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Ukraine: The Actor-Comedian Turned President Now Facing Invasion

Shola Lee

Published 
| Last updated 

Ukraine: The Actor-Comedian Turned President Now Facing Invasion

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

President Volodymyr Zelensky has found himself at Ukraine's helm as his country is invaded by Russia.

Zelensky appealed for peace in the weeks preceding Russia's declaration of war, but before he was president, he had achieved a degree in law and worked in the entertainment industry.

Volodymyr Zelensky (Alamy)
Volodymyr Zelensky (Alamy)
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Zelensky was born in the city of Kryvyi Rih and obtained his degree from the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics.

He then entered the entertainment industry as part of a competitive comedy team, before beginning work as an actor.

Zelensky's work in the entertainment industry led to him securing roles in major films and working as an entertainment executive, as per People. He even co-founded his own TV production company, which was named after his comedy team, Kvartal 95.

He was perhaps best known for his role as the president of Ukraine in the television series Servant of the People.

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The show sees Zelensky star as a school teacher who goes viral after criticising the government, and is eventually elected to president of Ukraine.

It was after this that Zelensky himself launched a largely online campaign for the actual Ukrainian presidency.

 Volodymyr Zelensky (Alamy)
Volodymyr Zelensky (Alamy)

According to reports, much of Zelensky's success can be attributed to the revolution of 2014, when months of protests brought down then-president Viktor Yanukovich, as per the BBC.

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In the following years, Ukraine become disenchanted with the political elite, which paved the way for outsider Zelensky's campaign.

He ran with no party affiliation or team of advisers until days before the election took place, and attended no in-person events and held no rallies.

Instead, Zelensky used social media to gather support, making a number of YouTube and Instagram posts.

He won the first round of the election, and then triumphed in the run-off, which landed him the presidency.

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Zelensky is married to screenwriter Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska, and has two children.

Boris Johnson (Alamy)
Boris Johnson (Alamy)

In 2019, Zelensky claimed then-president Donald Trump had pressured him to investigate alleged wrongdoings by then-presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. That revelation led to Trump's first impeachment.

Now, the president finds his country under attack from Russia, with numerous missile strikes and ground combat having been reported in Ukraine since last night. At least 18 people are said to have been killed in a missile attack on the southern port city of Odessa.

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Countries around the world have come out in support of Ukraine, with US President Joe Biden saying, 'The United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way.'

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will 'do what more we can in the days ahead' in response to the invasion.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, World News

Shola Lee
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