A Jewish actor and comedian whose only political experience is playing the President of Ukraine has been won the country’s presidential election by a landslide, receiving more than 70 per cent of the vote.
Volodymyr Zelensky, best known as playing his role on Servant of the People, has transformed fiction into reality after overwhelmingly beating previous president Petro Poroshenko, in a runoff election held on Sunday.
The first round of voting, held three weeks ago, saw Mr Zelensky receive twice as many votes as Mr Poroshenko, his nearest rival.
Mr Poroshenko conceded on Sunday evening, saying that he would stand down from office next month, but stressed that he would not be leaving politics.
Mr Zelensky's election makes Ukraine the only country besides Israel to have a Jewish prime minister and president. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman took office in 2016.
He told cheering crowds on Sunday that he would “never” let them down.
"We have accomplished this together,” he said. "All citizens of the post-Soviet countries, look at us! Everything is possible."
VIDEO: Volodymyr Zelensky and members of his campaign team celebrate at their party's headquarters after exit polls showed he won a landslide victory in Ukraine's presidential election pic.twitter.com/2v1ON2Z6NM— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 22, 2019
His campaign was based on pledges to fight widespread corruption and to end the war in the country’s Eastern Donbas region, which has seen pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk fighting against government forces in Kiev for the last five years.