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Zelensky, the president who was a comedian and streaming content to understand him

Zelensky, the president who was a comedian and streaming content to understand him

Zelensky, the president who was a comedian and streaming content to understand him

A comedian leading a nation? This milestone was achieved by Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian president was a television comedian before entering politics and facing the military attack of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the Ukrainian border. He lives a war with Russia, the conflict that his 2015 comedy did not portray “Servant of the people” (2015), a brainchild of Kvartal 95, Zelensky’s production company. It was his script: a high school history teacher who by luck would become the leader of the country. Today, in real life, he is a figure who is not only understood from the diplomatic perspective, but also from the performance art of him.

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From being a comedian to being a political leader, the same thing happened with Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, known as the clown Tiririca before becoming a deputy for the state of São Paulo (Brazil). As happened with Jimmy Morales, who won the presidential elections in Guatemala in 2016, after his time on television as a comedian. One of the latter’s films, “A President with a Hat,” casually satirises the Guatemalan political system, which he himself led in reality. Similarly, Volodymyr Zelensky wrote the lines of his future before creating the centrist political party that bears the same name as the sitcom, “Servant of the People.”

Art has the ability to whisper in the ear certain premonitions. After launching the television fiction (2015) and the film sequel (2016), Zelensky today is almost a war hero that we see dressed as a soldier in videos posted on his Instagram account. The Ukrainian people breathe the motivating breath of his messages and the impetus not to leave the battlefield in the face of a threat. Something that the former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, did do when he fled from Kiev in the midst of protests against his government policy and the people’s demand that Ukraine sign the Association Agreement with the European Union. This is portrayed in the documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” (Netflix), the outburst of thousands of Ukrainians in the streets of Maidan, Kiev’s Independence Square, who came out to demonstrate peacefully in 2013. They raised their voice, then with helmets on their heads and improvised bulletproof vests, for 93 days: “Do what we want!”, “Ukraine is part of Europe!”, among other organized demands. His words betrayed that Ukrainian nationalist sentiment towards the special police, who threw tear gas canisters at them and fired shots. According to Human Rights Organizations (at the end of the film), 125 people were killed and 65 were still missing in the capital.

Years after the social explosion in Kiev, an Australian journalist, Jonathan Swan, from the media company, Axios, traveled to Kiev to record an episode of the documentary series that has the same name as the company. It is an interview with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, which has been available on HBO Max since last year. With his head raised and from time to time smiling, the president of Ukraine answers the reporter’s questions about his country’s interest in the United States, whom he wishes to have as an ally. The message of that conversation was clear: “We need your help to confront Russia,” says Swan at the beginning of the episode.

“I think that if someone knew exactly how to do it (take Russia out of Ukrainian territory), that person would have done it. The war is in its seventh year. But there are certain steps. First, it’s the unification. The unity of the people around the world, which will begin to put pressure on the people or the policies of those who do not respect international law and order. (…) What we are facing now is a information warfare. The United States is one of the great examples of how this happens. We forgot, but for a long time now, that information weapons are more powerful than nuclear ones. What happened in Dombas, for example. At the first stage, no weapons were used. The first stage was about information,” the Ukrainian president warned Swan.

THE DEFENSE

Russian President Vladimir Putin violated international law at its finest on Monday by sending troops to Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas region. In addition, there is a dilemma whether or not to accept Ukraine as a member of NATO, something that Russia simply does not understand in its political interests. And among other issues, last week the Russian army bombed Kiev, the capital of the city. In a message to the nation five days ago published by the EFE agency, Vladimir Putin justifies the attack on the humanitarian side: “They have left us no other opportunity to protect Russia, our people, except the one that we will be forced to use today”. He was referring to the supposed protection of pro-Russian separatists who are on Ukrainian territory. A performance that attracted more international sanctions, since Japan made it impossible for certain Ukrainians to obtain visas until FIFA took away the country’s option to participate in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

But the country’s leader is more on the move than ever. Volodímir Zelensky’s messages have been: “I don’t want my photos in his offices, because the president is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang up the photos of your children and look at them every time you are making a decision”, “Here I am, we will not lower our weapons, we will be defending our country, because our weapon is the truth and our truth is that this is our land, our country , our children, and we will defend all of this.” According to the Ukrainian embassy in Britain, when the United States offered the Ukrainian president a rescue operation to evacuate him from the country, he said “what I need is ammunition, not a ride.” That is, ‘I’m not leaving here, thanks’.

The director of the channel France 24 in Spanish, Álvaro Sierra, finds it interesting that Volodímir Zelenski, coming from television, achieves presence as the leader of an attacked country. “He has made many statements to position himself, not so much in the media, but in front of the Ukrainians and of course in front of the outside world as the leader of the Ukrainian resistance”, he comments to Skip Intro.

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A post shared by Володимир Зеленський (@zelenskiy_official)

“In a war, leadership is absolutely decisive, because that generates morale. From the point of view of the morale of the troops, the Ukrainians have an advantage over the Russians: they are defending their country and their families, and the Russians are their attackers. What Zelensky is doing is riding on that lead. Not so much to gain media power. What you need and what you are doing, because above all you are using social networks, is to be able to communicate to your people: here is a leader. And advance this defense,” says Sierra, who leads a fact-checking team to combat disinformation about images of the war in Ukraine that appear on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Vladimir Putin points the missiles at Ukraine, while an advance of 100 thousand men per hour, according to the calculation of the director of France 24, lies in wait for the Ukrainian territory. “My opinion is that the world has not seen a confrontation of this magnitude since the Second World War. (…) A mobilization of this type has not been in Syria or in the other wars that we have had to live in this generation, “warns Sierra. Even so, the Russian army has not been able to devastate Kiev, because “its defense is being heroic”, observes the internationalist Carlos Novoa, to the extent that the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine accelerate.

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A post shared by Володимир Зеленський (@zelenskiy_official)

“The background of the president of Ukraine is that he was a comedian. He is not a traditional politician. He provides him with the face that he must put on political issues. Once the invasion occurred, he knew how to handle the situation with respect to his settlers. Because he knows what face to put on and because it is a circumstantial issue. Any president of Ukraine, whether traditional or non-traditional politician and of any regime, would have fulfilled the same role. I don’t see that a politician from a country like Ukraine has a different answer than Zelensky. On the one hand, denouncing the Russian invasion, according to them. Denouncing the atrocities, the abuses. And at the same time, not giving up until the end and submitting to the defense”, Novoa points out to Skip Intro.

Words that cannot be pronounced in the Russian press, such as “attack” or “invasion”, Volodymyr Zelensky repeats in the videos he posts on his social networks. It is an art, although it may not seem like it, that is in its performance added to the heroism of a people at war. It is what, for now, can move the pieces of the diplomatic board faster. Although it is still a long battle.

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A shared publication of Skip Intro of El Comercio (@saltarintrope)

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Source: Elcomercio

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