FILE - In this file photo taken on Aug. 29, 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to newly elected Ukrainian parliament deputies during parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine. Zelenskiy, the comedian elected Ukraine’s leader in April, took office pledging to focus on ending the deadly separatist fighting in the country’s east, fomented by Russia. But now, barely 100 days in power, he finds himself at the center of a political furor involving the United States, Ukraine’s friend and backer. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

Furor over Trump puts Ukraine's leader in a tough spot

September 24, 2019 - 9:29 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the comedian elected Ukraine's leader in April, took office pledging to focus on ending the deadly separatist fighting in the country's east, fomented by Russia.

But now, barely 100 days in power, he finds himself at the center of a political furor involving the United States, Ukraine's friend and backer.

It is a delicate position for Zelenskiy. The 41-year-old political novice is trying to deal simultaneously with two powerful figures with outsize influence over his country's future: President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Trump is suspected of pressuring Zelenskiy over the summer to investigate political rival Joe Biden's family at the same time Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong.

Zelenskiy is walking a thin line. He has declined to comment on the reports.

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