David Letterman interviews Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a Kyiv subway tunnel in front of an audience

Originally published at: David Letterman interviews Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a Kyiv subway tunnel in front of an audience | Boing Boing


What an amazing leader.


I am most overcome by his apparent complete lack of ego. He is aware that it has fallen to him to lead, but that it is far more important to participate. In Zelensky’s eyes, everyone is a soldier who lives or dies in any way for the future of Ukraine.


this interview was great. watching it, you can completely understand how and why he’s president of his country. he shows respect and care for every single one of his fellow people.



Before the war, his approval rating was sitting around 25%, and he deserved it. He couldn’t really govern; and his party was struggling to achieve anything. He’s part of the reason the Russians thought that taking Kiev would be a cake walk.

But he surprised people. He stayed. He’s brave. And he inspires others to bravery. It’s a terrible situation for Ukraine, but I’m glad they have a leader they can trust, who trusts them in return.


Yeah he surprised everyone by being out front and leading by example. He has even been snuck into combat zones to give out medals. I am sure the actual generals are the ones directing troop movement etc, but he has been constantly sounding the gong for more support from the west, been extremely good as a diplomat, and been an inspirational leader to keep up moral in both the military and civilians. I really can’t think of someone who has had a similar air about him other than Churchill.


I guess it’s like the saying goes - those who are best suited to lead, don’t want to. Former comedian has become a world-famous wartime leader.

Also, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed Dave’s “my next guest” series. Almost all of them are great interviews with good background/side info that doesn’t normally come out. The Clooney one I put off for a while but was way different than what I expected. I watched Letterman for years and while he was a solid interviewer, he’s really excelling in these new shows.


Thanks for sharing this @garethb2, seeing Volodymyr Zelenskyy tell this joke made my day that much brighter from getting the chance to share a laugh:

Two Jewish guys from Odesa meet up.
One is asking the other: “So, what’s the situation? What are people saying?”
And he goes, "what are people saying? They are saying it’s a war. What kind kind of war? Russia is fighting NATO.
“Are you serious?”
“Yes! Russia is fighting NATO.”
“So? How’s it going?”
“What do you mean, how is it going? Seventy thousand Russian soldiers are dead. Missile stockpile has been almost depleted. A lot of equipment is damaged, blown up. That’s the situation.”
“What about NATO?”
“What about NATO? NATO hasn’t even arrived yet!”

Then there is this quote that shows the Ukrainian people are forged from a harder spirit than the hammer and sickle from which they declared their independence in 1991:

Letterman: Are you tired of this as your daily life? Are the people of Ukraine tired of this as their daily life?
Zelenskyy: One thing that the president of the Russian Federation failed to calculate correctly is that the more they strike against us, attacking our integrity and our dignity, thus attacking unfairly… The more they attack us, the more people want to come out of this with dignity and to come out of this victorious. That’s why when we did a survey, it showed that 98% of our country’s population today would rather stay without electricity and water as long as they are free from Russia. Russia holds control over famine, electricity, and water supplies. I think if you’re not God, and you do this, then who are you? A barbarian. The Kremlin officials should make their minds up about who they are. Whether they are barbarians or just insane. Unfortunately, none of that works for Ukraine.


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