Former President George W. Bush called Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky “the Winston Churchill of our time” after the two spoke in a videoconference Thursday morning.
Bush posted two images of the meeting on Instagram tagged with a location of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas, showing the 43rd president smiling while seated at a conference table.
The chat came as Ukraine remains under siege by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invading forces.
“I was honored to spend a few minutes talking with President Zelenskyy – the Winston Churchill of our time – this morning,” Bush said in the post.
“I thanked the president for his leadership, his example and his commitment to liberty, and I saluted the courage of the Ukrainian people. President Zelensky assured me that they will not waiver in their fight against Putin’s barbarism and thuggery.”
Zelensky, who posted his own images of the videoconference on his website, said it was “a great honor” to meet Bush.
“Americans are outspoken, open-minded people, and I feel it. We have common values,” Zelensky said, according to a rough translation. “I feel that it is from the heart.”
Zelensky said Ukrainians stood with the US in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Bush was in office.
“Our conversation is important to me because you are an example of a strong leader,” Zeleksnky said he told Bush, according to a translation. Zelensky also said he invited Bush to visit Ukraine.