Volodymyr Zelensky Wiki
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky or Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zelensky born 25 January 1978 is a Ukrainian politician, screenwriter, actor, comedian, director and the president-elect of Ukraine. Prior to his political career, he obtained a degree in law and created the company Kvartal 95, which produces films, cartoons, and TV comedy shows. Zelensky won the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election with more than 73% of the votes, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Six months before he announced his candidacy on 31 December 2018, he was already one of the frontrunners in opinion polls for the election.
|Personal details Quick Bio|
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky
25 January 1978
|Political party||Servant of the People|
Olena Kiyashko (m. 2003)
|Education||Kyiv National Economic University (department in Kryvyi Rih)|
Zelensky played the role of President of Ukraine in the 2015–2019 television series Servant of the People. The political party Servant of the People was created in March 2018 by employees from Kvartal 95, which created the television series of the same name.
At age 17, he joined the local KVN team (a comedy competition) and was soon invited to join the United Ukrainian team “Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit” which performed in the KVN’s Major League and eventually won in 1997. That same year, he created and headed the Kvartal 95 team which later transformed into the comedy outfit Kvartal 95. From 1998 to 2003, Kvartal 95 performed in the Major League and the highest open Ukrainian league of KVN, the team members spent a lot of the time in Moscow and constantly toured around post-Soviet countries. In 2003, Kvartal 95 started producing TV shows for the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1, and in 2005 the team moved to fellow Ukrainian TV channel Inter.
In 2008, he starred in the feature film Love in the Big City, and its sequel, Love in the Big City 2. Zelensky continued his movie career with the film Office Romance. Our Time in 2011 and with Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon in 2012. Love in the Big City 3 was released in January 2014. Zelensky also played the leading role in the 2012 film 8 First Dates and in sequels which were produced in 2015 and 2016.
Zelensky was a member of the board and the general producer of the TV channel Inter from 2010 to 2012.
In August 2014, Zelensky spoke out against the intention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to ban Russian artists from Ukraine. Since 2015, Ukraine has banned Russian artists and other Russian works of culture from entering Ukraine. In 2018, the romantic comedy Love in the Big City 2 starring Zelensky was banned in Ukraine.
After the Ukrainian media had reported that during the War in Donbass Zelensky’s Kvartal 95 had donated 1 million hryvnias to the Ukrainian army, Russian politicians and artists petitioned for a ban on his works in Russia. Zelensky spoke out against the intention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to ban Russian artists from Ukraine.
In 2015, Zelensky became the star of the popular television series Servant of the People, in which he plays the role of the President of Ukraine. In the series, Zelensky’s character is a thirty-something high-school history teacher who wins the presidential election after a viral video shows him ranting against government corruption in Ukraine.
Zelensky worked mostly in Russian. His first role in the Ukrainian language was planned as the romantic comedy “I, You, He, She”, which appeared on the screens of Ukraine in December 2018. The first version of the script was written in Ukrainian but was translated into Russian for the Lithuanian actress Agnė Grudytė . Then the movie was dubbed into Ukrainian; the quality of dubbing was criticized by reviewers.
In December 2018, Zelensky stated that “Kvartal 95” had made its last movie with its legal Russian subsidiary in 2012 and that its office in Moscow had been closed in 2014. In January 2019 he said that he still has shared commercial interests with Russian companies, but only as a co-owner of a Cyprus-registered firm “Green Family LTD” that, in turn, owns the Russian film making company Grin Films. Zelensky also stated that he had no role in Grin Films’ successful application for a grant from the Russian Ministry of Culture.
The political party Servant of the People was created in March 2018 by people from the television production company Kvartal 95, which also created the television series of the same name. In a March 2019 interview with Der Spiegel, Zelensky stated he went into politics to restore trust in politicians and that he wanted “to bring professional, decent people to power” and “would really like to change the mood and timbre of the political establishment, as much as possible.”
Six months before he announced his candidacy for the Ukrainian Presidential Election in 2019 on 31 December 2018, Zelensky was already one of the frontrunners in opinion polls.
After months of ambiguous responses, during the Kvartal 95 New Year’s Eve evening show on the TV channel 1+1, he live-announced his candidacy for the 2019 presidential election. During the election campaign Zelensky continued to tour with Kvartal 95. During the campaign his engagement with mainstream media was minimal. He talked to the electorate on social media channels and in YouTube clips. On 16 April 2019, 20 Ukrainian news outlets called on Zelensky to stop avoiding journalists. Two days later, Zelensky stated that he was not hiding from journalists but that he did not want to go to talk shows where “people of the old power” were “just doing PR” and that he just did not have time to satisfy all interview requests. Prior to the elections, Zelensky presented a team that included former Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk and others. During the campaign, concerns were raised over his links to the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Zelensky was elected President of Ukraine on 21 April 2019, beating incumbent President Petro Poroshenko with nearly 73% of the vote to Poroshenko’s 25%.
French President Emmanuel Macron received Zelensky at the Élysée Palace in Paris on 12 April 2019.
Polish President Andrzej Duda was first of the European leaders to congratulate Zelensky.
