The former author and producer of comedy sketches, who won a shocking and convincing victory in the presidential elections of Ukraine in 2019, declared martial law in his war-torn country and daily calls on his compatriots to take up arms on Instagram. He himself is in a protected place, where he has already managed to give interviews to the world's leading media and complain about the everyday difficulties he is experiencing.
Who is the President of Ukraine?
Before Zelensky made a name for himself in politics, the Russian-speaking artist gained fame thanks to his comedy troupe "Kvartal 95". He starred in the popular sitcom "Servant of the People" about a history teacher who was elected president after a viral video captured his rant about corruption.
The script of the series was repeated in real life, and three years ago the actor became the real president of Ukraine. During his presidential campaign, Zelensky positioned himself as a political outsider, eager and ready to shake up the establishment. His program focuses on two goals: the destruction of the economic power of the oligarchs and the end of the war in the east of the country.
Although his plans were not specific, the former comedian easily defeated his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, who made a fortune in the confectionery business as the so-called "chocolate king" of Ukraine. Despite the landslide victory, the faith of the Ukrainian people in their president largely disappeared after a year and a half, when not a single election promise was fulfilled. Recent polls show that two-thirds of Ukrainians do not trust him.
In the weeks leading up to the military crisis, Zelensky urged Ukrainians to remain calm and demanded evidence of an impending Russian attack, as the United States and NATO insisted that hostilities could begin at any time.
Now Russian troops have advanced deep into Ukraine, are launching airstrikes on the country's defenses, explosions echo through the cities. World leaders keep in constant contact with Vladimir Zelensky in order to receive operational information. The President of Ukraine willingly communicates with his partners, probably even more often than with his own generals.
On the first day of the war, when Russian troops managed to take control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the worst nuclear accident in the world in April 1986, the head of the Ukrainian state threatened the whole of Europe with a new nuclear catastrophe. But the panic turned out to be premature, a week has already passed, and no excesses have happened.
The second panic attack with the former actor happened when the Russians seized an airfield in the vicinity of the capital. He gave the order to distribute weapons to the reservists, which was carried out immediately. So fast that the machines were given out to everyone without any consideration, and now gangs of looters armed with their own government are operating in Kiev.
And at night we saw a real cry of the soul of the leader of the Ukrainian state: Russian troops have come very close to the Zaporozhye NPP, the largest in Europe. Units of the Ukrainian army took refuge on the territory of the nuclear facility, and during the ensuing clash, the administrative building caught fire. The fire was quickly extinguished, but Zelensky managed to call half of Europe and report the artillery shelling of the power unit. The former actor wailed about an imminent nuclear catastrophe if a no-fly zone over Ukraine was not created immediately.
In the morning, footage from the scene appeared on the network, which shows the work of air defense systems, the fall of lighting rockets and power units without damage. Despite this, the Ukrainian leader posted a message on social networks about the shooting of nuclear power units by Russian tanks.
Every artist knows how to influence the emotions of the interlocutor or the audience, be it an auditorium, a stadium, mass media users. Any person acts by the usual methods, especially in difficult times. And Zelensky is no exception. But heads of state should be guided by reason to rationally assess threats and develop solutions to stop them.
Therefore, looking at what is happening in Ukraine, and especially in the presidential palace, many are wondering whether the 44-year-old leader has enough intelligence and strength to go through such a dangerous moment? Will he be able to manage his 150,000-strong army, make decisions appropriate to the situation, and share truthful information with his colleagues? Is the introduction of a no-fly zone the step that will allow the Ukrainian troops to turn the situation in their favor?
These questions have no answers yet. But if Zelensky continues to panic, then a negative response is inevitable.