Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy took a dig at a Russian television channel after it decided to abruptly cancel his popular comedy series. The first two episodes of the political satire Servant of the People was aired in Russia’s far-east on December 11 but the entertainment channel TNT, owned by the state broadcasting giant Gazprom-Media, said that the series will not be aired anymore.
Speaking at a late-night show, Zelenskiy, in an apparent jibe at Russia’s nuclear capabilities, said that someone has a nuclear weapon and someone has Servant of the People. Zelenskiy expressed hope that the people who watched the two episodes will definitely watch the rest of the series on YouTube. During the premiere, Zelenskiy’s jokes made at the expense of Russian President Vladimir Putin were edited out but the channel thought it was not enough.
Zelenskiy shot to fame after the popularity of his comedy series played a history teacher whose rant against the government helps him win the presidency. Ahead of its premiere, TNT had called Servant of the People a utopia that had nothing to do with Zelenskiy's Ukraine. While Kremlin has denied any involvement in TNT’s decision, people questioned the intent behind censorship.
Earlier, Zelenskiy and Putin held a high-profile meeting in Paris for a summit in an effort to bring peace to the region while Ukranian people feared that their President might accept peace on Putin’s terms. Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region has been volatile due to the presence of pro-Russian separatists and the five-year conflict after Crimean annexation has claimed at least 13,000 lives of soldiers and civilians.
Ahead of the meeting, Zelenskiy accepted a formula that will lead to elections in the separatist-held territories which might provide greater autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. But Ukraine is of the opinion that it needs to be in full control of its borders to hold the elections since the borders are currently controlled by pro-Russia separatists.