CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Despite all of the distress and trauma caused by a full-scale Russian invasion of his beloved country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has impressed the world today with his ability to appreciate how tough things were in the inner-west Sydney houso flats during the 1970s and 1980s.
This comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian leader at Kyiv’s Presidential Palace, where he announced that Australia would gift the nation with a new assistance package.
Albanese has pledged $100 million more to Ukraine’s war effort during his first face-to-face meeting with Zelensky, while visiting the war-torn European country.
As he made the long return journey to the flooded streets of his hometown of Sydney, via a 12-hour train journey from Kyiv to Poland, Albanese praised the Ukrainian leader’s “bravery and leadership emblematic of his people” in the face of Russia’s invasion.
“President Zelensky is an inspirational leader who I was honoured to meet,” said Albanese. “The Ukrainian people are demonstrating enormous courage and resilience in the face of brutal attacks.”
And it seems this respect is mutual, with Zelensky informing his own countries media of just how much he admires Anthony Albanese, given everything he has had to overcome to find himself in a position where he now has to visit entire cities that have been shelled by Russian forces.
It is believed the bromance started when Albanese and Zelensky the “devastating impact” that Russian sea blockade of Ukrainian grain had caused to food supplies and global inflation.
Standing beside Zelensky on Sunday evening AEST, Albanese said his visit to the once besieged capital was a demonstration of “the solidarity that exists” between the two countries, before explaining how he too can empathise with the suffering of the Ukrainian people, because of his similarly humble upbringing.
Zelensky was moved to tears upon hearing about the trials and tribulations of a young Albanese, cutting around the un-gentrified streets of Camperdown, well before he left the houso flats and went to Sydney University to become a professional leftie.
“I don’t know how you did it” said Zelenzky, doing his best to speak English, while also holding back tears.
“… It really puts things in perspective for us here in the Ukraine”