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Channel 4 to air Volodymyr Zelensky documentary on Sunday

'Zelensky: The Man Who Took on Putin’ goes out at 6:45pm

By Joe Goggins

Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the Ukrainian people, February 2022
Zelensky's leadership during the Russian invasion has won him global plaudits. (Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine/Wikimedia Commons)

Channel 4 will air a new documentary on Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky this Sunday (March 6).

Zelensky: The Man Who Took on Putin’ will be shown at 6:45pm. Formerly an actor and comedian, the 44-year-old entered politics in 2019, winning that year’s general election by a landslide. He has won global admiration for his fierce refusal to back down in the face of his nation’s invasion by Russian forces.

The president has remained the country’s capital of Kyiv, even with amid an increase in Russian air strikes in recent days and his claims that Chechen hitmen have been dispatched to the city to assassinate him. His impassioned rhetoric and unbowed demeanour have been widely praised on social media. In response to a U.S. offer to evacuate him last week, he reportedly said, “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

His ascension to status of leader in 2019 saw life imitate art; he previously starred in the Ukrainian series ‘Servant of the People’ as a schoolteacher who stumbles into the country’s presidency after his rant about political corruption goes viral. Zelensky ran as a similarly-styled political outsider, largely eschewing traditional media engagement. Channel 4 will air three episodes of ‘Servant of the People’ on Sunday.

“In the space of a few weeks, Volodymyr Zelensky has become one of the most admired and speculated about men in the world,” said Ian Katz, Channel 4’s chief content officer, in a statement today (March 2). “Broadcasting our current affairs special, ‘Zelensky: The Man Who Took on Putin’, and ‘Servant of the People’ across Sunday night will give viewers access to deep insight into how he shot to political prominence, the foundations of his popular appeal and his intuitive grasp of how to exploit both traditional and social media.”

The ‘Servant of the People’ triple bill airs from 10:35pm on Sunday; both full seasons of the show will be available on All 4 at an as-yet-unannounced later date. Earlier this week, Paddington star Hugh Bonneville confirmed that Zelensky voiced the title character in the Ukrainian dub of both 2014’s ‘Paddington’ and its 2017 sequel. Footage of Zelensky winning the Ukrainian edition of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ inn 2006 has also gone viral.