MIAMI (CBSMiamy) – He is an actor and comedian that has blossomed into a wartime media icon.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has catapulted into hearts and minds with a simple quote, “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.”
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According to Miami author Bruce Turkel, who deals in the world of marketing, selling products, and branding, “It will become the legacy statement of this conflict.”
The quote reminds us of the words of former President Theodore Roosevelt, former generals George Patton and Douglas MacArthur, and of course, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, whose many quotes have endured, such as Churchill’s declaration that, if needed, they would fight France, “,,, in the fields, in the streets, in the hills, we shall never surrender.”
But Zelensky is no Churchill, Roosevelt, or MacArthur. The Ukrainian president is a whole new creation, social media savvy, plain-spoken, a man with performance skills, and he reads his audience.
Bruce Turkel said Zelensky’s quote is brilliant, simple, and to the point
“He said ‘I don’t need a ride,’ something you’d say to your buddy. This is clear, simple communication and easily translated into any language,” said Turkel.
When Zelensky turned down the offer to be abandoned with the now-famous quote, he brilliantly and simply defined the Ukrainian struggle.
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“Zelensky has very cleverly staked out a story that we all know which is ‘David and Goliath’,” said Turkel.
Often posted on the internet and on the evening news, Zelensky appears in dark, shaky videos, in a military t-shirt, in the streets of Kyiv, the picture of defiance. He plays the role well, his most important role ever.
The well-tuned message, “I am not going anywhere.”
“When you see video of a Russian plane being shot down, what does it say instantly? David and Goliath. It is a rallying cry,” Turkel said.
In a world where image and online presence rivals bombs and rockets as weapons, Zelensky is, according to Turkel, first-rate, far outshining the Goliath, Vladimir Putin, who is not an actor, not a comedian.
“He is using his understanding of knowing what he wants to accomplish, then using his skill sets and the people around him to get the message across,” said Turkel.
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While critics have said that Zelensky is “in over his head” as president, for this moment he just might be the right guy at the right time.