The real Zelensky: from celebrity populist to unpopular Pinochet-style neoliberal
In terms of selling this one-dimensional story to the world, Zelensky’s artistic skills appear invaluable. He is finally on the global stage, and the world is applauding. The former comedian does not even try to hide his satisfaction. Answering the question of a French reporter on March 5, 2022 — the tenth day of the Russian invasion — on how his life had changed with the beginning of the war, Zelensky replied with a smile of delight: “Today, my life is beautiful. I believe that I am needed. I feel it is the most important meaning in life – to be needed. To feel that you are not just an emptiness that is just breathing, walking, and eating something. You live.”
For me, this construction is alarming: it implies that Zelensky enjoys the unique opportunity to perform on a global stage provided by the war. It made his life beautiful; he lives. In contrast to millions of Ukrainians whose life is not nice at all and thousands of those who are not alive any longer.