In the current world, there are not many who do not know of the imminent war that is raging between Russia, the largest country in the continent of Asia and Ukraine, the second-largest country after Russia. The news of this war is everywhere, be it on the news channels, broadcasting networks or online. Just going online on the internet, the first thing is news about the latest Ukraine-Russia war and the casualties and strategies, army deployments and speeches and announcements from the countries to keep their population in check, keep them calm.
This has brought the political parties and powers of both countries to the forefront and set them apart as the center of attention.
With this, the President of Ukraine has gained much attention and each and every one of his speeches and actions are being scrutinized by tens of thousands around the world. Well, the same can be said for each and every authoritarian personality that is involved in the war in any way.
So then! Continuing, here, let us take a look at the current leader of the country of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy
Oleksandr Zelenskyy (Father)
Rymma Zelenska (Mother)
25th January 1978
Childhood And Early Years
Volodymyr Zelensky, from what is known about it, had a pretty bleak childhood. Born on the 25th of January in the year 1978, he was born to Jewish parents, into a family that had, of course, Jewish ancestry and was based in Kryvyi Rhi. Kryvyi Rhi, also known as Krivoy Rog, means ‘curved cape’ or ‘crooked horn’, and is the largest city in central Ukraine with a history of almost always has been a major settlement.
He was fathered by Oleksandr Zelenskyy, who works as a professor and also serves as the head of the Department of Cybernetics and Computing Hardware in the State University of Economics and Technology and was birthed by Rymma Zelenska, who used to be an engineer.
His family, being Jewish, had suffered greatly during the Holocaust and the Second World War. His grandfather had served in the Red Army during World War II and had lost his father and his brothers (three, according to records found) to the holocaust.
Volodymyr grew up speaking Russian. Because of his achievement in passing the Test of English as a foreign language, he was granted an opportunity to study in Israel, though he ultimately did not continue his education in Israel due to the refusal of the offer from his father. Instead, he pursued his studies in Law and earned a Law Degree, but never entered the legal field.
After a relatively peaceful and accomplished childhood, Volodymyr Zelensky decided to continue as a comedian and entertainer, acting in many series, variety shows, and oftentimes, in movies. He had been a part of the entertainment ever since the age of 17 when he decided to enter the comedy show and team competition known as KVN.
A list of his works in the entertainment industry is:-
- Love in the Big City
- Love in the Big City 2
- Love in the Big City 3
- Rzhevsky versus Napolean
- Office Romance
- Our Time
- 8 First Dates
- Voice Actor of Paddington in Paddington and Paddington 2
Descent Into Politics
Many know of Volodymyr Zelensky as the current President of Ukraine, the sixth person to hold the title and the office of the President. What many might not have known about would be his career as an actor and comedian, which has already been mentioned in the previous section.
Interestingly, and it might seem obvious to many, but this man, who currently holds influence on about a million people on this planet, made his descent into politics, in a way, by speaking up against the campaign to stop Russian artists and Russian works in Ukraine. Consequently, as Volodymyr Zelensky continued to protest against this campaign, his movies too were banned from the country. This is one of his earliest mentions in the politics of Ukraine.
Since Zelensky was a person who had pursued comedy and was proficient in many languages, he used to handle the language production of the channel known as Inter, where he was part of the board too from the year 2010 to 2012. One of the highest contributing factors behind his respectable title was his fluency in not only Russian, which he grew up speaking, but also because of his fluency in English and Ukrainian.
When Zelensky and his team managed to win KVN Major League in the year 1997, he created a new team that was named Kvartal 95. This team too participated in the Major League.
Later on, taking this team, Volodymyr Zelensky scouted and then also acted when cast onto a series known as The Servant of the People. Fascinating what happened next, for Volodymyr acted as the President of Ukraine in the show. In the show, the reason why Zelensky, playing as a high school history teacher, Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, got accidentally elected as the president of the country of Ukraine because of his impassioned, captivating and factual views (well, he ranted) on corruption in the government of Ukraine.
Although the group, Kvartal 95, existed long before they formed a political party, they won instant popularity. The group formed a political party in the early months of 2018 was named The Servant of the People, after the same show/series that was produced by the group.
After this, rumors spread about Volodymyr Zelensky running for the position of President of the country. They weren’t confirmed until a later date.
Volodymyr Zelensky announced his intention and determination to run for the office of President of the country of Ukraine on the Kvartal 95 channel after months of leaving and giving only ambiguous answers and statements.
