Berliner Boersenzeitung - Ukraine's actor-president grows on stage as war-time leader

EUR -
AED 3.931539
AFN 75.621895
ALL 100.232512
AMD 414.610392
ANG 1.925048
AOA 914.641261
ARS 967.444549
AUD 1.602121
AWG 1.926678
AZN 1.82389
BAM 1.955849
BBD 2.156654
BDT 125.503146
BGN 1.95818
BHD 0.40301
BIF 3071.376984
BMD 1.070377
BND 1.447136
BOB 7.380185
BRL 5.814398
BSD 1.068127
BTN 89.193736
BWP 14.395361
BYN 3.495488
BYR 20979.385849
BZD 2.152954
CAD 1.466363
CDF 3050.57435
CHF 0.95639
CLF 0.036076
CLP 995.457951
CNY 7.772332
CNH 7.803519
COP 4456.311698
CRC 558.313994
CUC 1.070377
CUP 28.364986
CVE 110.267764
CZK 24.956054
DJF 190.174767
DKK 7.465241
DOP 63.04158
DZD 143.800604
EGP 51.014279
ERN 16.055652
ETB 61.631245
FJD 2.400588
FKP 0.83982
GBP 0.845914
GEL 3.00245
GGP 0.83982
GHS 16.182406
GIP 0.83982
GMD 72.518447
GNF 9195.230479
GTQ 8.288208
GYD 223.335598
HKD 8.354452
HNL 26.420662
HRK 7.512373
HTG 141.573549
HUF 396.821217
IDR 17637.187719
ILS 4.024193
IMP 0.83982
INR 89.443846
IQD 1399.235072
IRR 45049.488876
ISK 149.214612
JEP 0.83982
JMD 166.344169
JOD 0.75858
JPY 171.0195
KES 138.323467
KGS 92.864507
KHR 4403.110364
KMF 492.962459
KPW 963.339286
KRW 1487.171273
KWD 0.328339
KYD 0.890122
KZT 497.142461
LAK 23479.588516
LBP 95649.597459
LKR 326.158175
LRD 207.325197
LSL 19.119879
LTL 3.160545
LVL 0.647461
LYD 5.17813
MAD 10.637567
MDL 19.119479
MGA 4836.121217
MKD 61.536542
MMK 3476.542188
MNT 3692.800165
MOP 8.584815
MRU 42.062054
MUR 50.136856
MVR 16.487805
MWK 1851.946419
MXN 19.385385
MYR 5.044728
MZN 68.177694
NAD 19.119879
NGN 1592.72109
NIO 39.320986
NOK 11.318438
NPR 142.709577
NZD 1.749411
OMR 0.41161
PAB 1.068127
PEN 4.064802
PGK 4.166104
PHP 63.013485
PKR 297.469856
PLN 4.328741
PYG 8040.201528
QAR 3.895698
RON 4.979932
RSD 117.058434
RUB 94.352365
RWF 1402.435152
SAR 4.017427
SBD 9.049442
SCR 15.71353
SDG 643.296837
SEK 11.246989
SGD 1.450579
SHP 1.352367
SLE 24.455224
SLL 22445.268968
SOS 610.4153
SRD 32.964436
STD 22154.639278
SVC 9.346234
SYP 2689.35435
SZL 19.111479
THB 39.288222
TJS 11.354085
TMT 3.757023
TND 3.349284
TOP 2.525822
TRY 35.140865
TTD 7.248182
TWD 34.653076
TZS 2803.770277
UAH 43.202683
UGX 4005.100388
USD 1.070377
UYU 42.071055
UZS 13500.338386
VEF 3877496.294765
VES 38.884603
VND 27246.442183
VUV 127.077251
WST 2.997713
XAF 655.973442
XAG 0.036234
XAU 0.000461
XCD 2.892747
XDR 0.81062
XOF 655.973442
XPF 119.331742
YER 267.969228
ZAR 19.228207
ZMK 9634.679752
ZMW 27.210682
ZWL 344.660902
  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.5

    0%

  • BCC

    -0.3100

    122.41

    -0.25%

  • NGG

    -0.7200

    57.13

    -1.26%

  • GSK

    -0.2800

    40.48

    -0.69%

  • SCS

    1.1100

    13.29

    +8.35%

  • RIO

    -0.5200

    66.4

    -0.78%

  • RELX

    -0.0500

    45.6

    -0.11%

  • CMSD

    -0.0700

    24.17

    -0.29%

  • RYCEF

    -0.1000

    6.03

    -1.66%

  • CMSC

    -0.0107

    24.44

    -0.04%

  • JRI

    -0.0300

    12

    -0.25%

  • VOD

    -0.0400

    9.05

    -0.44%

  • AZN

    0.3200

    78.88

    +0.41%

  • BCE

    -0.1900

    32.6

    -0.58%

  • BTI

    0.2000

    31.7

    +0.63%

  • BP

    -0.2000

    35.51

    -0.56%

Ukraine's actor-president grows on stage as war-time leader
Ukraine's actor-president grows on stage as war-time leader

Ukraine's actor-president grows on stage as war-time leader

Volodymyr Zelensky was at the height of his career as an actor and comedian before giving it all up to become president in 2019. After three difficult years in politics, he is now the face of national defiance, winning rave reviews as a war-time leader.

