The President of Ukraine, who got the job after playing the role of president in a bestselling TV series, has been using government channels to play down an insulting sketch his TV production company made about Chechen hard man Ramzan Kadyrov.
Former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, 41, had a successful acting career that included taking over the starring role in 2015 of a TV show called “servant of the people” where he is an ordinary person who becomes president of Ukraine after a viral video ranting about corruption.
Video Credit: CEN/Kvartal 95
His colleagues at the TV production company that he ran, Kvartal 95, later created a political party of the same name and as a result of that he stood in this year’s presidential election, beating the incumbent Petro Poroshenko.
However, the former comedian had managed to make an enemy of Chechen hard man Kadyrov after his production company showed footage of Kadyrov crying at the funeral of his father, and pretending the tears were over the destruction of a monument to Lenin.
The footage was meant to parody the Chechen head Kadyrov reacting to the destruction of the Lenin monument in Kharkov.
It makes it seem as if he says: “Lenin was demolished in Kharkov, it lived there for 80 years. “
He then appears to go on saying: “I have never seen anything like it before. The Nazis, The (far-right) Banderites, what can you do?”
The joke was posted online in 2014 and understandably went down badly, and Zelensky, who was in charge, made a hasty apology saying his subordinates had done it without his knowledge.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zelensky had at the time asked them to try and get an apology over to the Chechen hard man and he was supposed to travel to the country together with a copy of the Quran as a gift.
However, at the last minute, he pulled out leaving an assistant to go in his place, which apparently made the situation worse, and a short while later, his car mysteriously caught fire.
Now that he is president, there have apparently been concerns that the animosity might have continued, however, upon his election, Zelensky apologised to Kadyrov, and the spokesman for the head of Chechnya, Alvi Karimov, made it clear that the apology is now accepted.
He said: “If someone published something that Zelensky had no role in, and he apologised, then of course we accept.”
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