Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch meets Volodymyr Zelenskiy in signal of support for Ukraine

<span>Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

The Fox Corp chief executive, Lachlan Murdoch, has met with Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the Ukrainian capital in what Kyiv said was a “very important signal” of support at a time when global media attention has shifted from the war with Russia.

The media mogul, who last week took over as News Corp chairman from his father, Rupert, was accompanied by two reporters from his stable: Benjamin Hall from Fox News and Jerome Starkey from the UK tabloid Sun.

Hall was badly injured by Russian bombs while covering the war in Ukraine while cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian fixer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed.

Related: Ukrainian optimism fades at start of another winter of war

Hall lost his right leg below the knee, much of his left foot, the sight in his left eye, his left thumb was blown off, his skull was dented and he was burned over much of his body.

Zelenskiy said journalists, cameramen, editors, photographers and drivers have been on the frontline.

“In particular, it is thanks to journalists from many countries that we now have such support in the world,” Zelenskiy said in an article on the Ukrainian presidential website.

According to the article: “[Zelenskiy] thanked Lachlan Murdoch for his visit and emphasised that it is a very important signal of support at the time when the world’s attention is blurred by other events.”

Zelenskiy was apparently referring to Israel’s war in Gaza, another global conflict which has attracted Murdoch’s attention this month.

Earlier in the month Murdoch called on News Corp Australia journalists and editors to be courageous in addressing the “distressing events such as the horrific October 7th terror attack on Israel”.

“When it comes to antisemitism, there is no room for equivocation,” he told a company event in Sydney.

A representative for Murdoch said the statement issued by Zelenskiy’s office was the only comment he would make.

Zelenskiy said it was vital to keep the world’s attention focused on the war in Ukraine.

“For us, for our warriors, this is not a movie,” he was quoted as saying by his office. “These are our lives. This is daily hard work. And it will not be over as quickly as we would like, but we have no right to give up and we will not.”

Murdoch and the president visited Mykhailivska Square and laid flowers at the Wall of Remembrance of the Fallen Defenders of Ukraine.

The meeting discussed the situation in the combat zone and Ukraine’s successes in the Black Sea. Air and missile threats from Russia with the onset of winter and the importance of further strengthening Ukraine’s air defence system were also discussed.

News Corp is working hard to secure the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested by Russian authorities on espionage charges at the end of March.

He is being held in the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow and could face a sentence of up to 20 years if found guilty.

It is not the first time Murdoch has spoken with Zelenskiy as he reportedly met the president and other Ukrainian government officials via Zoom in March.