Person of the Year.[30]

Personal life[change | change source]

In September 2003, Zelenskyy married Olena Kiyashko. They have one daughter and one son. Zelenskyy's first language is Russian, and he is also fluent in Ukrainian and English.[31][32] His net worth is about 37 million hryvnias (about US$1.5 million) in 2018.[33]

References[change | change source]

  1. Jacobsen, Katherine (13 December 2016). "How a Fictional President Is Helping Ukrainians Rethink Their Absurd Politics". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
    Kao, Anthony (6 June 2017). "Ukraine's 'Servant of the People' is a hidden gem of political comedy". Cinema Escapist. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
    Kao, Anthony (22 August 2017). "Interview: Vladimir Zelenskiy on playing Ukraine's president in 'Servant of the People'". Cinema Escapist. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  2. (in Ukrainian) Lawyer Zelensky has registered a new political party "Servant of the people", UNIAN (3 December 2017)
  3. (in Ukrainian) The boundary of a joke. How Zelensky prepares for the election, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 October 2018)
  4. "Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won 73% of the vote in Ukraine's election, an exit poll suggests". The Independent. 2019-04-21. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  5. Karmanau, Yuras. "Comedian who plays president on TV headed for landslide victory in Ukraine's presidential election". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  6. Хрипков, Валерий; Hripkov, Valeriy; Зеленский, Владимир; Zelensky, Vladimir; Агранович, Надежда; Agranovich, Nadezhda (2018-10-23). "Psychoemotional and Vegetative Status of Dental Patients on the Background Cardiovascular Pathology". Actual Problems in Dentistry. 14 (3): 67–72. doi:10.18481/2077-7566-2018-14-3-67-72. ISSN 2077-7566. S2CID 81145222.
  7. "Kryvyi Rih State University of Economics and Technology", Wikipedia, 2022-02-27, retrieved 2022-04-08
  8. Хрипков, Валерий; Hripkov, Valeriy; Зеленский, Владимир; Zelensky, Vladimir; Агранович, Надежда; Agranovich, Nadezhda (2018-10-23). "Psychoemotional and Vegetative Status of Dental Patients on the Background Cardiovascular Pathology". Actual Problems in Dentistry. 14 (3): 67–72. doi:10.18481/2077-7566-2018-14-3-67-72. ISSN 2077-7566. S2CID 81145222.
  9. Хрипков, Валерий; Hripkov, Valeriy; Зеленский, Владимир; Zelensky, Vladimir; Агранович, Надежда; Agranovich, Nadezhda (2018-10-23). "Psychoemotional and Vegetative Status of Dental Patients on the Background Cardiovascular Pathology". Actual Problems in Dentistry. 14 (3): 67–72. doi:10.18481/2077-7566-2018-14-3-67-72. ISSN 2077-7566. S2CID 81145222.
  10. "Зеленський заявив про рішення йти у президенти (відео)". www.unian.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  11. Trepany, Charles. "Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy won 'DWTS,' voiced 'Paddington' before becoming president". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  12. Ritman, Alex; Ritman, Alex (2022-02-28). "Yes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Did Voice Paddington, StudioCanal Confirms". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  13. Yossman, K. J.; Yossman, K. J. (2022-02-28). "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Was Voice of Paddington Bear". Variety. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  14. Interfax-Ukraine (July 15, 2018). "Support for Zelensky, Varkarchuk shows popular demand for new politicians". Kyiv Post.
  15. "How the Ukraine Scandal Looks in Ukraine". Slate. September 27, 2019.
  16. Vogel, Kenneth P.; Mendel, Iuliia (2019-05-01). "Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  17. "Conflict in Ukraine". Global Conflict Tracker. Archived from the original on 23 February 2022. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  18. Seibt, Sébastian (18 February 2022). "Military tactics: Zelensky plays both sides in Ukrainian crisis". France 24. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  19. "Actor-turned-president Zelensky grows on stage as Ukraine's war-time leader". Times of Israel. Retrieved 27 February 2022. he is now the face of national defiance, winning rave reviews as a war-time leader
  20. "Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy: From comedian to national hero". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  21. "3 years ago Zelenskyy was a TV comedian. Now he's standing up to Putin's army". NBC News. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  22. "Zelenskyy's unlikely journey, from comedy to wartime leader". AP News. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  23. "For many Jews, Volodymyr Zelensky is a 'modern Maccabee' as he fights Ukraine's war". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  24. "Ukraine leader Zelenskyy's wild ride: Jewish comedian to national hero". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  25. "Ukraine president suddenly thrust into hero role, mirrors one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War". Fortune. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  26. "Zelensky emerges as global hero in Ukraine battle against Russia". The Hill. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  27. "Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Standing Tall in the Face of Danger". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  28. "'I need ammunition, not a ride': Zelenskyy is the hero his country needs as Russia invades". USA Today. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  29. "Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminds us what a Jewish hero looks like". The Forward. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  30. "Volodymyr Zelensky Is Time's 2022 Person of the Year". Time. Retrieved 2022-07-12.
  31. Savchuk, Tetiana (2019-03-28). "Західна преса: про Тимошенко, Порошенка і Зеленського". Radio Svoboda/Radio Liberty (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 2022-02-19. російськомовний Зеленський
  32. CNBC, CNBC. "Trump and Zelensky speak after bilateral meeting". YouTube. CNBC. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  33. "Рух Чесно: У 2018 році Зеленський збільшив свої статки на 6 млн грн". Українська правда. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.

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