Ukraine’s President Zelensky Received Highest Czech State Honour

Zelenskyy czech parliament

On the occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day, President Zeman presented high state distinctions to 78 outstanding personalities from different walks of life, 32 of them were awarded in memoriam.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received the Order of the White Lion, the highest state honour in the Czech Republic, in absentia.

A representative from the Ukrainian embassy in Prague accepted the award on behalf of Zelenskiy.

Zeman noted that Zelenskyy “showed courage and bravery. And, although the United States offered him an evacuation, he remained in the capital of his country, where he manages its defense.”

The Order of the White Lion (Czech: Řád Bílého lva) is the highest order of the Czech Republic.

It continues a Czechoslovak order of the same name created in 1922 as an award for foreigners (Czechoslovakia had no civilian decoration for its citizens in the 1920s and 1930s).

It was inspired by the Czech Nobility Cross created in 1814 by the Emperor and King Francis I and awarded to 37 Bohemian noblemen.

The state awards ceremony takes place every year on October 28. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

The Order of the White Lion was also awarded to Josef Mašín, a member of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia and later a member of the underground resistance against the Nazis and also to Brigadier General Vaclav Moravek, a member of the resistance group Three Kings.

Medals of merit also went to tennis legend Ivan Lendl and the late Ivana Trump.

She was accompanied by her husband Jared Kushner and older brother Donald Jr., met privately with Zeman before the ceremony at Prague Castle.

Born Ivana Marie Zelnickova Czechoslovakia, Ivana Trump grew up in Zlin some 300 km from Prague. She met Donald Trump on a modelling trip to New York in 1976 and became his first wife when they married nine months later.

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