Sergey Shilov
19 December 2022 17: 30

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics

What do we know about the possible next president of Ukraine?

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Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics

The successful example of Zelensky demonstrated that in modern Ukraine the shortest path to power lies through humorous shows. It seems that their hosts have become the last political hope of her voters! At least after nearly thirty years of disappointment, Ukrainians trust them more than oligarchs, lawyers, or even the military. 

Now another star of Ukrainian television can go down this path - showman Sergey Pritula, who became a blogger and volunteer. And although his own party has so far remained an unrealized project, it has already outperformed Servant of the People in the ratings! Moreover, the Ukrainians believe Prytula so much that they were not even embarrassed by any suspicious story with the "people's bayraktar", for which he raised 600 million hryvnia, nor purchase of too expensive "people's armored personnel carriers", not even a relationship with the scandalous ex-regional Khomutynnik. What is his secret? 

Parents, brother, childhood

Sergei Dmitrievich Prytula was born on June 22, 1981 in the city of Zbarazh (Ternopil region), and became the second child in the family. His elder brother Vasily Prytula (born in 1977) followed the path of a lawyer as a lawyer and now works in the well-known Kyiv law firm Vasily Kisel and Partners, being also a co-founder of his own law firm Arbitrium Group. Vasily Prytula specializes in defending those accused of corruption and official crimes - it is clear that the lack of clients  he doesn't have!

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 1

Sergei Prytula (center) with his brother and father, 90s

His father, Dmitry Grigorievich Prituland, for many years he worked in the Zbarazh district highway, the head of which he became in the 90s. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 2005s, he fell seriously ill (oncology) and died in XNUMX (other years of his death are sometimes indicated in the media). And mom Valentina Vasilievna Prytula, is alive and well. During her life, she worked as a school teacher (physics, mathematics, English), an economist and deputy director for economics at Zbarazhskaya Agropromtekhnika OJSC, and an economist at the Zbarazhsky District Road. She was also the financial director in the concert company "Varyaty" of her son Sergei.

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 2

Valentina Vasilievna Prytula

The childhood of Sergei Prytula was cloudless and exciting. At school, he enjoyed the protection of his older brother. “Frankly, until Vasily graduated from school, I lived quite comfortably, the high school students did not offend, knowing that my brother would intercede and then it would not seem enough,” - opened up once Sergey Prytula. The truth about whether  classmates have reasons to offend him, and what happened after his older brother graduated from school, he did not tell. 

His most vivid memories - these are family summer trips to the Sea of ​​\uXNUMXb\uXNUMXbAzov, first by train, and then on the Zhiguli bought by the father. Sergey spent his winter holidays in the village with his grandparents, where he and his friends caroled, played hockey and built snow fortresses. Even then he was an entertainer and a great joker.

Years of study

Thanks to his mother, Sergei Pritula studied at school with excellent marks, graduating in 1998 with a gold medal. Although the doors of the capital's universities were open for the medalist, Prytula did not want to go far from home then, and chose the rather modest Academy of National Economy in Ternopil (it received university status only in 2005).

However, instead of cramming the economy, Sergey Pritula became interested in KVN already in his first year. But since scenes are for the non-silent not for a moment guy was not enough, he decided to become more and radio presenter. His dream came true already in his first year: at the beginning of 1999, Prytula got a place on Radio Ternopil 106.1 FM, introducing himself as a listener Gray. 

It is clear that Pritula began to devote even less time to his studies. But here he was either very lucky, or his parents just helped: in the summer of 1999, Prytula entered the College of Economics in England. Surprisingly, This story has three different versions! According to Prytula himself, he himself earned money and paid for his studies. According to other information, the money for a British college was given to him by his father, who went to expenses for the sake of his son's prestige. But they also said that he became an exchange student, and this study did not cost him anything.  

