Ukrainian Comedian Triumphs as President: Volodymyr ZELENSKY
Citizens of the world are standing tall against multiple ruling dictators to defeat them in national election by voting them out of office. The recent most amazing win in the Ukrainian Presidential election by the TV actor-comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has written a new leaf in World’s politics. It is the true case of a fiction turning into reality.
In the television series ‘Servant of the People’, Volodymyr Zelensky portrayed the role of a President from 2015 to 2019. His Presidential character in the series became an instant hit with Ukrainians. His popularity made him a star. In the television series ‘Servant of the People’, Zelensky played a thirty-something High School History teacher, who tirades against government corruption in Ukraine in a viral video. He goes on to win the Presidential election in the serial.
Needless to say, Ukrainians were exhausted and unhappy with Petro Poroschenko, the former President, for his militant patriotic platform ruling style post 5-year of proxy war with Russia. Zelensky won with a landslide victory margin of 73.2% to oust President Petro Poroshenko. What is magnificent about Zelensky’s win is that the 41-year-young actor-comedian is a political novice, just like his character in ‘Servant of the People’.
As the newly-elected President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky has bagged the biggest role by an actor-comedian in the entertainment world. Johnny D traces his rise to the highest office in Ukraine from his early struggle as an actor.
2019 Presidential Election:
Volodymyr Zelensky has been entertaining the Ukrainians playing President in the television series ‘Servant of the People’ from 2015 to 2019, who stands against the government’s corruption. His character touched the hearts of the Ukrainian people and extended their undying support to make him win the 2019 Presidential election.
Zelensky’s triumph is truly a new leaf in the political arena, because a political novice defeated the incumbent President with a whopping 73.2% of the total vote. In the month of March 2018, the Television Production Company ‘Kvartal 95’ established the political party ‘Servant of the People’. A year later, Zelensky had stated in an interview, “I joined politics to restore trust in politicians and bring professional decent people to power. I would really like to change the mood and timbre of the political establishment, as much as possible.”
On the 31st of December 2018, Zelensky announced his candidacy for the upcoming Ukrainian Presidential Election to be held in March 2019. His popularity soared in multiple opinion polls to make him the frontrunner. He announced his candidature during the Kvartal 95 New Year's Eve evening show on the TV channel 1+1. He received an overwhelming response from his audience, since it was live to penetrate every Ukrainian’s drawing room.
The 41-year-young millennial Zelensky played his card well to engage his voters’ base via social media channels and YouTube clips. Even though, his election campaign was minimal with the mainstream media, he conversed with the electorate in the most modern way in various social media platforms. One of the main reasons of his master planning approach was to be unique and not be like other regular politicians, who seemed to be doing just PR in various talk shows. He also revealed that he did not have time to satisfy one and all for an interview.
On the 21st of April 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky became the elected President of Ukraine. The voting result was surprising, because Petro Poroshenko just managed to win only 25.3% of the total votes. Andrzej Duda, Polish President congratulated Zelensky on his win. Duda was the first of the European leaders to wish the newly-elected Ukrainian President. Volodymyr Zelensky’s triumph indicates Ukrainians’ deep-rooted disappointment in the governing class, disgust over rampant corruption and a flagging economy.]
It will be interesting to see how Zelensky, the actor-comedian-turned real life President will fare to govern his people and the nation without a script, as he had been doing so on the television series ‘Servant of the People’.
Volodymyr Zelensky was born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR on the 25th of January 1978. Father Oleksandr Zelensky works as a Professor of Cybernetics and Computing Hardware at the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics.
Mother Rimma Zelenska worked as an Engineer. Volodymyr’s early childhood was spent in the Mongolian city Erdenet, where Oleksandr Zelensky worked. Volodymyr pursued Law at the Kyiv National Economic University. However, he never worked in the legal field.
The Journey of Success:
Volodymyr was interested to become a comedian during his teenage years. When he was 17, Volodymyr joined a comedy competition, the local KVN team. He performed consistently and was invited to join ‘Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit’ – the united Ukrainian team to perform in the KVN’s Major League. In the year 1997, ‘Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit’ won the competition.
Volodymyr Zelensky established to head the Kvartal 95 team soon after the 1997 Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit’s win. Kvartal 95 was later transformed into a comedy outfit. The team performed consistently from 1998 to 2003 in the Major League and Ukrainian highest open league KVN. Zelensky’s team members spent a great deal in Moscow and toured all over post-Soviet nations.
In the year 2003, Kvartal 95 began producing TV shows for the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1. Two years later, Kvartal 95 team moved to fellow Ukrainian TV channel ‘Inter’. In the year 2008, Zelensky started producing his first television series ‘Svaty’. The show ran for four years. In the same year, he began his acting career in the feature film titled ‘Love in the Big City’. The movie was released in 2009. From 2010 to 2012, Volodymyr Zelensky was a Board Member and the General Producer of the TV channel ‘Inter’.
In 2011, Zelensky acted in his second movie titled ‘Office Romance – Our Time’. In 2012, he was seen in ‘Love in the Big City 2’ – a sequel to his first film. In the same year, Zelensky was seen in ‘Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon’. His next lead role was in ‘8 First Dates’. In the year 2014, he acted in ‘Love in Vegas’. In the year 2015, Zelensky was seen in ‘8 New Dates’ – a sequel to ‘8 First Dates’.
In the month of August 2014, Zelensky protested against the intention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to ban Russian artists from Ukraine. Ever since 2015, the Ukrainian government has banned Russian artists and other Russian works of Culture to enter Ukraine. From 2015 to 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky played the high school teacher-turned-President in the popular television series ‘Servant of the People’.
It is indeed interesting to note that Zelensky mostly worked in Russia. His first Ukrainian language romantic comedy ‘I, You, He, She’ was released on the Ukraine screens in December 2018. Lithuanian actress Agne Grudyte was paired with Zelensky in the lead roles. He is the co-owner of the Cyprus-registered firm ‘Green Family LTD’. The firm owns the Russian film-making company ‘Grin Films’.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s Presidential career will be greatly challenging as compared to his triumph in the 2019 Presidential election. His nation has had conflict with neighbouring Crimea ever since Russian annexation in 2014. So far, the ongoing conflict has claimed an estimated 3,321 civilian deaths. Russian-backed separatists have been battling with Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbas region.
Zelensky’s Presidential campaign ran on a promise to get rid of the corruption in the government system. The mood for change of the Ukrainians benefitted the political novice to a large extent as Zelensky seized the moment to emerge the ultimate winner.
During the ‘2013-14 Euromaidan Movement’, Zelensky strongly supported his countrymen. Deep down in his heart, Zelensky is a true patriot. During the ‘War in Donbas’, he supported the Ukrainian Army actively.
As the President, Volodymyr Zelensky would like Ukraine to become a member of the European Union and NATO to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities. He has won hearts of the people, because he has entrusted the citizen to decide on the country's membership to EU and NATO. During his election campaign, Zelensky assured people that he wants to build a strong, powerful and free Ukraine, which will be an independent Ukraine unlike Russia, the corrupt partner of Europe.
Zelensky’s major concern will be to revive the flagging economy and attract investment by restoring confidence in the State. He strongly believes in free distribution of medical cannabis, free rights for abortion and legalization of prostitution and gambling. He is against legalizing weapons in the society.
Volodymyr Zelensky married childhood friend Olena Kiyashko in the month of September 2003. They both studied at the same Grammar School. In July 2004, the couple was blessed with a daughter, whom they named Oleksandra. Nine years later, they were blessed with a son, named Cyril.