Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address students at Coventry University on 10th June during a special live broadcast to a small number of UK universities.
The event, which has been organised by the Ukrainian Students Union (USU), of which Coventry University’s Ukrainian Society is a member, will take place on campus at 5 pm, supported by the Students’ Union.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy has been highly visible, urging international leaders to support the country in the face of Russian aggression.
Ukrainian students have played an important role in supporting their country during this time, raising awareness and fundraising to help humanitarian efforts. Earlier this year students from Ukrainian Societies at several UK universities joined together to form the USU and it is to this organisation that President Zelenskyy will speak.
Other universities with USU members including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL will also air the address, which will be translated into English. Following the address, Pavel Pimkin, president of Coventry University’s Ukrainian Society will also get the chance to pose a question to President Zelenskyy.
Pavel said: ‘Since the war began President Zelenskyy has spoken to students in the US and Canada and we were keen for him to speak in the UK too, but instead of just addressing one university, say Oxford or Cambridge, we thought it would be great to broadcast to a larger group.’
‘The USU has a close bond with the Ukrainian Embassy, and our core team worked hard to make this possible. It is not just students PresidentZelenskyy has engaged with during this war, he’s addressed parliaments and welcomed world leaders in Kyiv. However, I think he understands students are the future of our nation, they’ve organised protests, fundraised for Ukraine and been enthusiastic in their support for Ukraine – we have a very powerful voice.’
‘I think the main message he will have for students will be to stay united, to keep fundraising, keep raising awareness and to keep speaking to the press. This war is being fought on the ground in Ukraine, but it is also being fought diplomatically.’
Professor John Latham CBE, Coventry University Vice-Chancellor, added: ‘President Zelenskyy’s decision to speak to students at Coventry University is a demonstration of the Ukrainian Government’s continued interest in the power of education, despite the terrible devastation that has been inflicted on the country during this war.
‘I would like to commend Pavel for his role in organising this event with the Ukrainian Students Union at Coventry University, we’re very proud of both his endeavour in making this happen and that this address is taking place on campus.’