President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy received the Winston Churchill Leadership Award from the International Churchill Society. The Head of State took part in the award ceremony in the format of a video conference.
Chairman of the International Society Laurence Geller speaking from the press center of the Office of the Prime Minister of Great Britain (London) noted that these days there are events and phenomena that have not happened since the time of Winston Churchill 80 years ago.
"Democracy in Europe is now threatened by tyranny, and this threat is stopped by leadership and heroism. Like Winston Churchill, President Zelenskyy shows that tyranny must not succeed, that people must have the right to choose their own path and their own life," said Laurence Geller.
According to him, Volodymyr Zelenskyy's devotion to the fundamental principles of democracy and firmness in defending his country helps Europe understand itself, and "his defense of democracy inspires us all."
Laurence Geller also noted the role of Great Britain under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in strengthening the ability of democracy to defend itself and deter aggression.
For his part, Boris Johnson noted that after the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy proved his leadership.
"When Russians started their advance on Kyiv, you knew that you would be their target. You could leave Kyiv, as the survival of the Ukrainian state then depended on the survival of its President. But you chose to stay in Kyiv, with the Ukrainian people, just as Churchill stayed in London in 1940. And you said then: "I need weapons," reminded the head of the government of Great Britain.
According to him, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, like Winston Churchill at his time, overcomes extremely difficult challenges and inspires with his leadership.
"The Ukrainian people is a lion, and you should be its voice. A voice against tyranny, a voice of good against evil, light against darkness. And you showed this voice of the lion perfectly, and it is very important that you are the President at this time of crisis for Ukraine and the world. Inspired by your leadership, we know that Ukraine not only can win - it will win! And when that day comes, Ukraine will emerge as a strong independent state," the Prime Minister of Great Britain emphasized.
Expressing gratitude for the award, the President of Ukraine noted that this award reflects not only his efforts, but also the heroism of tens of thousands of Ukrainian men and women who distinguished themselves in battles with the Russian aggressor.
“This award would not be possible if the entire Ukrainian people had not risen up to defend freedom from the attack of tyranny,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
He also expressed conviction that Ukrainians and European history will always remember those who did not hesitate to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people and the idea of freedom in general. In particular, the President noted Boris Johnson's leadership.
According to the Head of State, now we are fighting not just for the land, the rights of people or the Ukrainian people, not just for freedom in Europe - we are fighting together so that no aggressor ever again considers war as a means to achieve aggressive goals.
“And perhaps for the first time in the history of mankind we are now able to show everyone in the world and for ages that democracies, united, can stop any tyranny, even if at first it seems that it has unlimited resources for aggression. But this can become a reality only if Russia loses on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In this regard, he called for continuing the supply of modern and effective weapons to Ukraine in sufficient quantities, strengthening sanctions against Russia, and involving more nations in the coalition to protect freedom, especially those against whom Russia decided to use artificial famine in the XXI century.
“The democracies of the world are capable of stopping any tyranny. We are capable of stopping any evil that threatens our freedom. Only the joint leadership of the entire free world can be enough for this. And patience should be enough. Patience on the way to victory. No one knows today how much time and effort it will take to reach it. However, the victory is worth the effort. And it will become our shared history. So outstanding that you and I will later be quoted in the same way as we are now quoting Sir Churchill,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
The award of the Head of State was handed over to Ambassador of Ukraine to Great Britain Vadym Prystaiko for delivery to the homeland.