The Optimism of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
By Victor Perton
Ukraine's PresidentVolodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by video to the University of Zurich in September 2022. Zurich councillor Mario Fehr asked how the President remains so optimistic despite the war and how he can still laugh. Zelenskyy said that what makes him optimistic is the tireless struggle of his compatriots, as well as the support from Europe and the rest of the world. "The questions from you, from you, make me feel positive. The people who surround me inspire me – that makes me happy.” The audience in the hall applauded enthusiastically. (Report)
Earlier in the year, I was deeply moved by the optimism of Zelenskyy demonstrated in an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria.
President Zelenskyy narrated a video that included sad scenes "This was my home. This was my friend. This was my dog. This was my car. This was my job. And this was my father. And this was my daughter."
He then said, "There is one thing Russia doesn't get... we Ukrainians already know what will come next. We will win. And there will be new houses. There will be new cities. There will be new dreams. There will be a new story. There will be there, small talent, and those we've lost will be remembered and we will sing again. And we will celebrate anew. Yes, Ukraine was beautiful, but now it'll become great great Ukraine."
Fareed Zakaria asked, "what is the message that you really want to convey to the west, to the world? It's a very optimistic video, but we are still living in a very tragic, difficult time in that you in particular are living in a very difficult moment."
The president replied, "Why it is so optimistic is that we have a very profound faith in ourselves And a very profound faith in the west, a profound faith in people."
Fareed concluded, "I have met President Zelensky several times. He struck me as bright, nimble, engaging, and obviously with a great sense of humour. He even once took part in a brief comedy sketch after dinner... Now I see a man, a leader transformed who has risen to the occasion and met his moment as he spoke."
Our Centre for Optimism's Hour of Optimism for Ukraine with the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations and Project Optimism was inspiring too.