Text size:

Since Russia's invasion last Thursday, the 44-year-old has used his eye for modern image management and the skills honed on stage to deliver stirring messages on social media.

On February 25, the day after the outbreak of war, he filmed himself standing in the dark near the presidency building with his advisors, saying "we are all here" in an attempt to counter disinformation that he had abandoned his post.

"Our military is here. Citizens in society are here. We're all here defending our independence, our country, and it will stay this way," he said.

Looking sleep-deprived but occasionally smiling, he appeared without a bullet-proof vest or helmet despite repeated warnings that Russia intended to assassinate him and had even sent undercover hit squads to the capital.

The day after, this time in daylight, he posted another self-filmed video in front of the presidency in a khaki t-shirt and jacket.

The messages were appeals for national unity that sought to find a balance between lifting spirits, warning about the gravest danger to the country since 1941, while stressing the "indomitable" character of Ukrainians.

In a call with US President Joe Biden, who offered him help if he needed to leave, the former stand-up artist reportedly deployed a pithy one-liner that has further embellished his reputation.

"The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride," Zelensky said, according to a tweet from the Ukrainian embassy in Britain.

"This might be the last time you see me alive," the father-of-two told EU leaders while appealing for military aid, according to the Axios news website.

- 'Inner Churchill' -

As well as becoming a focal point for Ukrainians as they seek to resist Russian occupation, Zelensky has shot to fame abroad.

Andrew Roberts, a historian and visiting professor at the Department of War Studies at King's College London, compared him to Winston Churchill when he took over as British Prime Minister during World War II.

"He is channelling an authentic inner Churchill," Roberts wrote in an email sent to AFP.

Roberts, who produced a biography of Winston Churchill in 2018 and is also the author of "Leadership in War: Essential Lessons from Those Who Made History" said there were several similarities.

He pointed to Zelensky's "incredible personal bravery" as well as "his ability to connect directly with his people" and "his uncompromising stance and belief in ultimate victory".

Writing Sunday in France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy praised his "humour that does not leave him even though missiles are raining down".

Zelensky reminded him of other freedom fighters he had encountered who "learned how to wage war without loving it," Levy wrote.

"This man is now Putin's nightmare. He can, if we decide to help him by delivering guns, planes and defences that he has a burning need for, become the man who brings him down," he added.

- Entertainer -

Zelensky ran for president seemingly as a joke in 2019, but ended up defeating his arch-rival Petro Poroshenko in a runoff by more than 70 percent of the vote.

He was catapulted to national fame while playing a foul-mouthed school teacher on TV who became president after one of his students filmed his profane rant against corruption and posted it online.

The evening comedy show captured the zeitgeist just as the country was gripped by cataclysmic change following a 2014 pro-EU revolution that ousted a Kremlin-backed leader, followed by war in the east against Russian-backed separatists.

Using the same approach then as now, Zelensky campaigned for president aware of the political power of social media, eschewing traditional interviews and rallies in favour of addresses posted online that sought to play up his down-to-earth charm.

Poroshenko mocked the Ukrainian-language skills of his opponent, a primarily Russian speaker from the central industrial city of Krivy Rig, and said he lacked the political stature to stand up to Putin.

"I'm not a politician, I'm just an ordinary guy come to break the system," Zelensky responded before the second round, cementing a view among critics that he lacked the seriousness and gravitas required for the job.

In his inauguration speech, he vowed that he had "tried to do all I could to make Ukrainians smile" and now wanted to "do all I can so that Ukrainians don't cry".

In the three years since taking power, he struggled to deliver on his main pre-election promises -- namely ending the conflict in the east, and tackling the scourge of corruption that blights the lives of most Ukrainians.

The coronavirus pandemic and ongoing economic problems had also eroded confidence in his leadership.

But domestic political issues have been put to one side in what is seen by many Ukrainians as a fight for survival.

"Vasylkiv, Kyiv, Chernigiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and many other towns in Ukraine are living in conditions that were last experienced on our lands during World War II," Zelensky said in another address posted online on Sunday.

(O.Joost--BBZ)