If you have been following the Russian invasion of Ukraine or at least browsed the internet the past few days, it is likely that you have seen video messages and photographs of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. His speeches, whether made through his phone or at international forums, are capturing the attention of people all over the world right now.

The President has taken to social media as his primary means to rally and gain support for his country in a lopsided bout versus Russia. Through continuous messages and calls, Ukraine has gained massive support, whether financial or political, sending a formidable message to Putin that he, alongside his troops, was not going down without a fight. This support manifested in the recently held UNGA resolution, where the body overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine. More so, it manifested through the economic and fiscal sanctions the world has imposed on Russia.

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the West was hesitant to pull the trigger on slapping Moscow with the harshest economic sanctions for various reasons, one being that much of Europe relied on Russia for its gas supply, where it accounts for 1/3 of all gas supplies in Europe. Thus, economic sanctions would likewise deal a damaging blow to their own economies if they chose to do so.

Before the EU’s decisions were made, Zelensky dropped by the video conference with EU leaders, giving an emotional speech that lasted around 5 minutes, discussing his plea to help his country help fend off Moscow and consider Ukraine’s membership in the Union.

“It was extremely, extremely emotional,” according to a European official. “He was essentially saying, ‘Look, we are here dying for your European ideals.'” Before departing from the teleconference, Zelensky bid his goodbye to the gathering, stating that it was probably the last time they would see him alive as reports of Russian troops and assassins were closing in on the city of Kyiv.

Almost instantaneously, the tide of the meeting turned, and support for Ukraine’s effort flooded over initial resistance. The meeting culminated with the West agreeing to impose economic sanctions on the Russian economy and its oligarchs, the harshest being the removal of some Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. The United States, after the EU’s quick decision, drafted its own similar sanction towards Russia, with its close ally Japan a few days after. Now, numerous countries from Europe expressed their support for Ukraine and have sent military and humanitarian aid to the country. This list even includes neutral countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland, countries known for their non-alignment on foreign affairs.

One would think that such a savvy speaker like Zelensky would have had decades of experience in foreign affairs or think a colorful military background backs his bravery in the streets of Kyiv. However, it may surprise you that Zelensky held no previous political positions or military experience aside from his presidency.