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Comedian favourite to become president of Ukraine after wowing in the role on TV

A comedian famous for ranting about crooked lawmakers and businessmen in his TV role as a president is favourite to become the leader of Ukraine .

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, starred as a humble history teacher who becomes president of the country after his online bluster about the state of politics goes viral.

Servant of the People was so popular in 2015, Volodymyr started a political party with the same name.

Now he has become the surprise frontrunner to win next month’s election in Ukraine – despite having no experience in politics.

"I have not deceived people. They identify with me because I am open, I get hurt, I get angry, I get upset.

"I do not hide my emotions on camera, I do not try to look different. If I’m inexperienced in something, I’m inexperienced. If I don’t know something, I honestly admit it," the comic said.


He describes himself as "very liberal" and intends to tackle corruption, and take on Vladimir Putin about the war in eastern Ukraine .

Current polls suggest Volodymyr, also a businessman and lawyer, will secure the job with more than 17% of the vote in a crowded field.

He’s up against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and 42 other candidates.


When asked about how he’d deal with Donald Trump, Volodymyr joked: "We are both from the same industry after all."

The actor’s campaign saw him sell tickets to comedy gigs where he mocks his competition.

But Ukraine currently faces the "extremely serious" threat of land invasion by Putin’s troops.

Some in the country have argued Volodymyr may not handle this correctly.

"People imagine what they want in Zelenskiy.

"Liberals think he is a liberal, patriots think he is a patriot, leftists think he is a leftist.

"This amorphousness is really helping him at this point," Olexiy Golobutskiy, Kiev political strategist said.

However, the candidate has been praised for winning over 18-35 year-olds.

Serhiy Leshchenko, an investigative journalist and lawmaker, compared him to Trump.

“The desire of Ukrainian citizens is to have new faces, to have new politicians ready to reshuffle the whole political class.

“Both of them are TV stars, and both of them are selling people the dream, so people are ready to accept this dream because they are fed up with the old class of politicians," he said.

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