Zelenskyy grants hug in Europe while promoting fighter jets

Lulworth Camp, UK: Volodymyr Zelenskyy had only left his country once since the war began, meaning he didn’t have many opportunities to meet Ukrainians who fled to Europe when Russia invaded.

When 35-year-old Natalia Goncharova first saw her President in person in a cold hangar at Ludworth Camp in Dorset, England, she jumped at the chance.

BBC Ukraine journalist Natalia Goncharova.

BBC Ukraine journalist Natalia Goncharova.Credit:Latika Bourke

“I’d really like to hug you, but I really can’t,” she said as she stood to ask her question on behalf of BBC Ukraine. Reporters have been gathered for a press conference on the visit of Zelensky and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to see Ukrainian troops being trained to command the Challenger tanks Britain is sending to the war effort.

Zelensky, the master of modern media, obliges. He left his lectern and sauntered over to the media pack, meeting her in the middle of the two rows of chairs where his entourage, journalists and numerous military personnel sat listening to his every word through the translation pack.

They hugged each other. “Safety,” he said, laughing as he returned to the lectern.

“It was incredible,” said Goncharova The Sydney Morning Herald And Age shortly after the hug.

She said she knew Zelensky from her time in video production in Ukraine and witnessed his rise and transformation from TV star to politician to war hero. But she doubted that the leader recognized her when he decided to grant her wish.

Goncharova has been working for the BBC for a week. She came with her child as part of Ukraine’s sponsorship scheme, which enables women and children to live in the UK.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/it-was-amazing-ukrainian-journalist-scores-hug-from-zelensky-20230209-p5cj3i.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Zelenskyy grants hug in Europe while promoting fighter jets

Callan Tansill

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