Volodymyr Zelensky pays tribute to Boris Johnson as he receives Churchill Award
Volodymyr Zelensky has praised Boris Johnson’s role in helping Ukraine in its war against Russia as he received a Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award in a Downing Street ceremony.
Zelensky said that Ukraine was “not left alone” when Russia invaded its neighbour on 24 February and told Johnson that “this award is yours as well”.
The award was given to the Ukrainian President by the International Churchill Society for “his incredible courage, defiance and dignity”.
Johnson virtually presented Zelensky the award in a 9 Downing Street ceremony, with both men giving short speeches.
The pair have had a very close relationship since the Russo-Ukrainian war started, with Zelensky citing Johnson as leading the international coalition against Vladimir Putin’s war.
“I can say that this award is not just my award and it does not not reflect only my efforts. It would not be possible without the 160 Ukrainian soldiers, who have been awarded the Hero of Ukraine title since February 24,” Zelensky said.
“It would not be possible without more than 24,000 Ukrainian men and women who have been awarded by their country for their bravery in the battles against the Russian terrorist invasion.
“Ukraine was not left alone on February the 24th, we had those who were helping us who remembered in the darkest times what is honour and who had no thought of quitting the struggle and I’m talking about you Boris. This award is yours as well.”
Johnson paid tribute Zelensky’s leadership, saying “your defiance, your dignity, your unfailing good humour has moved millions, and as you stand against barbarism, you’ve become a symbol of the heroism of the Ukrainian people”.
“Like Churchill you’ve understood that you are not yourself the lion, the Ukrainian people are the lion, but you have been called upon to give the roar, the roar of freedom against tyranny, good against evil, of light against darkness,” Johnson said.