Volodymyr Zelensky has lived many lives in his 44 years. Since February 24, 2022, when the Russian leader ordered the invasion of Ukraine, we have known a president who managed to unite his country against the aggressor. But before that, he was a successful comedian and got into politics with no experience and suspicious godfathers. Ukrainian journalist Sergei Rudenko, author of the first unofficial biography of the President of Ukraine in Spanish called Zelensky. Realistic portrait of a man who opposed Putin (publisher Pinoli). Rudenko, editor-in-chief of Espresso TV, half-born after the Revolution of Dignity that toppled presidential candidate Viktor Yuukovich, collected testimonies from former Zelensky associates such as former prosecutor general Ruslan Ryaboshapka, deputy Geo Leros, politician Roman Bezsmertny, political scientists Viktor Bobyrenko and Sergei Gaidai. What most impressed the author of this work, which comes out on June 20 and can now be reserved, is Zelensky’s ability to “be different.” Unable to remember the anecdote now due to the brutality of the war, he admires his ability to learn. What loses to Zelensky is his condescension towards friends.

There is Zelensky, who successful comedian, a popular and famous figure in Ukraine. He succeeded as an entrepreneur at Studio Kvartal 95, a production company for satirical programs. “He was a favorite of numerous Ukrainians who perceived Zelensky as a person close to them. In 2015, he began filming the television series Sservant of the city. His role as Vasily Goloborodko, a history teacher who won the presidential election, convinced Ukrainians that Zelensky would make a good president,” Sergei Rudenko explains. Independent.

So there is another Zelensky who reinvents himself as a politician after deciding to “take advantage of his popularity in Ukraine for something more than going to theaters or concert halls”, according to the biographer. His path to the presidency was swift. Just six months before, he had no idea that he would win. With no previous experience in politics, he takes action and achieves great success.

“Zelensky and his team wanted to promote the political party Servant of the People (with the same name as their successful program) to participate in the parliamentary elections. However, at the beginning of 2019, it seemed clear that he had a chance to reach the final round of the presidential elections in March. Ukrainians trust him as the embodiment of change. “Ukraine believed in a fairy tale and voted for Zelensky,” the author emphasizes.

In the presidential elections on March 31, 2019, they voted for the actor who served the people in fiction, 13.5 million Ukrainians, this is more than 73% of those who came to the polls.

In his ascent, he received the support of the oligarch Igor Kolomysky. Also from small entrepreneurs who wanted an electoral revolution. And many normal and ordinary people”

“People wanted new faces in politics. Zelensky has become a novelty trusted by millions of Ukrainians. In his ascent, he was supported not only by the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, whose media resources largely contributed to his victory in the elections. There were also small businessmen who wanted an electoral revolution. In addition, ordinary people actively participated in the election campaign,” says the author of the portrait of the Ukrainian president.

Rudenko explains how Ukrainians wanted change and saw Zelensky as “their Macron.” “Ukrainians are tired of the old politicians. Thus, Zelensky, a man without political experience and special knowledge of how the state apparatus works, played the role of the Ukrainian Macron. However, Zelensky promised to build the Ukraine of the future. And people trusted him.”

There is Zelensky, who trusted Russia. And the Kremlin also treated him favorably. In a recent interview, Russian Ambassador to Spain Yuri Korgachin admitted to us that at first he thought he had the will to reform that would benefit Russian speakers. In fact, Russian is the native language of Zelensky, who was born in 1978 in Krivoy Rog, a city in the south of the country that was a center of metallurgy. This area is mostly Russian-speaking. His first performances were made in Russian.

For two and a half years, Zelensky believed that he could negotiate with Moscow. I was convinced that for this I needed only a meeting with Putin.”

“For two and a half years, Zelensky really believed that he could negotiate with Moscow. He was convinced that for this he needed only one thing: a meeting with Putin. All illusions of Zelensky were dispelled on February 24, 2022, after the first Russian ballistic missiles fell on the heads of Ukrainians. This fact completely opened Zelensky’s eyes.”

Zelensky is. rookie president with excessive power and corrupt environment. At this time, he begins to lose popularity. Everything changed with the invasion. During his three years as president, he changed, especially after the start of the war.

“He was a political neophyte and learned to govern the state. He made many mistakes in the field of personnel management, and there were also failures in management. Since his party also won the parliamentary elections, Zelensky had a lot of administrative power in his hands, but he did not know how to use it effectively. He pursued a populist policy. And his entourage was accused of corruption. Members of his team were involved in various scandals. In a word, everything was possible.

Metamorphoses after the war

That’s how it came about President Zelensky, who opposes Russia. “When this great war began, we saw another Zelensky. I believe that the extreme situation helped him to show his best qualities, which allowed him to take control of the situation from February 24. I’m not sure that we would have seen such a Zelensky if Russia had not started a big war against Ukraine,” says Rudenko.

When asked about the key to his success as president of a country under attack by the Kremlin. “Live a unique experience. He rules a state that is at war with Russia. The key to its success is that the Ukrainian people stand behind it. We can say that Zelensky’s advisers include all Ukrainians without exception. This is a powerful team, motivated and ready to go all the way. There are also external consultants. Without them, we would be very bad.”

For the journalist, who also writes about Viktor Yushchenko, Yulia Tymoshchenko, and Viktor Yanukovych, Zelenskiy’s biggest fault seems to be his condescension towards friends. “He is ready to defend to the end everyone whom he considers close people and those who are close to him. There are people who don’t deserve it. Problems with personnel cost Zelensky and the country dearly,” says Rudenko.

Zelensky 2019 is different from Zelensky 2022. He grew up as a politician and learned to communicate with the world.”

What stands out as a quality is that the Ukrainian president knows how to learn. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Zelensky 2019 is different from Zelensky 2022. He grew up as a politician and learned how to properly communicate with the world.” It is this ability to be different that Rudenko reflects in his work and that impresses him the most.

In a matter of months, he has become an international leader with whom the leaders of the Western world want to communicate. He is the great defender of freedom against the autocrat Vladimir Putin. According to Rudenko, “Zelensky has good relations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda and many other world leaders. However, I think he feels more comfortable with Johnson and Trudeau.” This week, he clearly supported the British prime minister after he received a vote of confidence from his own party. On the same day, they talked because Zelensky thanked him for sending the last batch of British weapons to Kyiv.

The biographer also notes that an important signal for the Ukrainians was the visit of the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, who was in Kyiv at the end of April.

Although Zelensky announced him at the beginning of the war, Sergei Rudenko does not imagine meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “What can the killer of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and the president whom Putin wanted to destroy talk about? Except for one thing: the capitulation of Russia.”