Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyj (Ukrainian Володи́мир Олекса́ндрович Зеле́нський, Russian Влади́мир Алекса́ндрович Зеле́нский, Vladimir Alexandrovič Zelenskij, May 25 January 2014
Prior to joining politics, he worked as an actor, drummer, screenwriter, television presenter and director of the Kvartal 95 production studio.
Personal life and artistic career
Volodymyr Zelensky was born in 1978 to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih in what was then the Soviet Union. His father is a professor of cybernetics, his mother is an engineer. Volodymyr Zelensky studied law at the Kiev National University of Economics, but has never worked professionally in this field.
At the age of seventeen, he participated for the first time in the KVN television humor competition, popular in the countries of the former Soviet Union. In 1997, he won the KVN competition. In the same year, he founded the Kvartal 95 group, with which he continued in the highest rounds of KVN from 1998 to 2003. During this period, the group performed in other post-Soviet countries, with a base in Moscow. In 2003, Kvartal 95 began producing television programs for Ukrainian television 1 + 1, later for Inter television. He then starred in the Russian-language film Love in the Big City (Любовь в большом городе, 2009) and in its two sequels, as well as in the film Service Novel - Our Time (Служебный роман - Наше время, 2011), in the Russian-Ukrainian film R Ржевский против Наполеона, 2012) and in the film trilogy 8 first meetings (8 первых свиданий, 2012). In August 2014, he came into conflict with the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture when he criticized the ban on Russian artists performing on Ukrainian soil. In the series, he portrayed a young high school history teacher who won the presidential election after a viral video criticizing the corrupt Ukrainian government spread. The political party Servant of the People, for which he ran in the presidential election in 2019, was named after this series. Zelenský's native language is Russian, he also speaks fluent Ukrainian and English.
On New Year's Eve 2018, Zelensky announced his candidacy in the Ukrainian presidential election in March 2019, and in early February, election polls considered him one of the favorites. In the first round of elections, he won the largest number of votes out of 39 candidates and, together with incumbent President Petr Porošenko, advanced to the second round of the presidential election.
As a candidate for the Servant of the People, Zelensky was considered an anti-system candidate, who spoke out against ubiquitous corruption. He called for support for Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO, but he said the Ukrainians should decide on both in a referendum. If elected, he intended to end the ongoing conflict in Donbas with Russia and did not rule out holding a referendum on the issue. According to his statement at the time, there were two ways for Donbas to return to Kiev control: The first involved a large-scale information war that