Although he was an actor and comedian at one time, today, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the president of the Ukraine. Elected to the position in 2019, he is only the sixth president of the country, which was once part of the Soviet Union. Zelenskyy is the first Jewish president of the country. He was mired in the middle of a Trump-era scandal in which Democrats said that Trump threatened to pull millions in funding if Zelenskyy did not offer up information regarding Hunter Biden and a Ukrainian energy company. These accusations were the basis for Donald Trump’s first impeachment proceedings. Today, Zelenskyy is known for clapping back at a Joe Biden gaffe in which he described a possible invasion of the Ukraine as a “minor incursion.” The world watches as a Russian invasion of the country looms.
|Celebrated Name:||Volodymyr Zelenskyy|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy|
|Birthdate:||January 25, 1978|
|Height:||5 ft. 7 in.|
|Children/Kids:||Two: Kiril and Aleksandra|
|Is Volodymyr Zelensky Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||President of the Ukraine|
|Profession:||Comedian, Actor, Politician|
|Colleges Attended:||Kyiv National Economic University|
|Salary:||336,000 per year (in dollars, about $13,500)|
|Net Worth in 2021:||UAH 28,602,468 (the equivalent of just over $1 million in the US)|
Biography: Early Life and Family
When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was born in Kryvyi Rih in 1978, the Ukraine was then a part of the Soviet Union; Zelenskyy would be an older child when the Soviet Union fell. His parents were professionals who worked in physics and engineering. The Zelenskyy family had members who were killed during the Holocaust, and Zelenskyy’s grandfather had served in World War II as a soldier in the Russian Army.
Although Zelenskyy seems himself as a citizen of the Ukraine, during his first four years of life, his family lived in Mongolia as his father worked there. Zelenskyy would earn an opportunity to study in Israel as a teenager, but his father did not approve, so Zelenskyy did not go. He would eventually earn a law degree although he has never formally practiced law.
Zelenskyy has made his Jewish family history no secret, and his election to the presidency of the Ukraine made him the first Jewish president of the country.
Zelenskyy married a girl with whom he attended school, Olena Kiyashko, in 2003. The couple have two children: Aleksandra and Kiril. Zelenskyy’s daughter played in a movie with him in 2014. She also enjoys comedy as her father did.
Age, Height, and Weight
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is 44 years of age. He stands at 5′ 7″ and weighs 161 pounds.
The most update information on Zelenskyy’s net worth would be his 2019 financial statements. That year, it was reported that his worth was UAH 28,602,468. (The Ukrainian currency is Kryvnias.) During that time period, his worth could be equated to about 1.5 million U.S. dollars.
A Ukrainian financial report showed that, since 2019, Zelenskyy has not taken part in private sector entrepreneurial activities and that his income comes from his employment in the state department.
In 2019, the Zelenskyy’s sold real estate in Kyiv amounting to UAH 4.423 million. This was property that belonged to Mrs. Zelenskyy. Zelenskyy is the sole owner of several trademarked properties, including the name “Servant of the People,” his own political party.
Servant of the People was also the name of a television show in which Zelenskyy acted; later, the name was trademarked and Zelenskyy began his presidential bid under this party.
Zelenskyy earns royalties based on the many trademarks he owns. In 2019, that amount of royalties could be measured at UAH 5.048 million.
Career Outside of Politics
Zelenskyy was still a student at the Kyiv National Economic University when he began his career in comedy. He was a mere seventeen when he joined a comedy competition team called KVN. He was later invited to join a Ukrainian comedic team. He won a competition in 1997 at the age of nineteen.
It was also during this time that Zelenskyy created Kvartal 95. This was a comedy team that would later be renamed Kvartal 95 (Kvartal 95 would be integral in the development of the television show that Zelenskyy is known for, “Servant of the People.”
Zelenskyy toured around much of the fallen Soviet Union, including Moscow. He speaks both Russian and English along with his native Ukrainian (a language based on Russian but also Polish). This made him able to tour in a variety of places and entertain a variety of people.
