Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke to the nation in two videos on Thursday, his first appearance since being hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 this week.
Zelenskiy sat in a chair in front of a Ukrainian flag and said he felt fine and the government was working as usual. He also spoke to the Constitutional Court about his government’s stalemate over anti-corruption reforms.
The 42-year-old president was rushed to hospital to isolate himself and not endanger others, his office said.
Three other senior officials, including the finance minister, defense minister and Zelenskiy’s top adviser, were also infected.
“As you know, COVID-19 hasn’t avoided me, but I feel good,” Zelenskiy said.
He then turned his fire on the Constitutional Court, which in October passed an anti-corruption law, which is vital for Ukraine to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
As a former comedian and actor, Zelenskiy compared the court to the protagonists of the 2001 Hollywood heist movie Ocean’s Eleven.
“This is not Ocean’s Eleven, it is a remake made with the assistance of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine,” he said.
“But seriously, they could break off major reforms and deprive us of the very important financial support for us, and we as a society and country do not need such turns.
Zelenskiy last month called on parliament to dissolve the court, which the head of the court denounced as a “constitutional coup”.
New Ukrainian infections with coronavirus began to rise in late September and remained consistently high in October and November, prompting the government to extend some restrictions through the end of the year.
On Wednesday, Zelenskiy’s cabinet voted to impose a national lockdown on weekends to step up steps to contain the rapid spread of infections.
Ukraine registered a total of 500,865 coronavirus cases with 9,145 deaths on Thursday.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)