Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers hopeful message to Golden Globes: “The war is not over but the tide is turning”

The Ukrainian president was introduced by a moving speech from Sean Penn

Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a message to the audience at the Golden Globes 2023 tonight (January 10), sharing hope for the outcome of the war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president’s appearance by video was introduced by a brief but moving speech from actor Sean Penn.

“From the other-worldly courage of young Iranians rising up to the ever-persevering women’s movement of Afghanistan, we are reminded, in no uncertain terms, that the freedom to dream is not simply a human luxury but rather a human need that must be fought and sacrificed for,” the actor said.


“If the freedom to dream were a spear, I proudly present a human being who tonight represents that spear’s most honed tip.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy CREDIT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Zelenskyy then appeared on the screen and looked back to the year when the Golden Globes were first held, 1944. “The second World War wasn’t over yet, but the tide was turned, all knew who would win,” he said. “There were still battles and tears ahead, it was then when the Golden Globes awards appeared to honour the best performers of 1943.

“It is now 2023 the war in Ukraine is not over yet but the tide is turning. And it is already clear who will win. There are still battles and tears ahead, but now I can definitely tell you who are the best in the previous year, it was you. The free people of the free world. Those who united around the support of the free Ukrainian people in our common struggle for freedom.”

The president continued to declare: “There will be no third World War, it is not a trilogy. Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”

Last year, Zelenskyy shared a video message with the Grammys in which he urged the world to “support us in any way but silence”. “We defend our freedom,” he said in the video. “To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today, to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on your TV.”


Elsewhere at the Golden Globes 2023, Angela Bassett became the first actor to win a major award for a Marvel movie. Michelle Yeoh reflected on her career in Hollywood and Austin Butler responded to claims he still speaks like Elvis. You can keep up with all of the winners as they’re announced at NME.com here.

Meanwhile, Zelenskyy also made a virtual appearance at last year’s Glastonbury Festival, calling on festival-goers to “spread truth” about the war with Russia. “Glastonbury is the greatest concentration of freedom these days,” he said. “And I ask you to share this feeling with everyone whose freedom is under attack.”

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