If you’ve been paying attention to, you know, literally anything in the past week, you’ve probably heard the name Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned a few times.
But who is Volodymyr Zelenskyy?
Prior to last week, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was known to many as a comedian and sitcom actor who somehow managed to become the president of Ukraine.
When Russia’s troops invaded the nation in February of 2022, Zelenskyy appealed to the world itself to help defend Ukraine from attack.
“Russia treacherously attacked our state this morning, as Nazi Germany did during World War Two,” Zelenskyy said on Thursday.
“Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won’t give up its freedom, no matter what Moscow thinks.”
Zelenskyy and Ukraine are standing against Putin.
“‘Captain Ukraine,’ the first ‘true’ president of Ukraine, a hero, a leader. I would have never thought I would see people use these terms to refer to Volodymyr Zelenskyy,” wrote Anna Myroniuk for the Kyiv Independent. She noted that she didn’t vote for Zelenskyy but has had to take her hat off to him.
Zelenskyy, 44, became president with no political experience.
Two years ago, during the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Zelenskyy told the Israeli Prime Minister stories of Ukrainian heroes. One was a Muslim woman and a Catholic priest who saved Jewish children from the Nazis.
And then he told a story about “a family of four brothers”.
“Three of them, their parents, and their families became victims of the Holocaust. All of them were shot by German occupiers who invaded Ukraine. The fourth brother survived… Two years after the war, he had a son, and in 31 years, he had a grandson. In 40 more years, that grandson became president, and he is standing before you today, Mr. Prime Minister,” said Zelenskyy.
Memes of Volodymyr Zelenskyy have been popping up all over:
Putin has accused Ukraine of genocide and spoken about needing to “de-Nazify” Ukraine. In the wake of those accusations, Zelenskeyy has remained an inspiration to his people.
Zelenskyy is married with two kids. He graduated from the Kyiv National Economic university with a degree in law but joined the comedy group Kvartal 95 in 1997 and by 2003, the team was producing TV programs.
Big shift! And many Ukrainians were initially skeptical about the whole thing.