Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway? : Rough Translation Please, take our survey! At a Ukrainian comedy competition founded by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, can humor unite a divided country?
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Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?

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Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?

Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?

Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/784746019/784929532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A comedy team rehearses their sketch, at the Palace of Culture in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Gregory Warner hide caption

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Gregory Warner

A comedy team rehearses their sketch, at the Palace of Culture in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.

Gregory Warner

This year, Ukraine elected a famous comic actor, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as its new president. He won in a landslide, in almost all regions of the country.

In part two of our Ukraine series, our host Gregory Warner visits the battleground where Zelenskiy first honed his political skills: a comedy competition that is popular throughout the post-Soviet world. We look at the role of comedy in a country united by a comedian, but divided by so much else.

Listen as two teams, both underdogs in their own way—one a men's group from a town deeply affected by the war, the other a women's group hoping to be recognized in a sport still dominated by men—compete for a cash prize, a national spotlight, and the chance to represent Eastern Ukraine to the rest of the country.

For more episodes about Ukraine, listen to part one of the series here, and an episode about Ukraine's battle with Russian disinformation here.

We'd like to hear from you! Please take our listener survey. And, don't forget to show your love for the show by donating to public radio.

Listen to more episodes of Rough Translation here.

Further Reading:

-The League of Laughter's website is here.

-Russian/Ukrainian speakers can hear the jokes here.

-Check out Enrique Menendez's organization here.