Volodymyr Zelenskiy, from eastern Ukraine originally and a Russian speaker, a leading Ukrainian actor and comedian, the creator and director of Quarter 95 studios, was born on 25th of January in 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. His parents were professors of cybernetics. He had lived 4 years in Mongolia with his parents being a child. After high-school graduation Vladimir got into the Krivoy Rog Economic Institute of the Kiev National Economic University majoring in law science. He had never worked in the field of his qualification, despite the two months of internship. The stage, filming set, creativity and production of the brilliant entertainment content – that is the core of his interests, the goal of his creative and professional development. Zelensky owns numerous professional television awards, including Teletriumph’s prizes (main professional prizes of Ukrainian television). In the second season of the Ukrainian hit TV show “Servant of the People,” comedian Volodymyr Zelensky plays a schoolteacher turned presidential candidate who shoots to the top of the polls amid voter disgust with the political establishment.
On the big screen, he plays a president who wins over people’s hearts by speaking out against the establishment, vowing to end corruption, improving living standards and raising Ukraine’s status internationally. Wildly popular in Ukraine, where citizens are sick of the graft of their elite, Servant of the People features Zelensky as Vasyl Holoborodko, whose rant against the kleptocracy of the government is filmed by a student and goes viral, propelling him into the presidency. More West Side Story than The West Wing, the show’s dream sequences and flights of fancy highlight his dogged efforts at curbing corruption, as he shuns the sultan-like luxury associated with leaders of former Soviet states.
“I was born in a corrupt hospital, the nurse who delivered me was corrupt, and the gravedigger who buries me will be corrupt,” says Libkin. “This is a disease like AIDS that has mercy for no one, and the people who are fighting it stink of it.”
Volodymyr Zelenskiy In Business
Novoe Vremya journalist Ivan Verstyuk points out, Zelenskiy is not only known for his role as a fictional president. He is the co-founder of the Kvartal 95 film studio, where he is also art director, and has proved to be a savvy businessman, according to Verstyuk.
But Zelenskiy’s business connections with oligarchs such as Ihor Kolomoisky could bring his independence into question. Verstyuk considers this to be the biggest risk to Zelesnkiy’s candidacy.
“He was always able to make deals with owners of television channels. Besides, Zelenskiy launched his own movie production, he has been very successful as a businessman, his movies are among the most popular in Ukraine,” Novoe Vremya journalist Ivan Verstyuk said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy In Politics
Volodymyr Zelenskiy party is called Servant of the People. He makes a virtue of his political inexperience and courts anti-establishment voters, while critics have accused him of exploiting people’s anger. His position in the polls appears to indicate that he is benefiting from Ukrainians’ frustration with the failure of the political elite to deliver on the promises of the Euromaidan uprising.
“The idea of ‘Servants of the People’ appeared 11 years before the release of the series and was called “Young Country”. Even then, in 2003-2005, we all wanted change. Therefore, whether advertising is a move – not sure. Do we use this as a support for our campaign – yes, you saw it. In terms of PR, this is a strong story.”
He launched a website on January 2 which allows any member of the public to apply for a position in his team, stipulating that applicants must have no previous experience in politics. He also published a video on social media, where he asks the population to list their most pressing concerns, which will likely form the basis of his political agenda. Hackers launched an attack on the website of Volodymyr Zelenskiy following the announcement of his candidacy for president on New Year’s Eve, the head of Zelenskiy’s digital department Mykhailo Fedorov told news website TSN.ua.
Zelensky, who declared his candidacy on national television on the New Year’s Eve edition of his variety show, has led Tymoshenko and Poroshenko in almost every published poll since early February. Zelensky’s true politics are a mystery.
“Zelensky has succeeded in attracting angry voters who have lost trust in the current politicians,” Viktor Zamyatin, an analyst with the Razumkov Center think tank, told the AP.
The Center for Eastern Studies (OSW) a Warsaw-based think tank, has said Kolomoisky hopes a good result for Zelensky will help him send deputies allied to him to Ukraine’s parliament in the elections in October, increasing his influence in the country.
“Kolomoisky is the main opponent of Petro Poroshenko, and has been seeking revenge for the revenues his businesses have lost by supporting the main candidates for the presidency, namely Tymoshenko, and now Zelensky,” OSW wrote.
President Petro Poroshenko’s government and administration have been beset by infighting and state spending scandals. The economy, suffering from weak investor confidence and the war in the heavily industrial east, still hasn’t recovered from its near-collapse five years ago.
The U.S. ambassador to Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, excoriated the Ukrainian leadership for failing to do enough to fight corruption.
“It is increasingly clear that Ukraine’s once-in-a-generation opportunity for change, for which such a high price was paid five years ago on the Maidan, has not yet resulted in the anti-corruption or rule of law reforms that Ukrainians expect or deserve,” she said earlier this month, referring to the square in central Kiev where protesters were killed in 2014.
The building disbelief among Ukraine’s political class echoes the furor of the establishment as Zelensky’s character rises in the polls in “Servant of the People.” Voting for Zelensky for president, Tymoshenko told a Ukrainian interviewer recently, was like making the beet soup borscht out of Cheburashka, a Soviet-era cartoon character.
“People are voting for the plot of the show,” said Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. “They want to bring the plot of the show to life.”
In “Servant of the People,” which premiered in 2015, the schoolteacher played by Zelensky becomes an overnight sensation after his impromptu rant against government corruption goes viral.
