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‘Watching the horror unfold on the news, I keep returning to the dignity, determination and strength of Ukrainian President Zelensky’

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky has given a prominent and poignant face to a country under attack


by Lauren Heskin
26th Feb 2022
‘Watching the horror unfold on the news, I keep returning to the dignity, determination and strength of Ukrainian President Zelensky’


In light of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky has given a prominent face for a country under attack, his activity on social media and clear bravery in the face of imminent danger has been lauded around the world. 

Despite noting that he is Putin’s “number one target” with his family a close second, Zelensky has remained in the Ukrainian capital, standing alongside the Ukrainian army as the Russian army siege Kyiv. He’s also continued to be the political face of Ukraine as chief negotiator. Just this morning, he requested that the EU urgently accept Ukraine’s ascension into the bloc and encouraging international leaders to deny Russia access to the Swift international financial exchange system.

In a social media feed crammed full of desperately moving images and sentiments, the words of Mandy Allen really captured the essence of the impressive yet lone figure of Zelensky. Here, she highlights the pathetic irony of Putin’s claims that he is “denazifying” a country whose own leader lost many family members to the gas chambers.


“Watching the horror unfold on news and social media and then watching the dignity, determination and strength shown by President Zelensky, there’s one thought I keep returning to.

That in this David and Goliath battle, an act that chillingly echoes the beginnings of WWII, it is a Jew who is leading his people, in Europe, in 2022. 

A Jew who is so ably and courageously leading his country against not only an undemocratic, illegal territorial assault, but an assault on humanity, decency and morality. And this in a region that saw most of its Jewish population decimated in the Holocaust, including many of Zelensky’s direct ancestors.

We will remember that this battle – perhaps the catalyst to something that will affect all of us and our children in the most devastating of ways – was led by a fearless and decent man who, if Hitler had had his way, would not even be here. 

He will be an example to us all, even when Ukraine falls, which it will. This man who is currently the only other Jewish head of state outside of Israel.

I don’t think there is anything that encapsulates the spirit of the Jewish people more his words: “When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs”. And that gives me some sense of hope and of comfort.”