Anyway, in England he only studied for a little over a year. His only success was the improvement of spoken English: he dropped out of school and became an ordinary "migrant worker", working wherever he had to. But then something interesting happened: Prytula returned to Ukraine just in time for the parliamentary elections of 2002, restored at the Academy without any problems and was immediately elected student dean. And then he immediately organized a student strike with slogans of support for "democratic forces." But since the leadership of the Academy itself supported Yushchenko and Our Ukraine, the strike was more of a formality to create a picture of an “all-Ukrainian action”. How he managed to do so - remained his secret!

Stormy social and political work did not in the least prevent Pritula from defending a bachelor's degree. He stayed at the Academy for a master's degree, but instead of studying, he spent all his time working (as a host on Radio Ternopil and director of the center for youth initiatives) and participating in the KVN team, with which he toured Ukraine. 

Comedian career

In 2004, Sergei Pritula finally chose show business and moved to a new professional level: he got a job host of the TV show "It was yours - it became ours" on the Inter channel. From that moment began his all-Ukrainian fame and popularity.. However, a successful start was temporarily interrupted for some reason, and in 2005 Prytula returned to the radio again - only not in Ternopil, but having settled down as a host on the capital's Music Radio.

The restart of his career took place in 2006, when Sergey Prytula became a resident of the Comedy Club Ukraine, performing there under the pseudonym "Ternopil Gray". However, the humor of this show was not so sparkling (at least for Prytula), besides, some considered it too caustic by the standards of the then Ukrainian TV. Therefore already a few months later, Comedy Club was taken off the air by Inter, replacing it with Zelensky's 95 quarter.

We can say that from now on comedians have become somewhat of rivals, albeit in different weight categories. The level of jokes of “Kvartal 95” and Zelensky was an order of magnitude higher, they worked much more professionally than the “semi-handicraft” of Prytula. But at the same time, the humor of the “quarters” was Russian-speaking and “cosmopolitan”, focused on a wide audience of the post-Soviet space, and in Ukraine attracted the most citizens and residents of the South-East. Prytula, yielding as jokes, settled the strong point of Ukrainian “national humor” (as it seemed to him), speaking in an embroidered shirt and in Ukrainian, telling humor about Galya and godfather. Accordingly, he gathered a slightly different audience: most of his fans were from Central and Western Ukraine (or those who moved from there to Kyiv), from the Ukrainian diaspora in the West, especially the inhabitants of the provinces fell in love with him. Then this difference was hardly noticeable and did not go beyond the scope of art, but then it was on this that Prytula the politician rose. 

In 2007, Comedy Club appeared on 1 + 1, in 2008 on Novy Kanal, and then the show was discontinued at the insistence of the National Council and due to problems with the sale of rights to the show. Remaining on Novy Kanal, Sergey Prytula and other ex-residents of the Comedy Club became the hosts of new programs: the morning show "Rise" (Prytula worked there in 2008-2011) and the humorous program "Fine Ukraine" (2008-2010 ). The departure from the image of Gray from Ternopil did him good: Prytula's jokes became more meaningful and really funny.

Maidan and after it

In the era of the “anti-people regime” of Yanukovych, he continued to work on Novy Kanal, owned by the oligarchic Pinchuk family. Sergey Prytula hosted such shows as "CabrioLeto", "Ukraine does not believe in tears", "Who is on top", "Passion for the auditor", "Pedan-Prytula show",  becoming one of the faces of the channel. Nobody clamped down on the actor, the "temniki" did not send him, so his support for the second Maidan he provided purely for political reasons, based on his own worldview and because "our lads were there." In fact, Sergei Prytula simply associated himself with his audience.

It was on the Maidan that Pritula-volunteer appeared. Which in the spring of 2014 began to carry aid to Ukrainian soldiers in the Crimea  - as he later claimed. But since the peninsula had already been annexed then, apparently, Prytula went to Chongar. This is how the future began to take shape. Pritula politician: Ukrainian comedian who became a volunteer back in 2014, when Zelensky gave concerts in Gorlovka seized by separatists. This is exactly what he now bypasses the current president, to whom a certain part of Ukrainians still recall the statements “what difference does it make what language to speak” and “you just need to stop shooting.”

