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Ukraine president, an ex-comedian, once starred in hit Netflix show

Now, Volodymyr Zelensky is facing the prospect of a major war with Russia. In a televised address on Thursday, the Ukrainian president said Russia could invade his country any day now.

February 24, 2022 / 08:07 AM IST
Volodymyr Zelensky played the lead role in Ukrainian political satire ‘Servant of the People’.

Volodymyr Zelensky played the lead role in Ukrainian political satire ‘Servant of the People’.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who is at the helm of Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, was once the star of a hit comedy show.

Before being elected president in 2019, the 44-year-old played the role of an abusive school teacher in the political satire Servant of the People, which also streamed on Netflix.

On the show, Volodymyr Zelensky’s character becomes the president of Ukraine after a video of his rant against the government, posted online by his students, becomes viral.

The television show, created by a production house founded by Zelensky, was prescient in a way.

In 2018, members of the production company, Kvartal 95, launched a political party named after the series. Later that year, the party declared Zelensky as its candidate for Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election.

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In his election campaign, Zelensky positioned himself as an anti-corruption politician. He defeated incumbent President Petro Poroshenko by securing more over 70 percent votes.

Now, Zelensky is facing the prospect of a major war with Russia. In a televised address on Thursday, the Ukrainian president said Russia could invade his country any day now, news agency AFP reported.

Zelensky urged the Russian people to oppose their country’s actions.

Meanwhile, the United Nations will on Thursday hold a second emergency meeting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The meeting was requested by Sergiy Kyslytsya Ukraine's ambassador to the UN. Sergiy Kyslytsya said in a letter to the UN that there was an "immediate threat of a Russian offensive" and that separatists in eastern Ukraine had asked Russia for military help.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict escalated after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised Donetsk and Luhansk -- two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine -- as independent and ordered the deployment of troops there for “peacekeeping”.

The United States and its allies criticised Russia’s actions, fearing that they could be a prelude to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

(With inputs from AFP)



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first published: Feb 24, 2022 08:07 am
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