Volodymyr Zelensky turns 45
Leopard Tank Happy Birthday
In just a year, the once charming, mischievous actor was transformed into a hardened war hero. Main battle tanks are at the top of his birthday wish list today.
Published: 18 minutes ago
Volodymyr Zelensky on a visit to the war-ravaged city of Kharkiv. After a year of war, the Ukrainian president seems to have matured by years. The smile is gone. The former comedian has mutated into a hardened war hero.
Myrtle MuellerOutside Reporter News
The war continues. There is no end in sight. Soldiers are killed on the eastern front every day. Missiles hail residential areas. People are buried. Every day. Eleven months after Vladimir Putin’s (70) military invasion of Ukraine began, peace seems more remote than ever. The spiral of escalation continues unabated. The trench warfare on the Eastern Front has come to a standstill. Russia is threatening another major offensive in the spring. New heavy weapons are needed, otherwise the Ukrainian defense threatens to collapse.
All this weighs heavily on the shoulders of the Ukrainian President. On January 25, 2023, Volodymyr Zelensky will be 45 years old. The former actor and comedian won’t feel like partying. It is not known whether Zelensky will spend the day in the official presidential residence on Lutheran Street in downtown Kiev. In any case, the name of the Art Nouveau villa fits the depressing atmosphere: “The House of the Weeping Widow”.
Gift of the West is timely
Arguably nothing would cheer the Supreme Commander on his birthday more than a certain gift from the west. Selenski wants main battle tanks! His army would need 300 pieces. At the top of the wish list is the German Leopard 2. The gift may come in time. According to US media, the US now wants to deliver American Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. And as Der Spiegel reports, Germany is supplying at least one company of Leopard 2A6s. Poland is waiting for the green light for its leopards. And the UK is supplying 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks.
A year ago, the birthday looked different. Volodymyr Zelensky lived with his family under one roof. When Russian troops attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the President had his wife Olena (44), daughter Oleksandra (18) and son Kyrylo (9) taken to a secret location.
From then on, the President was escorted by the military and spent most of his time in the bunker. He no longer wears dark suits and grows a beard. Every day he appears on the net in an olive-green T-shirt stretched over newly trained biceps. The smile disappears. All mischief has disappeared from the eyes. The gaze is focused and determined. His words are no longer bon mots. There are daily perseverance slogans to the army and population as well as appeals to the world.
From comedian to war hero
Over the course of the war, the ex-actor, who was only 1.70 meters tall, transformed into a hero and a gifted war rhetorician, as Tübingen professor Joachim Knape summed up in an interview with the German media. “Zelensky has become more mature, more concentrated, more serious,” says the rhetoric expert, “his appearance has become militarized. That instills confidence in the people.”
The old life of the son of a Jewish mathematics professor and an engineer seems to be from another time. Volodymyr Zelensky was born on January 25, 1978 in the south of the Ukraine, at that time still a Russian-speaking Soviet area. He is studying law, but is looking for the stage. Selenski becomes a comedian and cabaret artist. He appears in Ukrainian and Russian TV shows – New Year 2013 even with Putin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov (59). Selenski made his big breakthrough with the satirical series “Servants of the People”. In it he plays a teacher who is elected president of the country. Later he will name his party after it. And just like in the movie, the comedian is running for the presidency and actually wins the 2019 election too.
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