Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been the leader of Ukraine since 2019 (link to his Wikipedia page below). Prior to serving in this role, Zelensky worked as a comedian and actor, most famously as the protagonist of the show A Servant of the People, in which his character is elected president as a surprise. During Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky has become a hero to those who support Ukraine’s independence, and memes about the president will often invoke him in laudatory, idolizing, or otherwise praiseworthy terms. In many memes, Zelensky stands in for the whole of Ukraine, as does Russian President Vladimir Putin for all of Russia, so Zelensky besting Putin becomes Ukraine beating Russia. Zelensky has also undertaken a wide-reaching campaign of garnering financial and material support from foreign countries, addressing many national political bodies and international meetings. Memes will often invoke Zelensky alongside such leaders a U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and others. During the course of the war, Zelensky has also enacted a wide range of restrictions aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s capabilities, such as the banning of men of certain ages from leaving the country. Some memes will point to the multitude of bans in a humorous manner. Memes will also mention his personal style, which has become increasingly casual during the course of the war, characterized by a green t-shirt.ShoiguSergei Shoigu (sometimes written as Shoygu) has served as the Russian Minister of Defence since 2012 (link to his Wikipedia page below). Memes about Shoigu most often come in connection with the military, the partial mobilization, and Russian losses in the war. Shoigu is also often evoked in connection with the other political leaders who serve Russian President Vladimir Putin, such as Sergei Lavrov and Dmitrii Medvedev. In June 2023, Wagner paramilitary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin led a mutiny and march on Moscow with the express aim of deposing Shoigu, and many memes arose in the aftermath of this short-lived event.