'We never had that before.'- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy deemed an international hero amid Ukrainian crisis

As the war in Ukraine continues to rage on, millions around the world are praising Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with many on social media calling him an international hero for rallying the nation to resist the invasion. But, who is the unlikely politician?

News 12 Staff

Mar 4, 2022, 12:46 AM

Updated 832 days ago

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As the war in Ukraine continues to rage on, millions around the world are praising Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with many on social media calling him an international hero for rallying the nation to resist the invasion. But, who is the unlikely politician?
The 44-year-old has been president since 2019, winning in an overwhelming majority. One of his voters was Alexandra Kovalenko, who is from his hometown of Kriviy Rih.
“He fixed all the roads, before that we had bad roads. They started repairing schools and day cares. They called this the big construction when they were fixing things, we never had that before,” said Kovalenko.
His path to power is quite unconventional. He was a comedian, an actor who starred in several Russian and Ukrainian romcoms, including one called “Love in the Big City.” It was about Russians living right here in New York.
He was also on the Ukrainian version of Dancing With The Stars and later starred in a comedy show about a teacher who accidentally went viral and was elected president. Later, the fictional show became a reality.
President Zelenskyy won with 73% of the vote, running on a platform of negotiating peace in Russia.
He’s the first Jewish president of Ukraine, whose family members were killed during the Holocaust.
News 12’s Hannah Kliger’s father, Sam Kliger, is a sociologist specializing in former Soviet countries who has met with President Zelenskyy several times as part of his role as director of Eurasian affairs at the American Jewish Committee.
The most recent was just a few months ago in September of 2021. In recent days, Zelenskyy has been praised for remaining in Kyiv to fight with his nation, many saying he’s exhibited real leadership during the crisis.
“He told that his grandfather was taken to the army during World War II and survived but all his brothers and sisters were killed in Babin yar,” said Sam Kliger.
The world continues to watch images from Ukraine and learn firsthand from the head of the nation, who insists on staying for the fight.


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