British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award, as the two leaders squared off in a time of crisis.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi with the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award on Tuesday, aligning the two leaders at a time of crisis.
Zelenskyy accepted the award via video link during a ceremony in Johnson’s London office attended by members of the Churchill family, Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko and Ukrainians who have received training from British soldiers.
Recalling how Zelenskyy confirmed on February 24 that Russia had invaded, Johnson added: At that moment of supreme crisis, you faced a test of leadership that was, in a way, as cruel as Churchill’s challenge in 1940.
Zelenskyy thanked Johnson and Britain for their support.
The two men have developed a close relationship since Johnson became the first Western leader to visit Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Earlier this month, Zelenskyi said he was saddened when Johnson left the post of Conservative Party leader after months of ethics scandals.
The Ukrainian leader received a standing ovation in the British parliament in March when he invoked one of Churchill’s most famous speeches and vowed to fight Russian troops in the air, at sea and in the streets.
The Churchill Leadership Award was first awarded in 2006. Past recipients include Prince Charles, former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.