Ukraine elected a comedian to be its next president.
Volodymry Zelenskiy starred in a hit television series as a teacher who is suddenly catapulted into the presidency. At just 41 years old, Zelenskiy turned his show into reality by winning a stunning 73% of the vote in the April 21 runoff election.
Zelenskiy’s victory was a major upset against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko.
“Could I ever imagine that I, a simple guy from Kryvyi Rih, would be fighting for the presidency against a person who we confidently and definitively elected president of Ukraine in 2014?” Zelenskiy stated.
Current President Proshenko came into power shortly after his corrupt predecessor was ousted from office in 2014. Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia defined his term in office. It started after Russia illegally annexed Crimea, part of Ukraine and has continued with a war raging on eastern Ukraine. 13,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict. The Kremlin has yet to contact the incoming president.
Zelenskiy’s victory was also historic because he’s set to become Ukraine’s first Jewish president and the first without any political experience. Many Ukrainians say they backed Zelenskiy to shake up their political system. He ran on an anti-corruption platform.