He is elected president and goes on to fight the entrenched elites, refusing to be bought. In Season 2, which started airing in late 2017, Zelensky’s character resigns as president after facing down the International Monetary Fund and then stages an improbable, underdog reelection campaign.
Just like his character in Season 2, Zelensky, the real-life candidate, has taken to addressing voters in selfie videos and recording himself talking to regular Ukrainians. Zelensky’s campaign videos on his YouTube channel include clips from “Servant of the People” interspersed amid footage from Zelensky’s actual campaign.
Unlike his character, Zelensky has not yet pulled all the funds from his campaign coffers to install safer, glowing sidewalks across the country. And Zelensky says that as president, he wouldn’t hurl an obscenity at the IMF as his character does in the show because “in life, we don’t have the right to.”
He claims his real-life principles do match those of the incorruptible, everyman character he plays on TV.
“To some degree, maybe people really do have the feeling that the guy on screen and the guy in real life are one and the same person,” Zelensky told foreign journalists earlier this month in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. “This might even be true, to some extent.”
Where Volodymyr Zelenskiy Stand On The Top Issues
- He says he’s in favor of Ukraine seeking to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, but that those moves should be endorsed by the public in a referendum.
- Zelenskiy has said he would introduce a bill to strip the president, lawmakers and judges of immunity from prosecution if elected.
- According to statistics, people do not believe that I am a puppet of Kolomoisky. People really feel me, and we are not the first day familiar with the people of Ukraine. They elect a president, not Kolomoisky. With regard to the protection [surrounded by Zelensky was noticed guard Kolomoisky], we turned to the channel “1 + 1”, they gave us a company that provided the guards. We took this company and paid it. I am not friends with these people, and I have never been a relative. We have interconnections with the “advantages”, I conduct financial negotiations, but if I go out of business, what about it?
- Zelenskiy intentions for PrivatBank that used to belong to Ihor Kolomoisky until bne IntelliNews exposed the wholesale looting of its deposits in a cover story in November 2016 “Privat investigations” that lead to the bank’s collapse and nationalisation a month later. some have suggested that Zelenskiy would return the bank to its former owner, who has not paid back a penny of the approximately $5bn looted from the bank – money that had to be replaced with public funds as part of the bank’s rescue.
- I would like to ask: what is the reason why you came to our land? This is just a discussion called. I want subject answers. I would like to ensure that their [Russian authorities] conditions are fixed on official paper. It makes no sense to ask whether there are their troops. We know that they are, and he [Putin] said that no. As soon as we have an official document, I think we will be a little closer to resolving the issue.
- He insists all of Ukraine’s powerful oligarchs will be equal before the courts. But critics doubt the same will hold for Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the billionaire rival of Poroshenko who owns the channel that aired Zelenskiy’s show. If there is any chance to end the war, we must do everything to stop our people from dying. You need to stop shooting. Minsk agreements do not work, it is necessary to expand the negotiating table, to involve the United Kingdom and the United States. Of course, you need to talk with representatives of the Russian Federation. As it is – it is worth discussing yet. I like the Kurt Volker [United States Special Representative for Ukraine] line: the line of separation, the peacekeeping mission, and then protect the small villages and go to Lugansk and Donetsk.
- Western diplomats in Kiev say they worry Zelensky’s inexperience will be a particular risk when dealing with Putin. The comedian has promised to negotiate with the Russian president, though he has provided few details on how he will do that.
- Zelenskiy is middle of the road on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal. Opposition leader and a frontrunner in the race Yulia Tymoshenko has campaigned on an extreme anti-IMF platform, whereas incumbent President Petro Poroshenko is campaigning on an extreme pro-IMF platform. The IMF programme has a mixed reaction as while IMF funds have prevented a renewed economic crisis, it has also inflicted a lot of pain on the population in the form of higher utility prices, amongst other things.
- We do not sell our people and territory. We do not sell or change. Not conceding Crimea. This is our territory, our land.
- They [oligarchs] should not influence political processes. They need to talk with them, set tough rules. They can not buy parties and individuals – it’s a crime. But they have a huge number of enterprises. If to go against them the war, people will lose jobs, there will be another Maidan in the country. I think they are ready to talk. It is necessary to raise the issue of returning to Ukraine withdrawals. There should be no influence on media resources, information atmosphere in the country. It is necessary to consider the channel as a business, but the information block should not obey [oligarchs]. It is possible to create a special body, which is engaged in the control of information policy. They [oligarchs] should be portfolios of investors on television.
Zelensky is a rare candidate who has managed to transcend the divide between East and West and Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers in the country. His image is as that of a young, pro-Western actor and entrepreneur, but he hails from Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking southeast.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy Last Words
I’ve done a lot in my profession. Emotionally, I will not transfer my attitude to Ukraine, but it is more than a debt. We are guilty of our country, she raised us up. For me, the country is first of all people. The problem is that people are riding. There are two real leaders – I’m Slava Vakarchuk. One said, “No”, and the other one is me. I want to bring in the power of professional and decent people. I would like to change the mood and timbre of the political establishment, as far as possible.
Update 2019: Volodymyr Zelenskiy President Of Ukraine
The emphatic victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity. With 95 percent of votes counted, Zelenskiy had won 73 percent of the vote with Poroshenko winning just under 25 percent, the central election commission said.
Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, is now poised to take over the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Declaring victory at his campaign headquarters to emotional supporters on Sunday night, Zelenskiy promised he would not let the Ukrainian people down.
“I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union look at us. Anything is possible!”
- Volodymyr Zelenskiy Biography and Profile