Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky

Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine in 2019, beat Poroshenko. Despite winning the vote by a huge margin, many citizens expressed skepticism. Because he was originally a comedian.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky

1. Entertainment was a path to prominence 

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy born in 1978 is Jewish and grew up in Kryvyi Rih, the southeastern part of Ukraine. His grandfather fought for the Soviet Union during World War II, while some other family members died during the Holocaust by the Nazis. Upon graduating with a law degree from Kyiv National Economic University (Bachelor of Laws), Zelensky entered entertainment, beginning his career as an actor and comedian.

Zelensky rose to prominence as a star on the popular Ukrainian television sitcom “Servant of the People,” where he portrayed a beloved high school teacher who showed disdain for corrupt politicians and ended up becoming president of the country.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Zelensky was originally a comedian

Zelensky also competed on Ukraine’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006, and clips of his routines have gone viral on social media.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Presidential candidate Petro Porosheko attends a debate with his rival, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on on April 19, 2019.

2. Campaigned on peace with Russia

Zelensky was elected president in 2019 after running on a campaign promising to negotiate peace with Russia and reduce the power of corrupt oligarchs who control much of Ukraine’s economy.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine, beat Poroshenko

Although he successfully negotiated a prisoner swap with pro-Russian separatists early in his presidency, diplomacy with Moscow stalled due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands that Ukraine stays out of Western alliances.

As tensions have escalated between Kyiv and Ukraine, Putin had accused Zelensky’s government of being a pawn of the West.

Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, leading to the creation of two pro-Russian separatist regions in Donbas and beginning an eight-year conflict that left 15,000 people dead.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
People in Crimea wave the Russian flag and the flag of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on the day of the annexation of Russia

3. Played key role in Trump’s impeachment

Zelensky become a household name in the U.S. for the role he played in the first impeachment of former President Trump.

During a 2019 phone conservation, Trump urged Zelensky to help investigate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.

The phone call with Zelensky led Trump to be impeached by the White House for using his office for political gain, as he also withheld $400 million in authorized military support for Ukraine.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Zelensky helped Trump to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden

Zelensky later said he did not want to get into the politics of other countries, refusing to criticize the call with Trump.

He won the Ukrainian equivalent of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006.

highlights reel of a 28-year-old Zelensky twisting and dipping in a series of outlandish outfits, including a pink leisure suit, went viral over the weekend.

4. Married for nearly two decades, he’s the father of two children

Zelensky dated his wife Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska, a school acquaintance 11 days his junior, for eight years before they married in September 2003. Their daughter Aleksandra Zelenskaya was born the following year, and they had a son, Kiril Zelenskiy, in 2013.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Olena Zelenska – the current First Lady of Ukraine

Olena has been an advocate for women and children since Zelensky took office. 

On Tuesday she posted on Instagram about the bravery of Ukrainian women who are defending their country against the Russians

Zelensky has said that his family remains in Ukraine but that he will not disclose their location; he told CNN on Tuesday that he had not seen them in three days.

Four things about Ukrainian President Zelensky
Family of Zelensky

Ronald Reagan

The 40th President of the United States – Ronald Reagan was also an actor before entering politics. But Zelensky is far from being as successful as Ronald Reagan.

In the short term, Zelensky is a failed president in every way.

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