Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Ukraine's New President Is a Jewish Comedian

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Ukraine's New President Is a Jewish Comedian

Article excerpt

Five years after the Maidan revolution ousted a corrupt pro-Russian president amid fervent hopes of national resurgence, the Ukrainian people have voted overwhelmingly to oust their first Maidan-anointed leader, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. In his place they have elected a former television star, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's first Jewish president and the only current Jewish world leader outside of Israel.

For all that is known about the very public figure, the character of the man who is now the commander in chief of tens of thousands of Ukrainian servicemen and women engaged in a simmering low intensity conflict with their larger neighbor, Russia, remains opaque. Zelensky is an enigmatic figure who gave almost no interviews to Ukrainian journalists while he was running for office, eschewed most mainstream media, and did not announce the majority of his positions or team until almost a week before the second round of the election. …

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