Volodomor Zelensky said .”Today I will start with long-awaited words, which I wish to announce with pride,” he said.”Finally,” he continued. “Ukraine is United … This is our victory.”
This speech was fiction. It is from the closing scene of Servant of the People, a satirical TV show about a down-on-his-luck high-school teacher, played by Zelenskyy, who is thrust into the Ukrainian presidency after his rant about corruption goes viral.
In April 2019, within a month of the show’s finale, the comedian-turned politician was elected Ukraine’s president.
Unfortunately, this time around, the speech was for real. Zelenskyy again found himself in front of a podium on Friday when he addressed the people of Ukraine. In a dark green tee shirt with dark circles under his eyes, the Ukrainian president struck a defiant tone and praised the country’s armed forces for “brilliantly defending the country.”
“Now is an important moment,” Zelenskyy said. “The fate of our country is being decided.” Zelensky has also been active on social media, using his Twitter account to post updates and reassure Ukrainians that he is staying in the country to lead the resistance.
In a video posted on Saturday morning titled “do not believe the fakes,” Zelensky revealed that he is still in Kyiv.” I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this,” he said.”That is it. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine,” he added.
Putin and his government have repeatedly put forward baseless and inaccurate claims that the democratically elected Ukrainian government is a “fascist” or “Nazi” regime. Zelenskyy is Jewish and had family members die in the Holocaust.
Zelenskyy became President in 2019 thrashing incumbent Petro Poroshenko, but his tenure has been rocky.
The first several months of his term were engulfed by the quid-pro-quo scandal which saw former US President Donald Trump’s attempt to exert pressure on Ukraine to dig up dirt on election opponent and now-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
COVID-19 then tore through the country. Zelenskyy’s campaign promises, such as ending the war in eastern Ukraine and stamping out corruption, remain unfilled.