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Volodymyr Zelensky, Who Played a President on TV, Elected to Lead Ukraine

HeadlineApr 22, 2019

In Ukraine, a political novice who played a president on TV won a landslide national election Sunday over incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. Forty-one-year-old comedian Volodymyr Zelensky leveraged his celebrity in a campaign that saw him promise to root out corruption and to end the war against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The U.N. says the conflict has killed 13,000 people, a quarter of them civilians, since fighting broke out in 2014. In his hit show, “Servant of the People,” Zelensky portrays a president who resigns after facing down the International Monetary Fund. But as a candidate, Zelensky promised to cooperate with the IMF as it doles out multibillion-dollar loans to Ukraine in exchange for unpopular austerity programs.

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