Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has received an honorary Wiktor awarded by Polish public broadcaster TVP. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba accepted the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Warsaw. The Wiktor for the journalist of the year was awarded to Andrzej Poczobut, an activist for the Union of Poles in Belarus, who is currently being held in a Belarusian prison.
“These are unusual times, so we open the ceremony with something extraordinary,” said the hosts of the gala prior to making the announcement that the honorary Wiktor award would go to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The award was presented by the Ukrainian singer Jamala and accepted on Zelenskyy’s behalf by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. During the ceremony, TVP broadcast a speech by Zeleskyy, in which the Ukrainian President said that his nation was fighting to live together in a free country.
“This war is being fought also for your freedom. We don’t want Poland to ever experience the things that Ukraine is going through right now,” said Minister Kuleba, emphasising that President Zelenskyy would have dedicated the award to those fighting for freedom.
The Wiktor for the journalist of the year was awarded to Andrzej Poczobut, activist for the Union of Poles in Belarus, who was arrested in March 2021 on charges of “incitement of hatred,” and is currently being held in prison in Belarus. Journalist Arleta Bojke, who presented the award, commented “In 2021 we were following the situation in Belarus, where people were getting arrested for things like singing a song outside of their house… We have to be united.”
The Polish Television Academy awarded the Wiktors between the years 1985–2015, and revived them in 2022. The award honours eminent television figures who have impressed TV audiences with their personality, knowledge and skill.