As reported this past Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was officially announced as the winner of the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award for his “courageous fight against tyranny.”
The group responsible for handing out the award, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, chose Zelensky as a result of the Ukrainian President making a stand for freedom in the face of a Russian invasion into his home country of Ukraine, reported Axios.
“The world applauds President Zelensky and all that he stands for — democracy, individual liberty, freedom, and hope,” stated the chairman of the foundation and institute board of trustees, Fred Ryan, in a release.
“President Zelenskyy will become the eleventh recipient of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s highest recognition. He follows in a long line of world leaders who, like Ronald Reagan, have contributed greatly to the cause of freedom worldwide,” stated a release from the Reagan Foundation.
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was sworn in as the President of Ukraine on May 20, 2019, has become the face of Ukraine’s resistance against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invading forces. President Zelenskyy’s platform of anti-corruption and national unity helped win him widespread support. Although a political novice with no military background, President Zelenskyy has earned the respect of Ukraine and those around the world by refusing to flee the capital, urging Ukrainians to resist, and crafting a successful communications strategy that has won over European leaders and citizens,” continued the statement from the Foundation.
Former President Ronald Reagan first created and presented the award to a former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, back in 1992 as part of a ceremony that took place at the Reagan Library. Various other past recipients have included former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, former President George H. W. Bush, and former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
This story crops up just as Zelensky hosted a zoom call with U.S. senators this past Saturday that threw partial blame for Russia’s invasion into his home country of Ukraine onto Democrat President Joe Biden and his adamant refusal to take any form of sanctioning actions against Russia prior to the invasion beginning, despite being sure that such an event was coming.
As reported by The Daily Wire:
Zelensky told Senators that if the U.S. “had started sanctions months ago, there would not have been war.”
Reuters noted just a few days before Russia invaded Ukraine that Biden was “refus[ing] to unleash sanctions on Russia” until Russia invaded, despite numerous officials, including Zelensky, saying that the sanctions could stop the invasion from happening.
“You tell me 100% that there will be war in a few days’ time. What are you waiting for?” Zelensky said before the invasion. “We will not need your sanctions after there is a bombardment, or after our state is shot at, or if we have no more borders, we do not have an economy, or parts of our state is occupied.”