Zelensky and Tymoshenko grew up in Russian-speaking families. And, in fact, their Ukrainian is a Russian word-liner, where Russian words are replaced by Ukrainian words from a very limited lexicon. They grew up in the part of Ukraine that was subjected to severe Russification over the past two centuries.Dir, it depends on who is speaking Ukrainian. When it is Timoshenko, I understand everything. We recently watched some movie with Zelensky and Koshevoy in Ukrainian (about divorce) and understood everything. When it is someone from West Ukraine, I understand 20%.
Zelensky is not a Ukrainian at all, but a Jew. Yulia Tymoshenko is also difficult to call ethnic Ukrainian. Her maiden name is Grigyan. For both of them, the Ukrainian language is essentially not native.
I do not see any particular specifics in the language of Western Ukrainians. There use a dozen of everyday words from a local dialect, and nothing more. And their spoken Ukrainian language is much more correct and adequate than that of residents of Kiev or the east of Ukraine. And I think that's why you don't understand them well.