President Volodymyr Zelensky has hailed the important role of the world’s media in fostering international support for Ukraine, as he met representatives of Fox News and The Sun, including Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch.
He met Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall and The Sun journalist Jerome Starkey in his Kyiv office and thanked them for “comprehensive coverage” of the war, including shining light on “Russian atrocities” despite personal risks, the president’s official website said in a statement.
He also told The Sun how he has survived at least five assassination attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin, likening his reaction to the attempts as “just like Covid”.
He told the newspaper: “The first one is very interesting, when it is the first time, and after that it is just like Covid.
“First of all people don’t know what to do with it and it’s looking very scary.
“And then after that, it is just intelligence sharing with you detail that one more group came to Ukraine to (attempt) this.”
But he could not tell the newspaper exactly how many plots he had survived.
The Sun also reported after the meeting that Mr Zelensky accused the Kremlin of helping Hamas launch attacks in Israel in October, and that the Ukraine-Russia conflict could spiral into a third world war.
He also said Ukraine needs more Western aid and weapons.
According to his website, Mr Zelensky thanked reporters across the globe for garnering support.
“All this time, journalists, cameramen, editors, photographers, drivers have been on the frontline,” he said.
“As this is a hybrid war, information is also a weapon in Russian hands.
“My sincere condolences to the families and friends of those very brave men and women who lost their lives trying to show what is happening in Ukraine.
“In particular, it is thanks to journalists from many countries that we now have such support in the world.”
He also emphasised the importance of keeping the world’s attention on the conflict at a time when it is “blurred by other events”.
“For some reason, people treat it like a movie and expect that there will be no long pauses in the events, that the picture before their eyes will always change, that there will be some surprises every day,” he said.
“But for us, for our warriors, this is not a movie. These are our lives. This is daily hard work. And it will not be over as quickly as we would like, but we have no right to give up and we will not.”
Mr Zelensky awarded Mr Hall with the Order of Merit, third class, after he was caught up in a shelling attack while reporting on the war in March 2022, which caused him to suffer burns “all over”, lose half a leg and his feet and sustain damage to one eye.
Mr Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was appointed chairman of both Fox and News Corp in September.