By 2003, the year that Zelenskyy married, his Kvartal 95 began producing television shows, including “Servant of the People.” Kvartal 95 produced shows that were televised via the 1 + 1 channel as well as Inter.
Zelenskyy moved on to feature film by 2008. He starred in several movies, including:
- Love in the Big City
- Love in the Big City 2
- Office Romance. Our Time
- Rzhevsky versus Napoleon
- Love in the Big City 3
- 8 First Dates
- sequels of 8 First Dates
Between 2010 and 2012, Zelensky was a general producer for Inter television; he also served as a member of the board for that station.
The television series for which Zelensky is chiefly known is the “Servant of the People” show, which lasted for three seasons. The premise of the show is very much real-life for Zelensky; the lead character is a former high school teacher who wins a presidential election after a viral video shows him ranting about corruption in the Ukrainian government.
Another comedy show in which Zelensky starred is “Svaty.” This show was banned in the Ukraine between 2017 and 2019.
Career in Politics
Zelenskyy’s acting career may have inadvertently spurred his eventual political career. In 2014, the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture considered banning Russian artists in the Ukraine. This affected Zelenskyy directly as many of his works featured Russian speaking artists or those who had ties to Russia, so some of his shows were banned. In fact, his own Love in the Big City 2 was banned in the Ukraine.
Zelenskyy’s comedic team Kvartal 95 donated 1 million hryvnias to the Ukrainian Army, and the Ukrainian media reported on this, which resulted in Zelenskyy’s shows and movies being banned in Russia. Zelenskyy would speak out against this type of policy in both Russia and in the Ukraine. (Hence, the viral video of the high school teacher ranting.)
People from the Kvartal 95 comedy team (which had morphed into a television production company by this time) decided to create a Servant of the People party, borrowing the party’s name from Zelenskyy’s television show.
Zelenskyy has said that he became a politician because he wanted to “restore trust in politicians and to bring professional, decent people to power.” He also said one of his goals was to “change the mood and timbre of the political establishment, as much as possible.”
Zelenskyy’s presidential campaign has been described as “almost virtual,” and he won handily over then-president Petro Poroshenko. Zelenskyy promised that he would only serve in the position for one term, which is five years in the Ukraine.
During the campaign, Zelenskyy continued to work the Kvartal 95, and he was accused of avoiding television interviews and other publicity. He replied by saying that his schedule did not permit for a tour of talk shows, and that “people of old power” were chiefly guests. Zelenskyy was said to have connections to a Russian ogliarch, and Poroshenko would claim that if Zelenskyy won, Russia would benefit. However, Zelenskyy would turn this back on Poroshenko, saying that the Ukraine “voted for one Petro, but got another.”
When the election was held, Zelenskyy beat Poroshenko with over seventy percent of the vote.
Zelenskyy has been president of the Ukraine since 2019. he dissolved the Ukrainian parliament on his first day in office. Zelenskyy has come under fire for his appointment of colleagues from Kvartal 95 as members of his presidential administration. He has also dismissed members of Ukraine’s provinces (oblasts) and he petitioned the Parliament to remove the Prosecutor General from office.
In 2019, Zelenskyy began communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the time, among other discussions, they discussed prisoners held by each country (Russians holding Ukrainians and vice versa). However, the pair have lately been embroiled in a potential invasion of the Ukraine. As of this writing, Russian forces currently surround three of the nation’s four borders; Americans believe that an invasion is imminent.
Zelenskyy’s presidency is one of some controversy. Everything from his financials to his way of running government is under scrutiny; in 2020, the Zelenskyys took a trip to Oman. When the citizens of the Ukraine demanded to know how the trip was financed, it was announced that Zelenskyy’s wife financed the trip.
With Russia now at war with Ukraine, it is difficult to determine how long Zelenskyy’s presidency will remain active.