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Michael Bociurkiw: Ukrainians are wondering if their comedian-turned-president can handle the world stage

February 12, 2022 1:10 AM 1 min read
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte meets his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Feb. 2 as tensions rise on Ukraine's border amid a Russian military buildup.
This audio is created with AI assistance

On Monday, as Ukraine was bracing for a possible Russian invasion and another punishing Covid-19 wave, President Volodymyr Zelensky held an event on digital transformation which resembled something out of Apple founder Steve Jobs' playbook. Flashy graphics and cool suits framed a presentation which included a pledge to gift heavily discounted smartphones and a preferential tariff for the internet to every senior in Ukraine who is fully vaccinated.

The event might have been timed to distract attention away from the current crisis, or maybe quite simply as a follow-up on a Zelensky election pledge to transform Ukraine into a "country in a smartphone." Whatever the reasoning, the smartphone announcement didn't give the impression Zelensky was keeping his eye on the most important ball right now, namely the largest military threat to Ukraine in modern history.

Continue reading on CNN.

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was published by CNN. The Kyiv Independent is aggregating it as a recommendation to our readers.

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