Interestingly, even before his announcement about his intention to run for the President Campaign, he was already one of the frontrunners for the role, having gained popularity and captivated the people due to his passion and drive to bring about a change in the country of Ukraine and also because of his similarity to his well-loved character in The Servant of the people to proclaim that he would like to bring out the corruption in their beloved country and cut it off at the roots.
Volodymyr Zelensky was supported by many, including Oleksandr Danylyuk, the then former Finance Minister of Ukraine. Before his appearance with the backing of so many supporters and his team, the former comedian and actor continued to travel around with his team, the Kvartal 95. Because of this, his media coverage was just the bare minimum.
This also led to many news and media outlets being frustrated and those who were against him becoming the President found a weakness that they wasted no time to exploit. Soon enough, even amidst the huge support, a few of the Ukrainian news outlets, on the 16th of April, 2019, called out Volodymyr Zelensky to stop avoiding them. The reason why this outrage grew was that although Volodymyr Zelensky, while not given many opportunities for interviews, continued to talk about his hopes and dreams and the promises he would fulfil for the betterment of the country on short video clips and on social platforms like YouTube.
But Zelensky had an answer to the journalists and the anti-Zelensky groups who blew this situation out of proportion. He claimed that he, first of all, did not want to give interviews for those who believed in the old political influencers of the country as well as the journalists who were doing these interviews for the sole reason of PR. He also mentioned that he did not have the time to entertain all the interview requests that are sent his way.
Volodymyr Zelensky won the Presidential Election by a landslide, with almost 73 percent of the votes having been cast in his favor and about 25 percent of the voters cast their votes for Petro Poroshenko.
Political Career: Promises…And War
Many will think about the broken vows and empty promises that most politicians make but never keep (hence, ‘empty promises’).
The first thing that must be mentioned here, after the fact that Volodymyr Zelensky won overwhelmingly, is that he would only hold the Office of President of Ukraine for one term, which is a tenure of five years and his decision of continuing to run for the office would depend on his family. He walked back on this promise (or well, decision, more appropriately) in May 2021, saying he hadn’t yet made up his mind, though he still has time left of his term that he has to serve.
As mentioned earlier, most people were in favor of Volodymyr Zelensky becoming the President of Ukraine, because of his various stands for anti-corruption and because of his portrayal of himself as an anti-establishment.
Volodymyr Zelensky, during his electoral campaigns, promised many times that as President, he would help the country develop and also have more economy. He also promised that he would like to attract investment to the country of Ukraine. He stated that this would be done through ‘a restart of the judicial system’. He hoped that during his tenure, the citizens would once again gain confidence in their state. According to Zelensky, if people would notice that his new government “works honestly from the first day”, they would start paying their taxes.
Zelenskyy cleanly won both the first round of elections on 31 March and the run-off election on 21 April 2019.
While a few of his promises are in progress, he has managed to have the Parliament pass a bill reforming and updating the referendum of Ukraine as he had promised.
In June 2021, Zelensky submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill for creating a public registry of Ukraine’s oligarchs, forbidding them from participating in privatizations of state-owned companies, and from contributing financially to politicians. Opposition party leaders, although supportive of his goal of reducing the oligarchs’ influence on politics in Ukraine, were critical of his approach, insisting that a public register would be both dangerous, as it concentrated power in the president; and ineffective, since oligarchs were merely a “symbol” of more deeply-rooted corruption. However, the bill was passed into law in September 2021.
The war between Russia and Ukraine to take over the land has been ongoing for little less than a month now. The absolute destruction of life and property is constantly on the news. With the war going on, Volodymyr is urging the citizens of the country to have Ukraine launch a counter-attack and finally be on the offensive in the war between the two nations.
- Zelensky has proven to be a capable and well, presidential President. But Zelensky has had his fair share of controversies and scandals.
- The US Political Scandal.
Involving the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, and his American counterpart of that time, Donald Trump, the scandal was based on a phone call conversation that was revealed to have taken place between the two. Revealed by an anon (anonymous), who was later found out to be an official from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in the call, a conversation can be heard playing out, with Trump strongly implying that Ukraine would be receiving $400 million if Zelensky would help provide him with two favors.
The first of these was related to a previously debunked conspiracy related to the hacking of official systems and leaking confidential emails and the involvement of Ukrainian hackers and employers for this malicious activity instead of Russian instigators as the American Government was made to believe.
