Ukraines President is former actor who accidentally won election on TV show

In a rare example of life imitating art, the man faced with protecting Ukraine from Russia's invasion was starring in a TV show where a history teacher accidentally became the President of Ukraine just four years ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a former actor in the country and started a presidential campaign as a bit of a joke.

In the show, named 'Servant of the people', Zelenskyy's character unintentionally became leader after a video filmed by students of him ranting against corruption went viral.

And following the show, Zelenskyy threw his hat into the political sphere and won a remarkable landslide victory in the last elections -despite having no political experience.

It was Ukraine's most unorthodox presidential campaign in history as the comedian did not attend in-person campaign events and held no rallies reports the Mirror.

Instead, he used jokes to target pro-Russia leaning incumbent Petro Poroshenko by saying: "Why does Poroshenko want a second term? So he doesn’t get a [prison] term."

Zelenskyy also turned to social media and built support using YouTube and Instagram while making TV appearances.

And remarkably despite having no party affiliation and no detailed policies he trounced his opposing number Poroshenko by taking a landslide 73% of the votes.

However, as Russian forces continue their devastating march through Ukraine it would appear the joke may finally be over.

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Speaking in the aftermath of the attack, Zelenskyy today (February 24) urged citizens not to panic and declared martial law in the country.

He said: "Russia conducted strikes on our military infrastructure and our border guards. There were blasts heard in many cities of Ukraine. We’re introducing martial law on the whole territory of our country.

“A minute ago I had a conversation with President Biden. The US have already started uniting international support.

"Today each of you should keep calm. Stay at home if you can. We are working. The army is working. The whole sector of defence and security is working,” he added.

“No panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will win over everybody because we are Ukraine.”

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