‘He was special’: Fellow student and professor reminisce about Zelensky they knew in college

'He was special': Fellow student and professor reminisce about Zelensky they knew in college

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the image of an “amateur” president, a former actor, has certainly replaced the image of a warlord. Volodymyr Zelensky’s professors and former classmates at the State University in his hometown, Krivi Rih, say they are hardly surprised by this rise in the ranks of international celebrities.

In a testimony to a British daily GuardianThe founding’s current rector, Andrey Schakn (who joined the amphitheater in the 1990s at the same time as Zelensky), recalls as follows: “Volodimir Zelensky was special. He was talented, hardworking and wanted to be the best … among the best!” And yet, the city where the Ukrainian president grew up was not the healthiest environment at the time. Kryvyi Rih was then known… for his criminal gangs! “As a teenager, Volodymyr had two choices: he could succeed, or he could become a member of a criminal gang”Andrey Shaikon recalls.

At that time his teachers were full of praise for him. Natalia Voloshniuk, his former economics professor, describes it: Guardian as “A leader and an organizer”, “People followed him. He was a mild intellectual, and a witty, funny man. His humility was evident. There was a lot of ‘real Zelensky’ in the president, which he portrayed in Servant of the People. [NDLR: la série dans laquelle il a joué],, she assures. His former English teacher Kira Vaishnavskaj says:“He had a great sense of humour… I was strict. The students had to write letters. He made fun of stereotypes and made fun of the format that he intended to carry camels and horses. Elephants”.

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In the spring, Krivy Rih’s airport was one of the objectives of the Russian army … which sought to humiliate Zelensky by capturing his native city through this conquest. The front line is now separated by 50 km.


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