After speaking via videoconference with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday morning, former President George W. Bush dubbed him “the Winston Churchill of our day.”
Bush shared two photos from the meeting on Instagram, one of which was labeled with the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas and showed Bush smiling at a conference table.
The conversation took place while Russia’s invading soldiers continue to lay siege to Ukraine.
“I was honored to spend a few minutes talking with President Zelenskyy – the Winston Churchill of our time – this morning. I thanked the President for his leadership, his example, and his commitment to liberty, and I saluted the courage of the Ukrainian people,” Bush said in a statement.
“President Zelenskyy assured me that they will not waver in their fight against Putin’s barbarism and thuggery. Americans are inspired by their fortitude and resilience. We will continue to stand with Ukrainians as they stand up for their freedom,” he added.
The call was reported by Zelenskyy’s office, which claimed he thanked the former president for the United States’ support.
“Americans are sincere, open-minded people, and I feel it. We have common values. I feel that it is from the heart,” Zelenskyy reportedly told Bush. “Our conversation is important to me because you are an example of a strong leader.”
Zelenskyy referenced the events of Sept. 11, 2001, recalling how many Ukrainians “sympathized with the American people and shared the pain” at the time.
Even though Ukraine is not a NATO member, it provided troops to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11.
During Russia’s more than 10-week-long war, the United States has been a prominent supporter of Kyiv, providing billions of dollars in defensive supplies. President Biden asked for another $33 billion from Congress late last month to fight Russian aggression with security, economic, and humanitarian aid.