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Russian TV pulls Ukrainian leader Zelensky’s show after one evening



 Russian state television channel TNT pulled Ukrainian actor-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky’s show “Servant of the People” after one evening this week.

The premiere came a day after Zelensky met for the first time in person with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Paris, seeking to end a long-running conflict in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border.

Zelensky joked last night that broadcasting the show, which foreshadowed his ascent to the presidency, must have been a mistake by the Russian channel, owned by natural gas export monopoly Gazprom.

It’s obvious that it was a “major error by the broadcaster or the part of the government that controls Russia’s information policy,” Zelensky said in comments aired by Ukrainian channel 1+1.

In the sitcom “Servant of the People”, Zelensky plays an outspoken schoolteacher who unexpectedly wins Ukraine’s presidential election after a candid video of him bad-mouthing the current government goes viral.

Zelensky jokes about Putin early in the series. After winning the presidency, Zelensky’s character is handed a luxury Hublot watch, a brand said to have been proudly worn by Putin.

Ukraine’s new leader replies, “Putin – Hublot?” a pun on a swear word used in an anti-Putin slogan popular in Ukraine.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have fallen to an all-time low since the conflict erupted five years ago in response to Kiev ousting its then pro-Russian president in a political pivot toward the West.

Zelensky, inaugurated this year, has set out ending the conflict as his top priority.


Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim


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