COVENTRY University’s Ukrainian society were honoured with a live address and question and answer session from President Zelenskyy tonight.
The President spoke to students from several university’s across the country online before a member from each Ukrainian society was able to ask him a question.
During his initial speech, he compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Nazi bombing of Coventry during World War Two.
Coventry University Ukrainian society president Pavel Pimkin then got to ask his country’s president whether the government will attract students by creating programmes to create good conditions for start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses during the rebuilding period.
Pavel chose the question himself as he is starting business management and so was curious about the President’s plans.
Pavel said: “I was really proud. When I came to Coventry I never felt that I would bring something to this University.
“I am honoured that we managed to secure this event and that the President knows the history of Coventry.
“It shows that he really cares and he prepares for everyone he speaks to, it sends a very important message.”
A number of Ukrainian societies across the country recently united to create the Ukrainian Students Union (USU.)
When President Zelenskyy began to address students from different countries, the Union managed to secure this meeting.
President Zelenskyy was also told about the ‘Ukrainian Peace Special Edition’ copy of the WBC Greatest Fights Opus, a book that will be auctioned off with all the proceeds going directly to support Ukraine.
The book celebrates the greatest WBC fights throughout history as selected by world champions past and present, with the bid currently at around £130,000.
Zenon Texeira, creative director at Opus said: “Because we have worked very closely with the Klitschko brothers we realised that there was an opportunity to design a one-off copy that could be auctioned off and support the people of Ukraine.”
The graphic designers that worked on the book used to attend Coventry University and Zenon is a former student and staff member.
When he heard about the book, President Zelenskyy said: “I would like to express gratitude for this, it’s a true reflection of solidarity.
“It’s not even a question about the money, it’s about the support and the openness.”
Coventry University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Innovation), Professor Paul Noon OBE said: “It’s been a day that will last long in my memory.
“There is a lot of support for Ukraine and we’ve seen that with our students and also the local community.”