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Ukraine's Actor-Turned-President Emerges as a Courageous David Against Goliath

03-01-2022
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FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, walks under a camouflage net in a trench as he visits the war-hit Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Dec. 6, 2021. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)
FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, walks under a camouflage net in a trench as he visits the war-hit Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Dec. 6, 2021. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)

Russian forces have now fired close to 400 missiles into Ukraine – attacking schools, hospitals and homes.

Satellite images show a 40-mile Russian military convoy closing in on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.  Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin is raising the specter of nuclear war, warning the West that he has put his nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

President Joe Biden dismissed the threat on Monday, telling a reporter that Americans should not worry. The Pentagon called Putin’s nuclear warning “unnecessary” and “escalatory.”

CBN News’ George Thomas, who is on the scene in Ukraine, says the war has unified Ukrainians instead of tearing the country apart. 

“By invading Ukraine, Putin was hoping to not only conquer the entire country but to also divide Ukrainians. Well, the exact opposite has happened. Not only is the nation more united than ever before, but so many see this as a David versus Goliath story. And today, President Zelensky, in their eyes, is clearly the David,” says Thomas. 

WATCH: These Ukrainian Citizens Feverishly Working to Make Camo Nets for Military

One Ukrainian tells CBN News that President Volodymyr Zelensky is “much more braver than 'Goliath.' He's much stronger. He's much more confident.”

“I'm so happy to be Ukrainian. I'm so honored to be Ukrainian. I'm so happy that I have this president,” says another.

Zelensky is perhaps the most unlikely Ukrainian president, given his background. A former actor, he was the voice of Paddington Bear in Ukraine and played Ukraine’s president in a TV comedy before getting the job in real-life.

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In the past week, his bold and sometimes defiant leadership has given Ukraine the resolve it urgently needed.

Zelensky acknowledged what intelligence shows – that he's Russia’s number-one target, and his family is number-two. His family members have gone into hiding.

When rumors surfaced that he was fleeing the capital, he pushed back with a video of him and his leaders in the street saying, “We're still here.”

When the Biden administration offered an evacuation, he said, “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Gen. Keith Kellogg, the former national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, told Fox News the "Ukrainians are fighting back hard” and called Zelensky’s leadership “incredible.”

“It shows his tremendous leadership and it's inspiring the Ukrainian nation,” said Kellogg. 

Across social media, photos of Zelensky with his troops have gone viral.

Last week, his emotional teleconference plea to European leaders telling them it might be the last time they saw him alive, accelerated aid to Ukraine and harsher sanctions against Russia.

Almost 28 NATO countries have increased sanctions against Putin and Russian banks. Even Switzerland, known for its neutrality, has joined in, barring Putin from Swiss banks. 

The pushback has sent the Russian economy into a tailspin and on top of the financial war, military analysts say Russia’s in trouble on the ground. 

“This is going terribly for Vladimir Putin and his forces. They designed a flawed concept,” General (Ret) David Petraeus told CNN.

Fuel shortages have slowed the troops, along with the fighting skill of the Ukrainian people.

“The Ukrainian will is so incredible. To see what they are doing, to see their president – he was a comedian who played the president on TV – this is the role of a lifetime. He should get an Academy Award and many other awards. He is a natural,” said Petraeus. 

Zelensky's latest move is filing a genocide case against Russia. He's asking the UN to stop the Russian invasion and order the Kremlin to pay reparations.

Zelenskyy's no longer acting, and what he's doing at home and abroad could save his country while crushing Putin’s ambition, for now.

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