Just a few years ago, Volodymyr Zelensky was playing Ukraine’s president on television. Now, he’s a real-life wartime leader directing his outgunned country in its fight against the Russian invasion.
Though Zelensky says he has become the Kremlin’s “target No. 1,” he has earned the respect of much of the Ukrainian public by refusing to flee the capital. Instead he has walked the streets of Kyiv and urged Ukrainians to resist, while crafting a successful communications strategy that has won the hearts and minds of European leaders and voters.
While acknowledging that Moscow has vastly superior forces it has not yet deployed, Western officials say Zelensky’s leadership has firmed up Ukrainian resolve. Here’s what you need to know about the president.