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The ex-comedian president who forgot that Putin is also quite an “actor”. Until he ditched his acting and became a real leader telling the world about his country’s situation. Who is President Zelensky, read from his biography? > When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24th of this year, many thought Ukraine would soon surrender. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused to give in to Russia, survived his assassination several times, and roused his people to fight. To the international community, he called for sanctions against Russia and the supply of arms and ammunition to Ukraine. Zelensky turned comedian into politician. He is also known for playing a former high school teacher who turned from an amateur to a politician in the TV drama “Kokumin no Koboku” (currently distributed on Netflix Japan under the title “Kokumin no Servant”). ). Ukrainian journalist and political commentator Serhiy Rudenko, in his new book The Face of Zelensky: A True Hero or a Dangerous Populist? and deciphered his life and political style. Below is an excerpt from the same book. It’s the heart of the story of how Zelensky transformed and saw the essence of who Putin was. ◇ ◇ ◇ Words come first. To be more precise, there was the title of the TV drama, “Public servants of the people.” A political party with the same name was born. A political party with no ideology, no local branches, no party members. With nothing to back it up, the party had 4% of the public support as of December 2017. For many of its supporters, the Servants of the People party was political entertainment. People ate Coca-Cola, pizza and kebab sandwiches as they attended the rally and took selfies with the star. The big win for Zelensky, the cinematic inauguration, and the presence of a young, handsome, and quick-witted leader were all part of the entertainment. But the rapid rise in support was also a flip side of the fact that the party was perceived more as the project of Vasily Goroborozhko, the hero of the drama, than Zelensky himself. Are you overconfident in your own attractiveness? April 21, 2019 at 8pm. Zelensky and his team appeared at the press conference with the song “I love my country” from the drama. Yet at this time, Zelensky and his hero character overlapped. “I promise you I will never let you down,” said Zelensky, who became Ukraine’s sixth president. Since then, we’ve seen Zelensky in many different situations. He and his team have been criticized for being amateurs. He has been accused of corruption, arrogance and treason. ===== Four-nation summit meeting held in Paris in December 2019. From left to right: Zelensky, Macron, Putin, Merkel CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSONーPOOL/GETTY IMAGES However, since the start of a large-scale military invasion by Russia on February 24, Zelensky has taken on a completely different appearance. He took Putin’s challenge unchallenged and became the leader of the resistance to a Russian invasion. In his fight against Russia, he brought together supporters and opponents, corrupt officials and anti-corruption fighters, adults and children, people of different nationalities and religions. He became a national leader who was greeted with applause in the European legislatures and in the United States Congress. However, it should be pointed out that Ukrainians tend to believe in “myths”. There is also a legend that an old Cossack leader left a large amount of money somewhere in England, and former President Viktor Yushchenko was treated as a savior. Nor do they believe that Zelensky and his party can solve all of Ukrainian problems in a dramatic way. And there is something that the Ukrainian people completely forget. The “Public Servants of the People” party is no longer a TV drama, but a representative of itself and the future of its children. The public trusted Zelensky and his team. We will know after the war is over whether this decision was the right one. Because it depends on Zelensky and the Servants of the People party not only to fulfill their election promises, but also to fight for Ukraine’s independence. In the months since he took office, Zelensky has wanted a meeting with Putin. He wanted to fulfill his campaign promise to end the conflict between pro-Russian militants and government forces in the eastern Donbass region. To do that, he needed to get to the negotiating table with Putin. Zelensky looked Putin in the eye and said he wanted to understand him as a human being. That is why Zelensky was ready to take any action, including a new ceasefire in Donbass, the dispersion of forces on the front lines, and a renewed rapprochement with Russia. Zelensky really believed it. Look into Putin’s eyes and you’ll see at least a grain of grief over the 14,000 deaths in the conflict. A quadrilateral summit was set for December 9, 2019, with Ukraine and Russia, along with brokers France and Germany. Prior to this, Zelensky believed that his charisma and charm as an actor would pay off, and that he would be guaranteed an end to the conflict in the East. On the other hand, he forgets that Putin is just as much an actor as he is. ===== A view of Lischensk, a major city in the eastern Luhansk region. It is believed to have been captured by Russian forces in early July. Ukrainian military tank MARCUS YAM-LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES Putin has played the role of a “peace broker” in Georgia, Transnistria in eastern Moldova and Syria for the past two decades. He had Russian troops stationed there and acted like they didn’t exist. It was the same in Ukraine. A guard of honor lined up near the entrance of the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the French president. President Emmanuel Macron greeted guests at the porch, while reporters stood opposite the guard of honor. The first to arrive was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel in a blue