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Since the start of the war in Ukraine, no single figure has antagonized President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as effectively or persistently as President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
Mr. Zelensky’s defiant videos and speeches have inspired the West into action and, by his own account, made him a target for Russian assassins.
Before his life in politics, Mr. Zelensky was the star of a sitcom, “Servant of the People,” in which he played a Ukrainian president — a show that was also popular in Russia.
What is it about him and his rise to power that poses such a unique threat to Mr. Putin?
On today’s episode
Anton Troianovski contributed reporting.
Special thanks to Daniel Fridman.
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