Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have been honoured with the annual Charlemagne Prize for 2023. Mr Zelenskyy and Ukrainians received the award for the defence of European values.
The prestigious Charlemagne International Prize is awarded annually for contribution to the unification of Europe.
The organizers’ statement says that the Ukrainian people have become victims of an unspeakably cruel Russian aggressive war that violates international law.
“The Ukrainian people, led by their President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are defending not only the sovereignty of their country and the lives of their citizens but also Europe and European values,” the organizers of the award emphasize.
They also underlined that Zelensky was able to unite the free world around Ukraine; he is “a motivator, communicator, engine and link between Ukraine and a large phalanx of supporters,” the press release said.
By awarding the Charlemagne Prize 2023, the Board of Directors of the Charlemagne Prize Society emphasizes that Ukraine is part of Europe. Its people and government, led by Zelensky, represent and defend European values and therefore deserve to be encouraged to negotiate accession to the European Union as soon as possible.
Before the award ceremony, a significant demonstration of Ukrainians took place in Aachen. In addition to performances, people could see a huge art object in the form of a Russian dictator. To emphasize his cruelty, Putin was depicted in a bloody bathtub in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
In Aachen, Germans who were interested in the award ceremony, and those who wanted to show their support for Ukraine, went to the streets.
The Charlemagne Prize
The Charlemagne International Prize is a prestigious European award for contribution to the unification of Europe. It has been awarded annually since 1950 by the German city of Aachen to figures who have made a significant contribution to the realization of the ideals of a united Europe.
The prize is named in honour of Charlemagne, the founder of the Frankish Empire and the actual founder of the Holy Roman Empire, who ruled the state from Aachen. This prize has already been awarded to Konrad Adenauer, Jacques Delors, Vaclav Havel, John Paul II, Donald Tusk, and Angela Merkel.
Aachen itself has an active Ukrainian community that promotes Ukrainian culture in Germany and organizes assistance to Ukraine. This includes fundraising for generators for Chernihiv and raising money for gifts for orphans who were evacuated from the war zone to Lviv.