Move Over Churchill — Why Zelenskiy is the War Hero of Our Times

Christine Vann, MSc.
4 min readMar 2, 2022

From a comedian out of his depth to a fierce war leader, Zelenskiy shows true courage in the face of evil.

Image: Youtube screenshot cropped by author

“When you attack us you will see our faces — not our backs, but our faces.”

Zelenskiy speaks in a video address posted on social media hours before the Russian invasion.

How Zelenskiy became the symbol of defiance

Up against a nation, nearly 30 times its size with a powerful army that could decimate Ukrainian troops, Zelenskiy and his fighters have been holding their own so far.

With defiant videos addressing his fellow Ukrainians, Zelenskiy has quickly become the face of national resistance, remaining steadfast in his home country even when he’s number one on Putin’s hit list. The US had reportedly offered him an evacuation, to which he replied: ‘I need ammunition, not a ride.’

So how did the Ukrainian voice of Paddington, become a faithful servant of his people?

From acting president to becoming one

Born to Jewish parents in 1978, in Kryvyy Rih — southern Ukraine, Volodymyr is a fluent Russian, English, and Ukrainian speaker. Volodymyr is licensed to practice law, but he found his true vocation at college: comedy.

In the late nineties, his performance group Kvartal 95 (named after the area he grew up in) reached the finals of KVN, an improvisational comedy competition.

After years of regular tv work, Zelenskiy co-founded Studio Kvartal 95 in 2003, serving as an artistic director. He later became a producer for network 1+1, owned by the controversial billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky, who backed his presidential bid on the last day of 2018.

Servant of the people

In 2015 the political satire aired on 1+1, becoming a massive hit. Zelenskiy played a history teacher who accidentally became president after a student filmed his passionate address against corruption, turning him into an internet sensation.

Christine Vann, MSc.

SEO writer & owner of parenting site Interests: consumer & cyberpsychology. Contact me