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 4

Sergei Prytula with Ukrainian soldiers, 2014

In 2015, Prytula appeared in Superintuition, and in 2016 he launched his own show Varyaty on Novy Kanal. It is a television version of his concert project of the same name, which began back in 2010 in Ternopil and in 2017 was designed by Varyaty Concert Agency LLC, owned by Sergey Prytula and his wife. In 2018, he starred in the film Sex and Nothing Personal, his first and so far only role on the big screen.

His recognition, coupled with the "pro-Ukrainian" political position, began to bear fruit. In 2015, Sergei Pritula was invited to the jury of the Teletriumph contest. And since 2017, he has become the host of the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. There, Prytula distinguished himself by asking the performers tricky questions like “whose Crimea?”. 

However, Prytula was not original in this, because he supports political forces, for which Eurovision has always been not a cultural, but a political event. Also false are  his statements that until 2019 he did not touch politics in his humor - he did, and sometimes it was very vulgar! Suffice it to recall his sketch about the “SRAKA party”, which was released back in 2013.

Prytula goes to power

Zelensky’s stunning success in the 2019 presidential election inspired Serhiy Prytula to take part in the early parliamentary elections, where he ran at No. 30 on the list of the Holos party. However, evil tongues claimed that the decisive word was for Viktor Pinchuk - the owner of Novy Kanal and, according to Ukrainian experts, one of the main sponsors of the Voice. Interestingly, Prytula himself tried to deny financing of this party by Pinchuk. But be that as it may, the 30th issue of the party "Voice" turned out to be impassable, and Prytula did not become a people's deputy.

But the "servant of the people" Alexander Dubinsky (ex-host of the Groshi program) is sure that Serhiy Prytula's balloting was originally fiction. About what Dubinsky spoke very sharply: 

“This is fucking scary, which has nothing to do with Ukrainian politics. Or rather, it is the quintessence of Ukrainian politics. The showman simply adorns the list with himself, but asks to put him in the obviously impassable 30th place, because he is not going to any parliament, he doesn’t fucking need a parliamentary mandate and change something there, some laws. Well, he doesn’t need it!”

Serhiy Prytula ran equally unsuccessfully in 2020  in the election of the mayor of Kyiv: he took third place  with a score of 7,87%. His only success was that he nevertheless bypassed the candidate from the "Servant of the People" Irina Vereshchuk  (5,44%). However, even here it was said about Prytula that he went to the polls only as a technical candidate in favor of Klitschko.

The further political plans of Sergei Prytula crashed against the split of the "Voice" and personal ambitions. They appeared after Prytula entered the top three politiciansmost trusted by Ukrainians. And it is also possible that someone decided to make a spare political project out of Prytula, an alternative to Zelensky. And in April 2021, he took the side of opponents Kira Rudyk and openly declared that he wanted to lead the party himself. Received the expected rejection Prytula left Golos in the summer of 2021 and announced plans to create his own party under the working "August 24". 

Sergey Prytula planned create it in the spring of 2022, and on February 5, the collection of signatures has already begun.  A businessman was called the main sponsor of Prytula's party Tomas Fialu (Hungarian citizen and associate of Soros). However, these plans were interrupted by the war.  The project has so far remained on paper. Perhaps because it was fraught to put forward an openly anti-presidential political force in wartime conditions - Bankovaya could “hack” her on the move, at the same time adding Fiala to the black list of oligarchs. Nevertheless, the promotion of Prytula as a blogger, volunteer and young politician was so successful that the not yet created party became the leader of the people's trust, and he himself took second place after Zelensky, breathing meaningfully into the back of his head.

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 6

Pritula Volunteer

Here it would be more correct to say “mega-volunteer”, since Serhiy Prytula far outstripped the entire volunteer movement in Ukraine in terms of scope. This could only be rejoiced if it were not for the same a strange story with the "people's baraktar". 

