Are these claims about Zelenskyy’s family and career true?

As Russian Armed Forces penetrated Ukraine In late February 2022, the world rallied behind Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a unifying force, firmly defying Russia with his speeches and refusal to leave his country during the war.

Tapping into Zelenskyy’s colorful history as a comedian and performer and his unusual rise to power, the internet began sharing memes about him.

We break down some of the claims below.

family history

Zelenskyj is Jewish and his grandfather and three great-uncles fought against the Nazis, a detail he highlighted in a speech addressing the Russian people directly on February 24, 2022. He responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that Russia was “denazifying” Ukraine with his own family history:

They tell you that we are Nazis. But how can a people who lost 8 million lives defeating the Nazis support Nazism? How can I be a Nazi? Tell my grandfather who fought in World War II as a Soviet infantryman and died a colonel in an independent Ukraine. They tell you that we hate Russian culture. How can you hate a culture? any culture? Neighbors always enrich each other’s cultures.

His full speech can be seen below, and a transcript of the speech is available Here:

Zelenskyj’s grandfather, Semyon Ivanovich Zelenskyyand three great-uncles fought for the Soviet Union’s Red Army against the Nazis in World War II.

In a joint Speech 2020 Along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he described how three of his grandfather’s brothers were executed by the Germans. He said of his grandfather: “He survived World War II and contributed to the defeat of Nazism and hateful ideology. His son was born two years after the war. And 31 years later his grandson was born. 40 years later his grandson became president.” . And today he stands before you.”

comedy and acting career

Accordingly BrittanicaZelenskyy graduated from Kryvyy Rih Economic Institute, the local campus of Kyiv National Economic University, and graduated in law in 2000. He became a comedian and actor and was widely known for his Entertainment Career until the mid-2010s.

2006 Zelenskyy won the very first season of the Ukrainian version of the franchise “Dancing with the Stars”. This video, shared on the show’s Facebook page, shows that the future president even managed to dance while blindfolded:

Studio Canal, the producers of the 2014 children’s film Paddington and the 2017 sequel Paddington 2, confirmed told The Hollywood Reporter that Zelenskyy voiced the Ukrainian version of the eponymous cartoon bear character. A behind-the-scenes video of Zelenskyy doing voice work also went viral:

Actor Hugh Bonneville, who also starred in the Paddington films, tweeted about Zelensky’s involvement.

Zelenskyy became famous in 2015 as the star of a popular satirical Ukrainian TV show called “servant of the people.” On the show, he played a school teacher who accidentally becomes the president of Ukraine after a video condemning government corruption went viral.

Zelenskyj set up his own grassroots party in real life in 2018dubbed Servant of the People, and was elected to power in 2019.

Role in Trump’s impeachment

Zelenskyy also played a significant role in the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, although he may not have been a “source,” as the Reddit post above claims. He was thrust at the center of the scandal when their phone call, in which Trump congratulated him on winning the presidential election, turned into a discussion about investigations into political rivals.

acc transcripts In July 2019, Trump called on Zelenskyy to investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden, who was also the front runner against Trump in the 2020 presidential election, as well as his son. Trump had blocked military aid to Ukraine before the call, and a senior official said the president made it clear in the call that military aid was dependent on the investigation of his political rival, which the White House denied.;

Trump card allegedly that Biden had abused his power to pressure Ukrainian authorities to back out of a possible criminal investigation into his son Hunter Biden and his work at a Ukrainian energy company, allegations that were later discredited. But Democrats said Trump broke the law by pressuring a foreign power to influence an election. Although the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump, the Senate ultimately acquitted him.

Zelenskyy, after The New York TimesHe had spent months prior to the call trying to mollify Trump’s camp while clinging to support from members of Congress and diplomats who told him not to interfere in American politics. With that in mind, and the suspension of military aid to Ukraine, Zelenskyy Trump said on the call that his prosecutor would do so carry out an investigation into the Bidens, but asked for more information.

On March 1, 2022 Zelenskyy receive Standing ovations from the Parliament of the European Union as he delivered an emotional speech, between rocket attacks, he said: “We will overcome everything.” He described Russian rocket attacks on Freedom Square in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, killing at least ten people.

Zelensky’s unique resume, dramatic and even comedic rise to power, and past run-ins with the Trump administration have made him a popular hero and wartime president amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


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Hopkins, Valerie. “Zelensky is stepping into a role few expected: President of Ukraine during the war.” The New York Times, February 24, 2022., accessed March 1, 2022.

LaFraniere, Sharon, et al. “Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here.” The New York Times, November 11, 2019., Accessed March 1, 2022.

“Putin says he will ‘denazify’ Ukraine. Your Jewish President lost his family in the Holocaust.” Washington Post., accessed March 1, 2022.

Ritmann, Alex. “Yes, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has spoken to Paddington, StudioCanal confirms.” The Hollywood Reporter, February 28, 2022, accessed March 1, 2022.

Roxborough, Scott. “The Role of His Life: Comedian-turned-President Volodymyr Zelensky Rises to the Moment.” The Hollywood Reporter, February 28, 2022, accessed March 1, 2022.

“Trump Impeachment: The Short, Medium, and Long History.” BBC News, February 5, 2020., Accessed March 1, 2022.

“Ukraine conflict: Russia bombs Freedom Square and Kharkiv Opera House.” BBC News, March 1, 2022., Accessed March 1, 2022.

“Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy: The Comedian President Rising to the Moment.” BBC News, February 26, 2022., Accessed March 1, 2022.

“Videos of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Paddington’ go viral.” NBC News, accessed March 1, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Biography, Facts, Presidency and Russian Invasion of Ukraine | Britannica. Retrieved March 1, 2022.

“Vladimir Zelenskyy told the story of his family during a joint speech with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” President.Gov.Ua, January 24, 2020, accessed March 1, 2022.

“Zelensky’s Last Plea for Peace.” Foreign Policy Accessed March 1, 2022. Accessed March 1, 2022. Are these claims about Zelenskyy’s family and career true?

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