The world watched in horror as Russian forces invaded Ukraine in the biggest military attack on a European country since 1945. After weeks of military buildup near the Ukrainian border, Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday, bombarding the city by air, and sea. According to the latest reports, the Russian forces stand barely 20 miles from the border of Kyiv as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused to leave the city.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, 44, has been serving as the leader since 2019. Zelensky's presidential campaign in 2019 was largely allegedly funded by one of Ukraine's richest and most corrupt oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky. An ex-comedian, Zelensky now stands the risk of an assassination attempt by Russian troops. He said in a video message that the Russian army has marked him 'target number 1' and his family 'target number 2.'
Zelensky noted in the video message that the Russians 'want to destroy Ukraine politically by taking down the head of state.' "I am staying in the government quarters together with others," Zelensky said busting the hoax that the President had fled the country following the invasion.
Who is Volodymyr Zelensky?
Volodymyr Zelensky was one of Ukraine's most popular TV comedians, who starred in a satirical TV show called Servant of the People. Zelensky grew up in the Russian-speaking southeast Ukrainian region of Kryvyi Rih.
Zelensky, who was originally thought to be a mere puppet of the oligarch Kolomoisky, rose to the occasion, and to the surprise of many, re-branded himself as a fighter against oligarchs. A longtime Ukraine researcher Russ Bellant told The Post Thursday that Zelensky kept a 'unified government' and didn't go along with either what Russia or the US wanted.
"He knows he's in the middle of a bigger power game between superpowers and he seems to know what he's doing. He's handling himself pretty well," Bellant said.
Volodymyr Zelensky starred in a TV show
Zelensky played the character 'Vasily Goloborodko' on the TV show, Servant of the People. Goloborodko was a high school teacher in his 30s who woke up one morning to learn was elected the country's president.
Zelensky, in his comedy troupe performances, and in the plotlines of Servant of the People often took a dig at the corruption and tried to portray what the country would look like if given a shot at democracy. During one of his performances in his comedy troupe, Zelensky played the piano with his penis for a few minutes.
Zelensky has been married to his wife Olena Zelenska since 2003. The couple has a son, Kiril, and a daughter, Aleksandra.