Zelensky: The Power of a Leader's Communication
Volodymyr Zelensky is a natural communicator. He won the presidency of his country through communication, he infuriated neighboring Russia also through communication, showing to the world that he is a Western country, that he is much closer to European values than to Russian autocratic values, and he is winning the information war in this absurd offensive launched by Putin. At this point, even if he doesn’t win the war of arms (which is most likely, given the disproportion of resources), he has already won the war of Western public opinion. Volodymyr Zelensky is a new hero. Firstly, hero in his country. Then hero in Europe and a bit all over the world.
The way he has communicated, through social networks, through live mobile videos, through the publication of happy moments with his family, or simple meals with his ministers and generals. Without luxury, with proximity, empathy, and friendliness. Taking risks. Showing courage and bravery. Challenging the West. Through words and attitudes.
Staying in Kiev, in the hurricane center, and showing it to the world. Refusing rides to escape, stating that “what they need is ammunition,”. Showing himself in personal situations, with all the weight of circumstances, but without institutional weight. With all of this, he shows closeness, while Putin, keeping his handlers 20 meters away, generates discomfort and distrust.
Zelensky also shows that he is an European. “People like us”, as the English say. And whether we like it or not, there is much more resonance, much more closeness, much more empathy. This could be happening in our country and that generates more emotion.
It also generates the largest anti-war demonstrations since World War II, which put pressure on governments throughout Europe, which in turn increases sanctions on Russia. It would not be like this if Zelensky was another kind of leader, without charisma and without this ability to communicate. This war would probably be over by now. And Ukraine would have already been annexed.