Before-and-after photos show the personal toll of Ukraine’s war on Zelenskyy since he took office 3 years ago

 Before-and-after photos show the personal toll of Ukraine’s war on Zelenskyy since he took office 3 years ago

A composite image showing Volodymyr Zelenskyy clapping during his 2019 inauguration and speaking from a chair in military wear in May 2022.

A composite image showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ath is May 20, 2019, inauguration and giving a war update in May 2022.AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky; Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took office three years ago, on May 20, 2019.

  • He was a comedian who ran on an anti-corruption platform and won a landslide vote.

  • In 2022 Zelensky underwent a dramatic transformation into a war leader opposing a Russian onslaught.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was inaugurated as Ukraine’s president three years ago today. His time in office has changed him completely.

His country is now almost three months into a devastating war after Russia invaded in February this year.

The war made Zelenskyy, 44, a household name around the world and totally changed his image domestically.

It has also changed its appearance and style. Zelensky, once suited and clean-shaven, is now mostly seen in military gear and sports a beard.

The toll of leading a nation suffering massacres and wholesale destruction – while personally avoiding assassination attempts – also appears to have taken a personal toll.

In April, he gave an interview saying that the war had hollowed him out emotionally, and that he no longer had the ability to cry when confronted with the horrors of the war.

All of this doesn’t make one a better person. One doesn’t get used to all these victims, “Zelenskyy told BILD, a German outlet which shares a parent company with Insider.

It’s a far cry from his fame before politics, when he was a comedian and a TV star who played Ukraine’s president on a popular TV show.

Zelensky won the presidency in the April 2019 election that saw him beat in the incumbent with 73% of the vote.

He ran on an anti-corruption platform, as well as plans for peace talks with Russia, which had by then already taken the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine as well as waging a lower-level war via proxy forces in eastern Ukraine.

As Insider’s Talia Lakritz previously reported, presidents often get more gray hairs while they are in office. It’s something that some experts say comes from the stress of the job, while others say it’s most likely due to aging in general.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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