From comedy to heroism by Ukraine’s President.
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected in 2019, critics expressed doubts about his ability to lead the nation, as he had no major political experience. In fact, when the war began, analysts globally believed that Ukraine would surrender immediately as Zelenskiy, a former comedian with no experience of handling a war would give up easily. However, Zelenskiy is being hailed as a hero across the world, and somehow his entertainment background is the reason for the same. He started his career in 1995 as an improviser and co-founded the television production company. His role in the Kvartal95-produced show, Servant of the People, was the turning point of his life where he played a history teacher who accidentally becomes the President of his country when a video of him criticizing the government goes viral. His experience in the entertainment industry is helping Ukraine in winning the modern ‘Information warfare’ that is dependent on optics and international rapport, rather than weapons and monetary tactics.
Tax exemption on capturing Russian tanks
Yes, amid the raging war, the Ukrainian Government announced that citizens will not have to declare captured Russian tanks or any equipment they pick up, as personal income while filing income tax returns. They are free to keep it as per the Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP). According to the Government, the seizure of tanks or equipment would be considered a manifestation of the unity and cohesion of the Ukrainian people against invaders, and not taxable income. This announcement came in the backdrop of the Ukraine Government seeking support from the citizens to defend their motherland from evasion. While citizens have been handed guns and other weapons, this is more a game of optics rather than actual military strategy, as the citizens are not be expected to fight with the military side by side, but surely, the move has invoked patriotism amongst citizens and a sense of togetherness amidst war, boosting the morale of the military as well as demoralising the opponents.
A war that Russians can’t see
Most Russian citizens aren’t even aware that Russia is waging a war, instead, they believe that Russia has launched a ‘Special Military Operation’ for ‘demilitarization and denazification’ of Ukraine. This is because the government has barred news channels from using words like war, aggression, and invasion. There is no ongoing live coverage and no mention of attacks on the civilians. However, those closely connected with the internet are discovering details through social media and have also expressed their rage through protests and other means. While people across the globe have displayed solidarity for Ukraine in different ways, some Russian citizens as well have arranged protests in their country. In fact, police arrested 1,702 Russian citizens in 53 Russian cities within the first two days of the war.
Russians – Facing a war they didn’t ask for
The war is as much of a shock for Russians, as it has been for the rest of the world. It’s a war that they didn’t ask for and probably never wished for, however, will have to face all its consequences. Many Russians have decided to flee their country to escape the devastating consequences of the evasion. Google Analytics revealed that searches for the word emigration surged in Russia, in the first week of the war. Russians are facing travel bans to several countries. Prices for other locations have also spiked dramatically as a one-way flight to Yerevan, Istanbul and Belgrade costing over USD 4,006 as compared with USD 334 in ordinary times. Besides, those leaving the country are also being subjected to hours of questioning, luggage being searched and private chats being examined to determine their stance on the war. As per the latest rules applicable following the war, Russians are not allowed to leave the country with more than USD 10,000 in foreign currency.