Czech theologian Tomáš Halík and former diplomat and head of the Václav Havel Library Michael Žantovský have proposed that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In a letter sent to the chairwoman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, they say that by leading the Ukrainian nation in resisting the Russian aggression, Zelensky is defending peace for the whole of Europe.
The letter was also signed by the chairman of the Sekyra Foundation, Luděk Sekyra. “This war has become a symbol of the struggle for universal values,” they wrote.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to them, first occupies the regions near the border, then the whole of Ukraine, and if the democratic world does not stop him, he will continue on.
They recall that Zelensky had the opportunity to leave the country and go to safety after the war broke out. But he chose the latter option and stayed in his homeland, both as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and as one who makes millions of Ukrainians feel that they were not alone in this difficult time.
“He showed exemplary courage, one of the most important human virtues. He is a man who inspires the world with his humanity and conviction,” they wrote in their justification of why Zelensky should receive the prize.
“I am convinced that President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, who are bleeding in the struggle for the return of peace, freedom and justice, fully deserve the Nobel Peace Prize,” added Halík.
Last year, journalists Dmitry Muratov from Russia and Maria Ressaová from the Philippines won the Nobel Peace Prize for their fight for freedom of speech.
This year’s laureate will be announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee at the beginning of October.