Zelensky ‘breaks record’ for world’s longest press conference
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Zelensky ‘breaks record’ for world’s longest press conference

Ukrainian president, embroiled in Trump impeachment probe, holds 12-hour-long media event at Kyiv food court

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with journalists in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with journalists in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KYIV, Ukraine — Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular comedian before he was elected president of Ukraine this spring, promised to bring a fresh kind of politics to the ex-Soviet nation.

And on Thursday, he did what no politician had done before — giving a more than 12-hour-long press conference that Ukraine’s National Records Agency declared the longest in world history.

Around eight hours into the marathon event, Zelensky’s first major press briefing since coming to power in May, a representative of the agency stood up to deliver the news.

The 41-year-old president reacted with surprise, saying he was a “modest” person and averse to celebrations.

The previous record was held by Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, with a press conference that lasted over seven hours, Ukrainian media reported.

Zelensky’s feat has yet to be verified by an international body.

Thursday’s press conference was taking place at a trendy food court in central Kyiv.

Hundreds of local and international journalists joined Zelensky, who is Jewish, around a table to pose questions in shifts.

The president held forth on subjects such as the war in eastern Ukraine, relations with Russia and his phone call with US President Donald Trump that has led to a Washington impeachment probe.

Zelensky told Ukrainian media he had injections to strengthen his vocal cords before the event.

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