Kyiv, Ukraine (NewsNation Now) – It was an unconventional rise in the political sphere. Prior to his Ukrainian presidency, Volodymyr Zelensky had no political experience.
However, he was a prolific artist in both Ukraine and Russia. He showed himself to be principled and anti-establishment in his TV show “Servant of the People”.
He also lacked a platform as a presidential candidate, but embodied a populist approach with an anti-war message. Zelensky promised to speak with Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country who were fighting Ukrainian forces.
His message about trying to resolve the conflict led to a convincing presidential victory in 2019, in which he received 70% of the vote.
SLIDE SHOW: Photo by Vladimir Zelensky
But soon after the victory Zelensky became a leader who accepted the old and the new. He looked forward to continuing to recognize Ukraine’s historical past. Speaking on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, he promised to accept the country’s culture and not allow Russia to own it.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky demanded greater security from Europe, including the complete isolation of Russia. He wants an oil embargo, closure of airspace and disconnection from the international payment system SWIFT.
On Friday, Russian troops attacked the Ukrainian capital, and Zelensky gloomily predicted that the conflict would soon escalate.
Reports of hundreds of casualties – including shelling of homes in Kyiv and broken bridges and schools – are also growing signs that Russia may be seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government, which U.S. officials have called Putin’s ultimate goal. This would be his boldest attempt to redraw the map of the world and revive the influence of Moscow during the Cold War.