Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s political image during the Russian-Ukrainian war: an initial analysis

Author: Hanna Trushevych
Institution: Odessa Mechnikov National University
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3793-1074
Year of publication: 2022
Source: Show
Pages: 81-95
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/rop2022406
PDF: rop/22/rop2206.pdf

Political image is formed in the mass consciousness, and has the kind of a stereotype, emotionally colored image of a political leader. Political image has a purely integral essence and is derived from the psychological, physiological and intellectual characteristics of the leader, aimed at the object of image perception. The image of a political leader is the essence and objective unit of communicative interaction in the system «political leader – the masses». He feels the interaction of various factors, which can be conventionally referred to as communication filters. At the same time, the essence of an effective image-making process is to see and take into account these barriers in time and achieve the greatest perception of the leader’s image. The specificity of a political leader in society is that citizens usually form their ideas about politicians not as a result of direct contact with them, but on the basis of symbolic politician representation in the media. Ideology and programs as the subject basis of political communication between leaders and the masses are increasingly being replaced by the image of a politician being created and promulgated in the media. The presence of a political leader in the media occurs as a necessary condition for his positioning in the political space. The formation of the leader political image during the war helps not only to achieve the political goals of the politician himself, but also affects the course of hostilities and the availability of world community support. The article attempts to analyze the political image of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi during the Russian-Ukrainian war and his influence on the war course. The author’s attention is focused on determining the image micro roles of the President, analyzing the impact of his image and rhetoric on the support of the world community and the decisions of the authorities of different countries. The author also explores how Ukrainians’ support for their president has changed since the beginning of the war. The author determines from which elements the image of a modern politician is built. Existing and additional micro roles of Volodymyr Zelenskyi image have been studied. The micro role of the President of Ukraine image among Ukrainians and at the international level is indicated. A content analysis of the President’s speeches in the British Parliament and the US Congress was performed. The impact of these speeches on the assistance to the Ukrainian army is analyzed. An increase in the level of support for the president by Ukrainians themselves since the beginning of the war has been revealed. The change in the image of the President of Ukraine among the international community and the level of support are shown.


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