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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to remain in Kyiv even as Russian troops close in on the capital.
“They want to destroy the country politically, terminating the head of state,” Zelenskyy said early Friday morning, adding that he is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “target number one.”
Still, he promised that Ukraine would defend itself. “We are not afraid of anything,” he said.
But who is the country’s leader? A 44-year-old political neophyte? A comedian-turned-TV star? A wartime president?
Before he was elected in 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy actually played the president on a Ukrainian TV show called “Servant of the People” in which he portrayed a high school teacher who woke up one morning to find out he had been elected president in a landslide after a social media video he made denouncing corruption went viral, according to ABC News.
The show was so popular that his comedy group Kvartal 95 started a real political party called “Servant of the People.”
UKRAINE LEADER ZELENSKYY SAYS HE’S RUSSIA’S ‘TARGET NO. 1’
In his real campaign, Zelenskyy ran against corruption and on ending the war with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Leaning heavily on social media, he won in a landslide and was inaugurated in May 2019.
Soon after, he became embroiled in an investigation of then-President Trump who was accused of withholding military funding from Ukraine on the condition its government investigate his soon-to-be rival Joe Biden for his dealings in Ukraine. Trump was impeached and later acquitted.
Zelenskyy was also pressured last year to take a tougher stance against pro-Putin factions in Ukraine, a move that coincided with a Russian buildup of military forces, according to ABC.
Zelenskyy is also Jewish and had family members die in the Holocaust, which made Putin’s claim this week that Russian troops are trying to “denazify” Ukraine – a reference undoubtedly meant to resonate with Russians over WWII – all the more strange.
Zelenskyy married screenwriter and architect Olena Zelenska in 2003 and the two have a son and daughter. Zelenskyy said his family remains in Ukraine in an undisclosed location.
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Zelenskyy gave a defiant update of the situation of Friday morning.
“The fights continue,” he said. “Russia expects us to get tired, but we’re not tired.”
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/world/who-is-ukraines-president-volodymyr-zelenskyy