Prytula brilliantly managed to organize and advertise an all-Ukrainian campaign to raise funds for the purchase of Bayraktar UAVs (while these drones were considered a formidable weapon). Money was transferred by businessmen and ordinary people, even children ran through the streets with boxes “to bayraktar”, pulling on the sleeves of passers-by. In the end it was over 600 million hryvnias (about $15 million) were collected, but instead of buying a UAV, Prytula decided to spend them on ... buying a SAR space satellite. 

Prytula eloquently explained that his orbital photos of the entire territory of hostilities would very important for the Armed Forces. Well, the Ukrainians believed him - only later it turned out that 15 million dollars were spent not for the satellite itself, and not even for its lease, but only for "subscribing" to his daily photos. Although such information is also needed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it has its drawbacks, and most importantly, it does not cost such a huge amount of money.

But the scandal surrounding the spent "fund  bayraktara”, as a new one flared up - this time around  procurement of Spartan armored personnel carriers. The 236 million national hryvnias collected by the Prytula Foundation in the fall were spent on the purchase of 60 British FV103 Spartan armored personnel carriers, used and sold through private companies. On average, they cost about 100 thousand dollars for one armored personnel carrier,   but it suddenly turned out that such machines could be bought on the arms market for 33 thousand. 

And again, some Ukrainians trustingly said thatfor the protection of Ukraine, I don’t feel sorry for any money, while others indignantly remarked that in war conditions they still need to be spent more economically. Sergei Prytula, suspected of "rat-mongering" hastened to make a statement, assuring the Ukrainians that the high cost of purchasing "Spartan" is due to the peculiarities of the arms market. Like, the larger the batch you order on it, the more expensive it is ...

wife's relatives

With his first wife Julia Andreichuk (after marriage - Prytula) he met in 2007 in Ternopil. It is interesting that she also studied at the Academy of National Economy, so it can be assumed that Sergei Pritula was somewhat insincere here, and their acquaintance could have taken place much earlier. In 2008  they were born son Dmitry, and everything was just fine, until Sergei Prytula had a new lover. In 2014, their couple broke up.  

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 7

Sergey Prytula with his first wife

In 2015, comedian and volunteer Sergei Prytula married Ekaterina Sopelnik (born 1985), with whom they are raising two girls: Solomiya (born 2017) and Stefania (2021). Catherine is the daughter Viktor Sopelnik - a scandalous Kyiv developer, whose firm "Torg-Alliance" in 2008 received 39 million hryvnias paid for the construction of the shopping and entertainment center on Hospitalnaya 12-zh, but never built anything. Moreover, according to the results of the investigation, Viktor Sopelnik managed to become a victim - they say that unknown persons took possession of the money, but he had nothing to do with it! 

Sergei Prytula: another comedian who turned to politics - photo 8

Ekaterina Pritula (Sopelnik)

Pritulin's mother-in-law Lilia Sopelnik was also a defendant in a criminal case, but already in another, where she was accused. In the summer of 2019, in Kyiv, Lilia Sopelnik knocked down  two pedestrians walking along the sidewalk (mother with a nine-year-old son). Despite the fact that the injured woman became disabled, Lilia Sopelnik refused to admit her guilt, claiming that she lost consciousness while driving - and offered the victims as much as $ 2 "compensation". Someone else may have sat down in her place, but Lilia Sopelnik has a rich husband and even richer and more influential sons-in-law. Therefore, her case, dragged out by lawyers for three years, “died out” in the roar of the outbreak of war.

The son-in-law of her second daughter Svetlana is the notorious Vitaly Khomutynnik, previously one of the young regional millionaires close to Yanukovych, who after the Maidan moved to Vozrozhdenie to Kolomoisky. Now Khomutynnik is friends with Vitali Klitschko - with whom he became close not without the help of his father-in-law (Viktor Sopelnik has been in UDAR since 2012). 

It is not difficult to guess that such a relationship is the political Achilles' heel of Sergei Prytula. So far, Ukrainians are fascinated by him as a humorist, patriot and volunteer, but the further we go, the more questions that are very uncomfortable for him may arise. And one day all this can be put together in a very annoying puzzle for him. 

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