Zelenskyy’s Journey

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey he grew up in southeastern Ukraine.

His Jewish family spoke Russian, and his father once forbade the young Zelenskyy from going abroad to study in Israel.

Instead, Zelenskyy studied law at home. After graduating, he found a new home in film acting and comedy: he shot up in the 2010s to become one of Ukraine’s top performers with the TV series “Servant of the People.”

He played a lovable high school teacher fed up with corrupt politicians who accidentally became president.

Fast-forward just a few years, and Zelenskyy is the president of Ukraine for real, and as Russian troops descend on his country and rockets from Moscow break the peace of beautiful old Kyiv.

A journey from comedy to Ukrainian hero

As much of the world watches in horror, his new role is an unlikely hero for the 21st century.

Through courage, good humor and grace under fire that has united his people and impressed his Western counterparts.

  • The compact, dark-haired 44-year-old former actor has refused to leave Kyiv despite saying he has a goal. In the back. Of the Russian invaders.
  • Many of whom once viewed Zelenskyy as flippant, and political observers say his example has moved them.
  • In a show of bravery, after an offer from the United States to transport him to safety, Zelenskyy responded on Friday: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
  • On Saturday, Russian forces surrounded Kyiv on the third day of the war, with the primary goal, military observers say.

Of reaching the capital to depose Zelenskyy and his government and install someone more obedient to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the run-up to the Russian invasion, Zelenskyy criticized President Joe Biden’s open and detailed warnings about Putin’s intentions, saying they were premature and could cause panic.

But after the war started, he criticized Washington for not doing more to protect Ukraine, including military defense or speeding up its bid to join NATO.

The boldness of Zelenskyy’s stand for Ukraine’s:

  • Sovereignty may not have been expected from a comedian, whose most significant political liability for many years was a sense that he was too apt to seek compromise with Moscow.
  • He ran for the job in part on a platform to negotiate peace with Russia, which had wrested Crimea from Ukraine and propped up two pro-Russian breakaway regions in 2014.
  • Leading to a frozen conflict that killed an estimated 15,000 people.
  • Although Zelenskyy managed a prisoner swap, reconciliation efforts foundered when Putin’s insistence that Ukraine turns away from the West grew even more intense.
  • Painting the Kyiv government as a hotbed of Washington-led extremism.

Zelenskyy has used his history:

Jewish, Eastern Ukrainian, native Russian-speaking, with close friends among Russian artists, to show that it is a country of possibilities, not the hate-filled politics of Putin’s imagination.

  • Despite Ukraine’s dark history of anti-Semitism, it dates back centuries to Cossack pogroms and the collaboration of some anti-Soviet nationalists with the Nazi genocide during World War II.
  • After Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey election in 2019, Ukraine became the only country outside Israel with a Jewish president and prime minister. (Zelenskyy’s grandfather clashed in the Soviet Army against the Nazis, though other families died in the Holocaust.)
  • Like his television character, Zelenskyy took office in a landslide democratic election, defeating a billionaire business person. He promised to end the power of the corrupt oligarchs who randomly controlled Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • That this fresh-faced upstart, who campaigns mainly on social media, could come out of nowhere to claim that the country’s highest office was probably baffling Putin, who has slowly tamed and cornered his political opposition in Russia.
  • Putin’s main political rival, Alexei Navalny, also a comical anti-corruption crusader, was poisoned by Russian secret services in 2020 with a nerve agent applied to his underwear.

Fighting for his life when he travelled to Germany:

For medical treatment under international diplomatic pressure. When the doctors there saved him, he returned to Russia despite the particular risk.

  • Today in a Russian prison, Navalny has denounced Putin’s military operation in Ukraine.
  • Together Zelenskyy and Navalny seem to share the perspective that they must face the consequences of their beliefs, no matter what.
  • “It is a terrifying experience when you come to visit the president of a neighbouring country, your colleague.
  • To provision him in a difficult situation, (and) you hear from him that you may never meet him again because he stays there and will defend his country to the end. Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday.
  • He consumed time with Zelenskyy on Wednesday just before the fighting began. He was one of many political leaders to visit Ukraine with US Vice President Kamala Harris over the past month.

Zelenskyy primary came to the attention of many Americans during the administration of President Donald Trump:

  • In a phone call with Zelenskyy in 2019. He leaned on him to dig up dirt on then-presidential candidate Biden and his son Hunter to help Trump’s re-election campaign.
  • As Trump later called it. That “perfect” phone call resulted in Trump being impeached by the House on charges of using his office.
  • And threatening to withhold $400 million in authorized military support for Ukraine for personal political gain.
  • Here Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey refused to criticize Trump’s call, saying he did not want to get involved in another country’s politics.

The Putin’s attack:

  • which the Russian president called a “special military operation,” began Thursday morning.
  • Putin denied for months that he intended to invade and accused Biden of stirring up war hysteria.
  • When Biden revealed the number of Russian troops and weapons deployed along Ukraine’s borders with Russia and Belarus. The Zelenskyy’s unlikely journey Surrounding Ukraine on three sides.
  • However, Putin defensible the attack by saying it was to defend two breakaway districts in eastern Ukraine from “genocide.”
  • Through the Russian media presenting such a picture of his country. Zelenskyy recorded a message to the Russians to refute the notion that Ukraine is the aggressor and any warmongers.

“They told you that I ordered an offensive in the Donbas, to shoot, to bomb. There is no doubt about that. But there are questions, and they are simple. Shoot who, bomb what? Donetsk?”

Telling his many visits and friends in the region – “I have seen the faces, the eyes” – he said: “It is our land, it is our history. What are we going to fight for and with whom?”

  • Unshaven and wearing an olive-green khaki T-shirt. He has recorded other messages to his compatriots on the Internet in recent days.
  • To boost their morale and emphasize that he is not going anywhere but will stay to defend Ukraine.
  • “We are here. Honour to Ukraine,” he declares.

Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena, an architect:

  • They have a 17-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. He said this week that they continued in Ukraine, not joining the exodus of refugees. Mainly women and children, seeking safety abroad.
  • “The war has altered the former comedian from a provincial politician with delusions of grandeur into a bona fide statesman.
  • Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center for Foreign Affairs wrote on Friday.
  • Although he can be blamed for not carrying out political reforms quickly enough.
  • And for delaying tightening Ukraine’s long border with Russia over the past year.
  • Haring said, Zelenskyy “has shown a stiff upper lip.”
  • He has shown enormous physical courage, refusing to sit in a bunker but instead travelling openly with soldiers.
  • And an unwavering patriotism that few expected from a Russian-speaker from eastern Ukraine.”

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