Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Britain’s former statesman Winston Churchill: Both mobilized the resilience of their people in the darkest hour. Both excelled at the challenge.
In the “darkest hour” (as he quotes it) Winston Churchill came to power in 1940; viewed with suspicion in his own party because of his hitherto lighthearted political lifestyle. Only through his talent for eloquence did he dispel suspicion that he was an adventurer when he said “No negotiations!” trumpeted, as Hitler conquered Europe as far as the English Channel and the British Isles were left alone in the bombshell showers of the impending invasion.
Churchill skillfully concealed his depressions (“the black dog”) while mobilizing the last of his people’s strength with “blood and tears”. Spreading his fingers in a “victory” became his trademark.
Selenskyj had a reputation for being a lightweight
On May 20, 2019, a man who had studied law but had made a career as a comedian came to power in Ukraine. The presidential victory was the product of his actor’s popularity. Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a reputation for being a lightweight on an oligarch’s long line. In general, the country did not have a good reputation as a playground for oligarchs. When things got tough this spring due to the deployment of Russian troops, the president and his country were all alone. NATO declared Ukraine lost, the US had Selenskyj & Co. already offered the evacuation.
Selenskyj set an example when he refused to flee
Selenskyj even rejected the thought of fleeing and called on his people to resist under this sign. When, on February 24, Russian airborne troops approached Kiev to deliver a decapitation blow to Ukraine in the darkest hour, they were greeted with a hail of fire from aging Soviet weapons stockpiles. The blitzkrieg of the Kremlin’s aggressors, who in their chauvinistic arrogance despise the Ukrainians as ‘countrymen’, failed because of the resistance led by the president.
Selenskyj in front – Putin far away at the long table in the Fuhrer’s headquarters: This photo gave the Ukrainians courage. The president’s daily video speeches fueled the determination to persevere as Putin’s troops took city after city. Zelenskyj also made himself heard internationally with video speeches. With tenacious insistence and a great deal of persuasion, he started the flow of Western arms supplies. He just turned over German Chancellor Scholz.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyj has also become the host of world politics in Kiev. The political heavyweights hand him the doorknob. The trademark of Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become the gray-green “army suit”. And the bullet vest in the front.
Both started with a leap of faith
Churchill was the wartime prime minister, Zelensky is the now undisputed wartime president. Fate has destined them both to become leading figures in their countries, having outgrown themselves in the pioneering challenge of their time.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.