Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday night and insisted that Ukraine would win the war against Russia and that the conflict would not turn into “World War III.”
Zelensky delivered a pre-recorded video address that was introduced by actor Sean Penn, who has visited Ukraine several times since Russia’s invasion. In his most recent visit, Penn loaned an Oscar award to Zelensky, who’s had a long acting career of his own.
“The First World War claimed millions of lives,” Zelensky said in his speech to the Golden Globes. “The Second World War claimed tens of millions of them. There will be no Third World War. It is not a trilogy: Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”
Zelensky said it was “clear” that Ukraine was winning the war, although his comments came around the same time the Russian mercenary force Wagner Group said it made territorial gains in Donetsk. “It is now 2023: the war in Ukraine is not over yet, but the tide is turning, and it is already clear who will win,” he said.
“But there are still battles and tears ahead. But now I can definitely tell you who were the best in the previous year: It was you, the free people of the free world, those who united around the support of the free Ukrainian people in our common struggle for freedom and democracy,” Zelensky added.
Throughout the war, Zelensky has delivered dozens of video speeches to parliaments and media events around the world as part of his public relations efforts to secure foreign aid. Last April, the Ukrainian president addressed the Grammy Awards.
In the early days of the war, his message to the US and other Western countries was to “close the sky” over Ukraine, meaning impose a no-fly zone, which would require US and NATO to shoot down Russian planes and bomb missile systems inside Russia. Such action would almost certainly spark World War III and potentially nuclear war.
The no-fly zone received very little support in Washington, with only ultra-hawks favoring the idea, such as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who just landed a job at CNN upon his exit from Congress.