Zelensky as a role model for Europe?
The 44-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky has been President of Ukraine since May 2019. Before that, the lawyer worked as an actor and comedian. His courageous and skillful denunciation of Putin's brutality and calls on the West to show solidarity have turned him into a national and international role model, as Europe's press comments admiringly.
Rzeczpospolita is deeply impressed:
“He has not yet defeated the Russian Goliath, but he is already the most courageous politician in the democratic world. ... Some Western capitals have already offered him refuge, but he replied: 'I need ammunition, not a ride.' In the eyes of many Europeans Zelensky is now the number one politician, not Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz or Boris Johnson. For it is he who is defending the gates of free Europe. From the invader and occupier Putin, who is trying to convince the world that he is fighting 'Nazis' in Ukraine.”
True leader of a brave nation
Echo24 is also full of praise for the Ukrainian president:
“What we are seeing shows that Ukraine is not ruled by a buffoon or an actor, but by a true leader. He has not fled Kyiv and gone into exile like a corrupt puppet but is resisting the aggressor and giving his nation enormous moral strength and courage. Putin was not expecting this. Nor were his soldiers, who were sent on a 'special peacekeeping mission'. ... Europe is astounded by the determination and bravery of the Ukrainians.”
The very opposite of Putin
Film director François Margolin describes the contrasting characters of Putin and Zelensky in Le Figaro:
“Putin has decided to make Zelensky his 'number one target', as the Ukrainian president announced last Friday. Volodymyr Zelensky is the very opposite of Putin: a sensitive, independent and clever man who listens to others. Everything that Putin is not. Everything he detests. A man with a piercing gaze. Who dares to face reality and look people in the eye. The opposite of a Putin with his dull eyes and blurred gaze.”
Kremlin disinformation has shown its paltry limits
With his heroic and skilful media presence, Volodymyr Zelensky has defeated the Russian propaganda machinery and inspired many, writes columnist Hugo Rifkind in The Times:
“He has first shown Ukrainians who they want to be, and then reminded Europeans of who we used to know we were. Look, perhaps it all matters little, compared to the horror of bullets and bombs. Whatever happens with Russian firepower, though, we should remember this as the week when Russian disinformation has shown its paltry limits. Against a divided, self-loathing society, yes, it can run amok. Ukraine doesn't seem to be one, though. Let's not be one, either.”