The second was for Zelensky to investigate unfounded allegations against Biden and his son in connection to corrupt activities being carried out by the father-son duo and with a focus on Viktor Shokin.
- The Kolomiosky Scandal.
After winning the KVN with his team, President Volodymyr Zelensky and team, Kvartal 95, traveled all around and Zelensky also got a position as a producer at channel Inter. He left after two years, joining channel 1+1, which was managed and handled by Igor Kolomiosky.
When Zelensky announced his intention to run for the title of President of Ukraine, he did so through the 1+1 channel. This later caused multiple surprising eyes to turn on the relationship between the two and led to many rumors and controversies in a short amount of time.
Ending on a lighter note, let us now take a look at the family of the President of Ukraine.
While Volodymyr Zelensky has been in the forefront because of the war, his family, who had mostly remained in the background, out of public’s sight has now, once again, come to light.
Even with such a strong influencer as part of the family, most of the information about Zelensky’s family is still not known, though snippets of their lives have been found out by many. Most only know that Volodymyr Zelensky is a strong leader and a capable President who has done much for the country of Ukraine and the First Lady has supported him for a long time, long before he even began to run for the Presidential campaign.
Their little family interactions whose glimpses the public catches bring a flicker of warmth in the war that is going on between the two countries. These interactions have also served as a way to sway public attention, noticing the glaringly obvious differences in the families of the two Presidents, Zelensky and Putin.
Volodymyr Zelesky has two children, Aleksandra and Kirill, with his wife, the First lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. A little bit of what is known about the First lady is that she was born Olena Kiyashko and shares the same birthplace as her husband. After Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska has come out of the shadows a little and has given a few interviews, remaining proud and standing tall beside her husband through the rough phase that their country is going through.
Top 13 Interesting Facts About Volodymyr Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky’s first movie in Ukrainian was I, You, He, She. Interestingly, the script of the movie was written, at first, in Ukrainian but then changed to Russian for a Russian actress and then dubbed into Ukrainian.
Kvartal 95, which is the name of the comedy group formed by Volodymyr Zelensky, means ‘Quarter 95’ in his native dialect of Kryvyi Rhi.
KVN is locally written as Klub Vesyolykh I Nakhodchiykh, which literally translates to ‘Club of Funny and Inventive People’.
When Volodymyr Zelensky finally came out announcing his determination to run for the position of the president of the country, he up-staged the then President, Petro Poroshenko on the channel where he (Poroshenko) was giving a New Year’s Eve address. Volodymyr Zelensky later denied that it was intentional and blamed it on a technical glitch. What the truth is, we might never know.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s family drew international attention after the President of Ukraine announced that his family has been marked as ‘Target Number Two’ by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s election as the President of Ukraine made Ukraine the second country to have both president and the Prime Minister as having Jewish ancestry, after the country of Israel.
Even though Volodymyr Zelensky won the Presidential Election with a huge margin of support, it cannot be denied that many thought of him as a joke because of his inexperience in politics and also because of his career as an actor and comedian. Those critics have nothing to say now that Zelensky has been the voice of the people of Ukraine after Russia invaded the country.
Even with most of the fake news spread about Volodymyr Zelensky is easily refuted by the President, easy in some cases but with difficulty in other cases.
Volodymyr Zelensky announced his intention to run for the president Elections of Ukraine the very year the show, The Servant of the People ended.
It is said that Volodymyr Zelensky’s campaign against the incumbent Petro Poroshenko was almost entirely virtual but he still won by a landslide of votes. Fascinatingly, his interactions for the electoral campaign were done in the form of stand-up comedies across the country of Ukraine. A very unique way of swaying the public’s interest, it must be admitted.
Volodymyr Zelensky, during his unique campaigns, admitted that he had also supported Petro Poroshenko during his (Poroshenko) previous campaign and that Zelensky regretted supporting him. He said that the Poroshenko who the people of the country voted for, whom he had voted for, was different than the Poroshenko that was holding the Office of President in Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky won Ukraine’s ‘Dancing with the Stars and made his screenwriting and film debut in ‘The Three Musketeers, where he played D’Artagnan.
Because of Volodymyr Zelensky leaving his position in Inter to join with channel 1+1, which was managed by Igor Kolomiosky and the preempting, the almost provocative move of interrupting Petro Poroshenko’s speech, the interactions between Kolomiosky and Zelensky came under serious and continuous scrutiny.