On 22 April, Ukrayinska Pravda and Agence France-Presse reported that the U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Zelensky on his victory over the telephone. At that moment Zelensky had scored over 73% of the votes out of the 99% of the ballots counted.
Zelensky supported the 2013–14 Euromaidan movement. During the War in Donbass, he actively supported the Ukrainian army.
During his presidential campaign, Zelensky said that he would like Ukraine to become a member of the European Union and NATO, but that he wants Ukrainian voters to decide on the country’s membership of these two organisations in referendums. At the same time, he believed that the Ukrainian people had already chosen “eurointegration”. Zelensky’s chief of staff Ivan Bakanov also said that Zelensky’s policy is supportive of membership of both the EU and NATO, and proposes holding referendums on membership. Zelensky’s electoral programme claimed that Ukrainian NATO membership is “the choice of the Maidan and the course that is enshrined in the Constitution, in addition, it is an instrument for strengthening our defense capability.” The program states that Ukraine should set the goal to apply for a NATO Membership Action Plan in 2024. The programme also states that Zelensky “will do everything to ensure” that Ukraine can apply for European Union membership in 2024. Two days before the second round, Zelensky stated that he wanted to build “a strong, powerful, free Ukraine, which is not the younger sister of Russia, which is not a corrupt partner of Europe, but our independent Ukraine.”
Zelensky promised that his first bill “On People’s Power” will provide a mechanism for referendums. He also promised bills to fight corruption, including removal of immunity from the president of the country, members of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) and judges, a law about impeachment, reform of election laws, and providing efficient trial by jury. He promised to bring the salary for military personnel “to the level of NATO standards”.
Zelensky stated that as President he would develop the economy and attract investment to Ukraine through “a restart of the judicial system” and restoring confidence in the state. He also proposed a tax amnesty and a 5% flat tax for big business which could be increased “in dialogue with them and if everyone agrees.” According to Zelensky, if people would notice that his new government “works honestly from the first day”, they would start paying their taxes.
In an interview in December 2018, Zelensky stated that as President he would try to end the ongoing War in Donbass by negotiating with Russia. As he considered the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic (DPR and LPR) to be Russia’s “puppets”, it would “make no sense to speak with them”. He did not rule out holding a referendum on the issue. In an interview published three days before the 2019 presidential election 21 April) Zelensky stated that he was against granting the Donbass region “special status”. In the interview he also said that if he were elected President he would not sign a law on amnesty for the militants of the DPR and LPR.
Regarding the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, Zelensky said that speaking realistically, it would be possible to return Crimea to Ukrainian control only after a regime change in Russia.
Zelensky supports the free distribution of medical cannabis, free abortion in Ukraine and the legalisation of prostitution and gambling. He opposes the legalization of weapons.
Zelensky has come out against targeting the Russian language in Ukraine and the banning of artists for their (as viewed by the Ukrainian Government as anti-Ukrainian) political opinions. In April 2019 he stated that he was not against a Ukrainian language quota (on radio and TV) and that Russian artists “who have turned into (anti-Ukrainian) politicians” should remain banned from entering Ukraine. He simultaneously floated this idea about the Ukrainian language quota: “you can change them a little”.
Zelensky stated in April 2019 that “of course” he supports the decommunization of Ukraine. In an interview with RBC-Ukraine in April 2019, Zelensky said that Stepan Bandera, a controversial Ukrainian nationalist leader, was “a hero for a certain part of Ukrainians, and this is a normal and cool thing. He was one of those who defended the freedom of Ukraine. But I think that when we name so many streets, bridges by the same name, this is not quite right.”
In response to suggestions to the contrary, he replied to a question that he regarded Russian leader Vladimir Putin “as an enemy”.
In September 2003 Zelensky married Olena Zelenska (née Kiyashko). They both attended the same grammar school.
The couple’s first daughter Oleksandra was born in July 2004. In Zelensky’s 2014 movie 8 New Dates she played Sasha, the daughter of the protagonist In 2016 she participated in the show The Comedy Comedy’s Kids and won 50,000 hryvnias. Their son Cyril Zelensky was born in January 2013.
10 Facts You Need to Know About Volodymyr Zelensky
In September 2003 Zelensky married Olena Zelenska
comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election.
Zelensky won the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election with more than 73% of the votes
The political party Servant of the People was created in March 2018 by people from the television production company Kvartal 95
Zelensky was a member of the board and the general producer of the TV channel Inter from 2010 to 2012
In an interview in December 2018, Zelensky stated that as President he would try to end the ongoing War in Donbass by negotiating with Russia
He currently stars in a TV series as the president – as the country’s next real president. And it wasn’t even close.
Mr Zelensky starred in the long-running satirical drama Servant of the People in which his character accidentally becomes Ukraine’s president.
He plays a teacher who is elected after his expletive-laden rant about corruption goes viral on social media.
He ran under a political party with the same name as his show.
With no previous political experience, Mr Zelensky’s campaign focused on his difference to the other candidates rather than on any concrete policy ideas.
Despite this, he won the first round with more than 30% of the vote – almost double what Mr Poroshenko got when he finished in second place with 15.95%.