Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media


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Richland Chronicle 12/05/23
Richland Chronicle 12/05/23

The ‘new age media’ president: Zelenskyy

Staff Writer Haley Aguayo

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is the sixth person to be president of Ukraine, and the most recent politician to find himself in the midst of a war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces to take Ukraine on Feb. 24 earlier this year, only four days after the 2022 Winter Olympics concluded, in which both Russian and Ukrainian athletes competed.

Since the war began, Zelenskyy has taken to different media platforms to address the ongoing issues Ukrainians have faced in the past two months. He’s called on different international legislative bodies to intervene and send supplies.

While Russia and Ukraine have gained support from countries around the world and received supplies from supporters, no country has directly intervened.

Zelenskyy is no stranger to the social media and entertainment world. He starred and acted in several romantic comedies and participated in TV shows about the Ukrainian political administration.

One of his shows was ‘People of the Servant’ where Zelenskyy acted as a school teacher whose criticisms of the government were recorded and went viral, eventually landing him as the next president of Ukraine.

Both Zelenskyy and Putin have been using social media and other modern communications tools to get their respective messages to the world’s public.

Zelenskyy has agreed to many interviews, even doing an interview for ‘60 Minutesand making a speech during the Grammys in which he compared “the sounds of music to the sounds of war.”

Viktoriya Almazan is from Sumy, Ukraine, and has been living in America since 2005. She works as a student success coach at Richland Campus and she agreed with Zelenskyy’s musical comparison.

“I think that’s about right,” Almazan said. “All those casualties that Ukrainians experience can be compared to music, especially to tragic and dramatic music. He’s right about it.”

During his ‘60 Minutes’ interview, Zelenskyy announced that he is “not disappointed in Biden’s decision to not go to war with Russia.”

“The Ukrainian administration understands that there’s nothing they could do about it. It’s a very hard decision and very hard on Ukrainians, of course, to have all this weight on their own shoulders. But you don’t want to put more people in danger,” Almazan said.

Zelenskyy told the interviewer, Scott Pelley that “Ukraine is defending the ability of a person to live in the modern world.”

“Obviously nobody thought this would happen in the 21st century. Unfortunately Ukrainians have to fight for their ability to live, I totally 100% [agree] with those words,” Almazan said.

“Because if they can’t fight for their freedom, it means that they’d have to go under

the Russian regime, and none of them want to go ahead and be a part of Russia and live under their regime. Unfortunately loss of life and areas will be lost but Ukraine was, Ukraine is, and Ukraine will be as a country.”

Kent Ho, a senator of Student Government Association, said he thinks the importance of Zelenskyy being so heavily involved with the media comes from his morals.

“He’s a man of the people, Ho said. “He goes around talking to soldiers and goes around talking to people who are wounded in the hospital. So for uniqueness of the leader itself, that a true leader for the people.”

In several of the interviews, Zelenskyy shared evidence gathered by the Ukrainian government about Russian war crimes.

“What the Russian soldiers are doing is horrendously bad,” Ho said. “You see civilians being tied up and killed or being blown up by tanks but we don’t always know that or see that. If [they] cover it up and we don’t talk about it, what’s the point of us?”

Ho said he hopes Ukraine and Russian have more cooperation on issues. He supports “the United States intervening in any way they want to help [Ukraine], but the problem is that if the United States intervenes, that will

cause a big problem with Russia. Ukraine is vital for the United States. We saw what happened with Afghanistan back in 2001, we don’t want this to happen to Ukraine or else we won’t be reliable allies for those eastern countries,” Ho said.

“Ukraine is more determined, they are family. They don’t want to lose any faith to anyone if one person still stands, they can fight. Zelenskyy has done a good job creating unity with the Ukrainians. They’re holding up pretty well, they’re not losing any resistance because of the sense of unity and family. It’s about unity, nothing else” Ho said of the Ukrainian resistance.

Both Almazan and Ho said that there is enough media coverage about the ongoing war.

Almazan said Zelenskyy has been participating a lot in social media and that by doing so “he’s trying to localize the issue.”

Ho encourages students at Richland to support anyone, whether in Russia or Ukraine, who stands against the war.

“For us at SGA, we want to educate people that we shouldn’t punish the Russian people for this. We have to stick together for the Ukrainian and Russian people,” Ho said.

Almazan said she hopes students will take the time to think critically about the ongoing conflict.

“I want students to identify who is wrong and who is right. I want people to have just a common sense to identify who created the conflict, who is involved in the conflict and who you as a human being can support.”

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