Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and 44 year of age. Previously a comedian, he’s considered to be the “Jon Stewart” of Ukraine, and was best known for satirically playing a president on television before being elected as a real one in a landslide victory in 2019. It has been said that he turned embattled president is fighting for his life, facing a Russian invasion determined to oust him from power in a false “denazification” operation.
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky reports on Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s rise from former entertainer to Ukrainian president. He is now a symbol of defiance as his country faces Russia’s invasion.
Zelensky was born to two Jewish parents on January, 25, 1978, in the Ukrainian town of Kryvyi Rih. His father, Oleksandr Zelensky is a computer science professor and his mother, Rymma Zelenska , used to work as an engineer.
Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine on April 21, 2019, beating incumbent President Petro Poroshenko with nearly 73% of the vote to Poroshenko’s 25%.
In the same election that put Zelensky into power, far-Right groups only managed to obtain around 2% of the overall vote and did not secure a single seat in parliament.
Zelensky is in favor of Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union and NATO but he said the decision was ultimately up to Ukrainian voters in the form of referendums. Since becoming president he made rebuilding the military one of his top priorities.
He faced protests early in his presidency after unsuccessfully trying to reign in the breakaway eastern provinces.
Early in 2019 he faced pressure from then President Donald Trump to investigate Hunter Biden. The U.S. relationship improved under President Biden and Zelensky visited the United States in 2021 meeting with political and business leaders.
Under his administration Ukraine adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, criminalizing antisemitic acts with fines or jail time.
IHRA defines antisemitism, in part, as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” by “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
This definition has been adopted by 35 countries, at least a dozen American states, the European Union Parliament and more than 1,000 organizations and universities worldwide. It was formally endorsed by the government of Israel in 2017.
Ukraine’s Jewish president responded back in a statement saying, Ukrainians are “definitely not one people.”
Russian forces have captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in what one official described as one of the most serious threats in Europe.
America – Ukraine -Biden