6th President of Ukraine, showman and film director, producer and actor.
Childhood and youth
Volodymyr was born on January 25, 1978 in Krivoy Rog city. He spent his first four years of childhood in Mongolia, living with his family in the city of Erdenet. There he finished the first form of an ordinary school. Then his family returned to its Motherland, and he continued studies at school # 95 with extensive English learning. Talking about the parents’ jobs, the father, Alexander Zelensky, was the head of the computer science department at the Krivoy Rog branch of the Kiev University of Economics. Rimma Zelenskaya, Vladimir’s mother, was an engineer some time ago. Now she is a housewife.
In 1995 Zelensky began his studies at the Krivoy Rog Economic Institute, where he received a law degree. And he managed to work due to his profession for only three months while practicing.
Vladimir Alexandrovich became quite famous in the 90ies thanks to TV show KVN (Klub Vesyólykh i Nakhódchivykh or Ka-Ve-En, “Club of the Funny and Inventive People”). He took part in the performances of such teams as “Young Krivoy Rog” and “Zaporozhye-Krivoy Rog-Transit”. Then a team “Team Krivoy Rog” appeared. And in 1997, the comedian set the “Quarter (mean Block/District, on Ukrainian and Russian sounds like Kvartal) 95” team. Denis Manzhosov, Yury Krapov and Alexander Pikalov helped him with project’s creation. The name of the team comes from the name of the Krivoy Rog district. Soon the team went into the Highest League of KVN, but in 2003, due to a conflict with the KVN union Alexander Maslyakov forced Zelensky to leave. Vladimir Aleksandrovich was offered to leave the team and to work with KVN. But he refused and left KVN with the team.
A few years later on the Inter TV channel “Evening Quarter” appeared, which became a rating on TV in the humor field. A little later, the studio Kvartal-95 was opened and Zelensky with partners, launched several successful projects.
From 2010 to 2012, Zelensky remained the general producer of the Inter TV channel. In October 2012, the comedian and his team made an agreement for mutual working with “1 + 1” channel.
Zelensky also acts as a screenwriter, producer and actor of some TV series and films.
In 2008, the comedy film “Love in the City” came out where Zelensky starred. In 2010 and 2013, he worked on continuation of the movie. In 2011, Zelensky starred in remake of a popular USSR film called “Office Romance”. Then he appeared as one the main characters in the “Rzhevsky vs. Napoleon” filming. And in 2015, Zelensky preformed as a teacher Vasily Goloborodko, who was elected as a Ukrainian president (“Servant of the People” series).
The “Svaty” TV series is another successful and popular project of Vladimir Alexandrovich and his studio. This show were banned in Ukraine. Fyodor Dobronravov, who played one of the main roles in “Svaty” was even prohibited to enter Ukraine.
Zelensky also played a role in the “8 First Dates” and “I, You, He, She” movies.
The comedian has been married to Elena Kiyashko since 2003. Before marriage, they have dated for 7 years. In 2008, a daughter, Alexandra, was born to the family, and in 2013, a son, Kyrill appeared.
After the TV show “Servant of the People” was launched, Zelensky started to be associated with his personnage. Some people suspected that the series intended to create his presidential campaign, but the comedian denies it. However, he has been actively included in the list of possible candidates for the presidency for last several years. Back in 2017, Ukrainian media said that Zelensky could take part in the 2019 elections. Nobody commented on this statement. On December 31, 2018, during the New Year’s address on the 1 + 1 channel, Zelensky announced his intention to run for president. His speech was broadcasted instead of the appeal of the current president, Petro Poroshenko, that angered a part of society. Subsequently, the political party “Servant of the People” proclaimed him as a candidate for the presidency.
After Zelensky registered for elections, he immediately took the 1st place in the election ratings. The voters didn’t care that the candidate had no political experience, and as a result of the 1st round, he won 30.24% of the votes. The 2nd place was taken by the current president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (15.95% of the vote).
Upon completion of the 1st round, Zelensky expressed a desire to hold a public debate at the NSC Olimpiyskiy, as well as to make tests for the detection of hazardous substances in the blood. Peter Alekseevich agreed.
In his program, the showman promised to make Ukraine a country where it is possible to open business easily and to make an international passport quickly. He also promised that teachers and doctors will be able to receive decent wages, and pensioners will receive a high pension.
Zelensky is often accused of being connected with oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, but they both deny it. At the same time, they have a common media business, and the oligarch’s channel helped the actor with the election campaign.
Vladimir Zelensky is supported by Russian political figures, such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Russian State Duma deputy Natalya Poklonskaya.
In 2017, the showman’s income amounted to 4.8 million hryvnia, most of which came from the actor business.
The income of his wife amounted to 805 thousand UAH.
In total, the family earned 727.5 thousand dollars that is 50.1 thousand euros and 1.4 million hryvnias.
Zelensky is the owner of the house and land in the suburbs of Kiev, t3 apartments and 3 parking spaces in Kiev.
In 2014, “Quarter 95” Studio released a video with the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. In the video, Kadyrov’s images were mounted with the voice of his grandfather, who was worried about the demolished monument to Lenin in Kharkov. Subsequently, Zelensky apologized for this joke.
In December 2014, Zelensky’s car caught fire.
In 2016 at the festival of humor showman equalized Ukraine with the actress of the 18+ film. It caused an outrage among Ukrainian officials.
In January 2019, it turned out that Zelensky is a shareholder of the Cyprus company Geen Family Ltd, which is a co-founder of ‘Quarter 95’ in Ukraine.
Subsequently, Vladimir Zelensky refused of the shares of this company.
Zelensky and Poroshenko
Because of the fact that Vladimir Alexandrovich’s campaign was not particularly noticeable, Poroshenko’s headquarters did not take Zelensky seriously. But after the first round of the elections this situation has changed. After the end of the voting, Petro Alekseevich said that he would not give any chance to the puppet of Kolomoisky. Zelensky, in turn, thanked the Ukrainians for their votes and, paraphrasing Poroshenko’s campaign, noted that “there are many exit polls — there’s only one winner”.
After that, a real Internet war began between the candidates.
The first public communication between the candidates took place on April, 11 in the program “The Right to Power”. Zelensky was in Paris at the time and when he was called by phone and offered to talk via video link. He refused and uttered rudeness to Poroshenko.
The second public communication took place on April, 19 at the Olympic NSC. There, candidates instead of discussing their programs blamed each other.
In general, the time between two stages of the election was remembered by a loud debate, but no less loud confrontation of the candidates.
On May 20, 2019, the inauguration of the new President of Ukraine took place.
Will the comedian be able to be a good president, we will see in the next years of his presidential term.