Putin = War Criminal
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Ukraine’s ‘servant of the people’ Zelenskyy leads them in war
The former comedian and actor with humble roots says his removal is top target of the Russian invaders.
An apartment building damaged following a Russian rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday.
KRYVYI RIH, Ukraine — When he entered politics in 2019 as a wartime president, with the conflict against Russian separatists still simmering in eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy offered his people a heartfelt pledge. “Throughout my entire life, I’ve tried to do everything so Ukrainians smiled,” Zelenskiy, a former comedian and actor, said in his inauguration speech. “In the next five years, I will do everything so that you, Ukrainians, don’t cry.” With his life clearly in danger, the 44-year-old president has appeared on television in recent days wearing an army green T-shirt and matching fleece jacket, looking utterly exhausted, exhorting Russia and the Russian people in their native language, which is also his own, to stop the killing. On Friday night, Zelenskiy released a video showing him outside the presidential office in Kyiv to refute Russian disinformation that he had fled the capital. n unleashing a murderous war, Putin also issued several ultimatums to Zelenskiy in recent days, demanding the acceptance of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as well as the surrender of the entirety of Donbass, the eastern Ukrainian region that was partly occupied by pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Even if Zelenskiy caved to Putin’s demands, it’s not clear he would be able to save his country. If he doesn’t, it’s not clear he can save his own life.
Zelenskiy’s poll ratings had plummeted in the months leading up to the Russian invasion, as Ukraine suffered from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Donbass dragged on without resolution. But even Ukrainians who dislike the president have rallied around him in response to the Russian attack, and even those who criticize him rather harshly, nonetheless regard him as the genuine democratic choice of the voters, who specifically rejected Petro Poroshenko and other career politicians like former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Nowhere is this support and acceptance more palpable than in Kryvyi Rih, the city in the heart of Ukraine’s iron-ore mining region, where Zelenskiy was born. A visit to Kryvyi Rih also illustrates how, despite taking office with war raging in Donbass, Zelenskiy has sought to deliver concrete improvements for his citizens — literally in bricks and asphalt with an expansive nation-wide infrastructure program that is often the first thing people mention when asked their opinion of him. But none of that is of much consequence now, as Zelenskiy’s legacy is being rewritten by the war — with his life perhaps even hanging in the balance. Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena, have two children, and the president has insisted that he will remain in Kyiv leading the defense against Russia. “I remain in the capital, I remain with my people.”
All respect. The Marine in me wishes I was there.