Volodymyr Zelenskyy grew up in Ukraine before he was elected the country’s president in a landslide election win in 2019.
Zelenskyy was born Jan. 25, 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, according to his official biography. Kryvyi Rih is a city in the southern part of the country that was known for iron mining, according to Britannica.
In 2000, Zelenskyy graduated with a law degree from Kyiv National Economic University and became a comedian and performer on a stand-up comedy team called Kvartal 95.
While he was with the performance group Kvartal 95 (which translates to “Quarter 95,” and references the area in which Zelenskyy grew up), Zelenskyy appeared on the televised finals of a popular competition show that was broadcast to the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to Brittanica. Zelenskyy and his team became regulars on the show until 2003, when Zelenskyy co-founded Studio Kvartal 95. During his tenure as a comedian, Zelenskyy portrayed a character who accidentally becomes the president of Ukraine, BBC reported.
Studio Kartal 95 is a production company behind several television shows and movies in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy ran for president in Ukraine in 2019, and won a run-off vote with nearly 73% of votes over the incumbent, BBC reported at the time. With no political experience, Zelenskyy’s campaign focused on how he stood apart from other candidates rather than offering concrete policy ideas, BBC reported.
As president of Ukraine, Zalenskyy found himself at the center of an impeachment scandal in the United States that focused on whether President Trump tried to pressure Zelenskyy into undermining Joe Biden’s campaign during the 2020 American presidential race, The New York Times reported.
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