Sergii Rudenko

Zelenskyi bez grimu Zelenskyi without make-up
Political Biography. Summit-Book Publishing House. Ukraine 2021. 180 pages (without illustrations)
manuscript updated by the author until April 2022
Foreign rights: Czech Republic/ Kniha Zlin, English (world)/ Polity, Estonia/ Tänapaev, Finland/ Tammi, Georgia/ Siesta, Germany/ Hanser, Hungary/ Helikon, Italy/ Nutrimenti, Japan/ PHP Institute Inc., Lithuania/ Alma Littera, Netherlands/ Atlas-Contact, Norway/ Gyldendal, Poland/ Poznanskie, Portugal/ Casa das Letras, Romania/ Editura Art, Spain/ Editorial Pinolia

„Zelenskyi without make-up“ was the first critical political biography about the Ukrainian president. In 38 episodes, the author tells about the different stages of Volodymyr Zelenskyi‘s life - starting from his childhood in Kryvyi Rih and ending with the Russian-Ukrainian war of 2022. The last episodes and the epilogue of this work were written by the author in a bomb shelter during the missile strikes of the Russian army on Ukraine.

The book introduces Zelenskyi starting as a president for peace and becoming a president in war. In episodes which spotlight Zelenskyi‘s rise to power as honestly and openly as possible and without any retouching we read about Zelenskyi‘s triumph in 2019, but also about his numerous defeats in the political Olympus.The story of a man who, without any political experience or relevant knowledge, promised the Ukrainians to change their state. A man trusted by 13.5 million voters. A person who understood: great trust is also a great responsibility. The man who accepted the challenge of Vladimir Putin, becoming the head of the Ukrainian state in this difficult period. Last but not least we read about the shift not only in public opinion from a president with few success and bad ranking to a president standing up for his people, defending not only Ukraine but the freedom of Europe as it seems.

Contributors to this book have been in addition to Ukrainian politicians such as Roman Bezsmertny, Geo Leros and Ruslan Ryaboshapka, also political scientists and political technologists such as Viktor Bobyrenko, Serhiy Haidai and Kost Bondarenko.

Rudenko does not have any direct connection with Zelenskyi and was never part of Zelenskyi’s team or entourage. This book has no connection whatsoever to the presidential office and is written from a completely independent point of view. It is neither pro-Zelenskyi nor pro-Poroshenko, it keeps critical distance.

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