jacket was kissed by Macron as the Mercedes-Benz pulled up at the driveway. Macron smiled and behaved gracefully. Next came the Renault Espace carrying Zelensky, which stopped just inside the gate. Zelensky quickly walked over to Macron and greeted him brightly. Then a Russian journalist shouted: “Mr. Zelenski, what do you consider successful this time? Mr. Zelenski! Answer me! Mr. Zelenski!” I went to the entrance of the building. Putin arrived last. He had a suppressed expression on his face. He slowly climbs out of Russia’s bulletproof presidential car, the Aurus Senat, trudges up to Macron, shakes his hand, and disappears into the building. The one-on-one meeting with Putin was also a telling scene. The national leaders seeking to instill fear in Europe and the world looked old and out of place. Macron and Zelensky were different in time, age, mentality and vitality. The meeting, which lasted nine hours, was a major achievement in itself, as the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia met face-to-face for the first time in three years. Zelensky, who attended for the first time, held private one-on-one meetings, first with Putin, then with Macron and Merkel. Zelensky did not say what he saw in Putin’s eyes. Putin seems to have used his signature negotiating skills. Threats, intimidation, carrots and sticks. Zelenskiy was visibly nervous during the pre-meeting photo shoot. There was even a scene where he tried to go to Putin’s position. He then spoke to a reporter and casually showed him a document with the themes of the negotiations. “Let’s start when everyone is out.” Putin said, pointing to the photographer. Zelensky took a sip of water. ===== A view of Lischensk, a major city in the eastern Luhansk region. BOOMED SCHOOL MARCUS YAM-LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES By the end of the quadrilateral talks, the Russian and Ukrainian presidents had not found common ground on the future of the Donbass region. Putin was relentless. As per the Minsk agreements, he insisted that Ukraine will be responsible for border control again after the day after local elections were held in ORDLO (an area effectively controlled by pro-Russian separatists in Donbass). Zelensky protested, complaining about the deal accepted by former President Petro Poroshenko. However, according to a press release issued after the talks, all parties agreed on the legal aspects of the “special status” that would grant ORDLO broad autonomy, and detailed processes were to be worked out based on the so-called Steinmeier draft. became. The bill says that after local elections are held with the backing of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), a permanent law granting “special status” will come into force. Very few people know for sure what happened behind the scenes of the quadrilateral talks. Then-Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told reporters what was alleged to be an exchange between Zelensky and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “Volodymyr Zelensky finally exploded in the middle of a conversation that was mostly in Russian. ‘Mr. Lavrov, stop pretending you know! I walked all along the border.” The next four-way talks, scheduled for March 2020, were not held as the world was engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic. Zelensky’s two-year attempts to negotiate with Putin have all come to nothing. In the spring of 1921, when he wanted to become a “president of peace”, the Kremlin Lord, who was offered to meet in Donbass by the President of Ukraine, replied: “We are interested in the Russian language, the Church and citizens of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. Donbass is an internal affair of the Ukrainian state.”・Medvedev wrote in the Russian economic newspaper Kommersant that any contact with the current Ukrainian leadership was meaningless and that Russia would wait for a regime change in Ukraine. Four months later, on February 24, 2018, Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Yet Zelensky is still ready to meet with Putin. But now it’s probably not for eye-to-eye talk, but to stop a Russian aggression. ===== Zelensky was inaugurated with the aim of becoming a “peaceful president”. He promised to end the war in the Donbass region and put an end to its troubled relations with the Russian Federation. That’s why he’s willing to negotiate with the devil, he said. But the Kremlin devils agreed to negotiate only one condition: Ukraine surrenders to Russia. This is an unacceptable condition for Zelensky. Putin gave no choice. Zelensky was forced to become a “war president” rather than a peace president. It was his mission to lead the country in the fight against the Russian occupation forces. He’s never served in the military and is a tough test for someone who had no political experience until 2019. Until the war began, Zelensky’s public speeches were transparent to his past performances. The distance, facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures. Everything was theatrical. On February 24th of this year, Zelensky threw these weapons away. Before us was a completely different person. His tired face is unshaven. Khaki, no tie, no make-up, no TV spotlight. The president speaks with pain about Ukrainians from all walks of life caught up in the Russian-Ukrainian war. A person with real feelings. There was a leader of the Ukrainian nation, who would tell the world about the war in his country. The 6th President of Ukraine went from being an actor to finally becoming the leader of the Ukrainian state. A man whose interest and cynicism was met by world leaders is now a politician admired in the West and whom world leaders proudly call a friend. ▶Excerpt adapted from ZELENSKY: A BIOGRAPHY by Serhii Rudenko. Copyright © 2022 Polity Press.

The Moment When Zelensky’s “Preparedness” Was Born: What Happened in the “Prewar Showdown” with Putin

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