In an online ceremony today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was presented the International Churchill Society’s 2022 Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The award recognizes extraordinary leadership by individuals in the spirit of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. To watch a video of the presentation, please CLICK HERE.
In making the presentation, Mr. Johnson said, “President Zelenskyy has faced a test of leadership just as severe as Churchill. He has, with quintessentially Churchillian composure, showed the world what moral and physical courage really mean. His defiance, dignity and serenity under pressure has moved millions. It has been a true honour to call him my friend, and it is my immense privilege to present him with this award today.”
In accepting the award, Mr. Zelenskyy said, “No one knows how much time and effort it will take to achieve victory, but the victory is worthwhile. This will become a joint history, as prominent as it was during Churchill’s times. It will be quoted just like he was quoted. I would like to thank you for this award, for the award for the people of Ukraine.”
International Churchill Society (ICS) Chairman Laurence Geller stated, “Sir Winston Churchill once said, ‘All great things are simple, and may be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.’ The ICS was established to memorialise these principles in Sir Winston’s name. It is, however, President Zelenskyy and his people that personify them.” Mr. Geller added, “I have today authorised an immediate payment by ICS of £50,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee to support Ukrainian refugees.”
Emma Soames, a granddaughter of Sir Winston, spoke on behalf of members of the Churchill family who attended the award presentation: “There has never been an easier case to make than that for President Zelenskyy as a wartime leader showing so many of the same characteristics as my grandfather: bravery, courage, grace under pressure, and a very close relationship with his people.”
The Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award was first presented in person by Sir Winston’s grandson in 2006. Past recipients of the award include HRH The Prince of Wales, former British prime ministers The Rt Hon Baroness Thatcher and the Rt Hon Sir John Major, and former US secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and James A. Baker III.
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